The Life of Alex Podolinsky

Alex Podolinsky

Alex Podolinsky


Alex Podolinsky passed away peacefully just shy of his 94th birthday. He lived at home on his farm in Powelltown, Victoria until the end of his life. Alex was born in Germany. His father was a Russian Count from an ancient Russian noble family. His mother was German.

Together with his twin sister Alika, Alex attended boarding school from the age of 5. The schools were in England, France, Switzerland and he completed his secondary school at Salem College in Bavaria. The twins would spend time at home in Heidelberg in the holidays but due to unfortunate circumstances Alex seldom saw his father after the age of 5. It was his mother and Godmother who introduced him to Anthroposophy and the works of Rudolf Steiner.

Alex attended university where he gained a degree in Graphology (the study of handwriting) but he often sat at the back of the class sneakily reading Rudolf Steiner.

At the age of 14 WW2 erupted. When Alex became of age he was forced to join the German Army. As he was so fluent in French he was sent to France as a spy. There he was under suspicion and poisoned but was able to escape to a hospital in Germany. The hospital was bombed, Alex was badly injured but managed to drag himself home to his mother’s house and was then considered unfit for the remainder of the war. This allowed him to indulge in his passion and employment which was playing the flute. A child prodigy, Alex was already performing solo concerts all over Europe by the time he was 14.

Alex Sergei de Podolinsky 13th July 1925 30th June 2019 With perception, vibrant energy and creativity, he gifted knowledge to the world. ~ 2 Alex married Katherin Siemers after the war and together they migrated to Australia in 1949 and subsequently had 7 children. Alex was stateless and as a young man life in Europe was becoming increasingly unsafe due to his Russian heritage. He was indeed a political refugee. It was a proud and happy day when he was nationalised as an Australian citizen.

As a very young child Alex had a dream of a land with a giant sun. He believed that land to be his beloved adopted Australia. Alex loved this land of the sun and incredibly, uniquely, he witnessed every single sunrise and sunset for his entire adult life.

Alex was dynamic, vibrantly creative, artistic, actively perceptive and he gifted his knowledge to the world. He was emotionally deep with an astonishing intellect. When giving lectures the intensity of his concentration was obvious. He didn’t speak with abstract concepts. He created living pictures through his words. He would find the most exact, moral and true way of characterising his subject–devoid of exaggeration and ambiguity.

Although an untrained architect, amongst numerous achievements, Alex designed a number of important buildings. These included the earlier buildings of the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School in Warranwood, the Wandin Curative Home, Ghilgai Steiner School, the Canberra Steiner School and many private houses. Not only was Alex designing these buildings, he was also instrumental in establishing the Warranwood SS, Ghilgai SS and Wandin Curative Home, and provided teacher training and long term mentorship. His buildings have a balance between shape, proportion, structure and harmony. He saw “Acoustics as the soul of the building”—- how people experienced themselves and being made to feel awake. His designs were often influenced by many European buildings including Chatres Cathedral in France.

Alex was gifted in many areas of HUMAN endeavour but chose as his main focus the development of the Australian Demeter Biodynamic method. With help from the pioneering Australian farmers, he took the original impulse of Rudolph Steiner and developed a practical Biodynamic method based on quality and results, rather than just an anthroposophical belief that Biodynamics works, as it came from Steiner. Results that presented to farmers an objective reality of what quality preparations and practical approach could achieve. His development of prepared 500 was a major step in bringing the influence of the preparations to large farms. ~ 3 He forged on undaunted in the face of scepticism and outright opposition from the agricultural establishment. His impulse saw the development of mechanical stirrers and practical spraying equipment suitable for broad acre use.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s he founded the Bio Dynamic Agricultural Association of Australia, The Bio Dynamic Research Institute and registered the Demeter Trademark.

Around this time he began testing and recording the increasing organic matter levels of his soil. He spoke extensively of the importance of this work for both the health of the soil and the climate. His unique description of plant metabolism clearly and simply explained the need to feed plants from humus rather than with water soluble salts. For decades he travelled extensively throughout Australia voluntarily mentoring farmers.

Alex also took the method back to Europe and established new pioneers of the method in different European countries, finding the appropriate farmers to work with in developing the method there and finding the right people in Europe to make quality preparations. While not getting to visit Asia, Alex and his work are having a major impact on soils in many Asian countries.

He taught us well and many farmers around the world are dedicated to continuing Alex’s work in developing and teaching the practicality, reality, integrity and quality of the Australian Demeter Method across the globe.

With perception, vibrant energy and creativity, he gifted knowledge to the world.

The Podolinsky Family Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Australia Biodynamic Research Institute Biodynamic Growers Australia.

The story on Alex Podolinsky including Demeter BD farmers; Lynton Greenwood, Mark Peterson/Demeter Milk and Darren Aitken/Vortex Vegies will air this Sunday the 18th of August, on Landline at 12.30 on the ABC.

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