Hans Peter Rusch

Hans Peter Rusch developed a test to determine the level of soil fertility. He collaborated with Hans Muller and his wife Maria Muller to pioneer organic agriculture in Switzerland and the Germanic speaking countries.


Our own constitution will never be better than the constitution of our biological predecessors that provide us with food.

Hans Peter Rusch, 1906-1977

Hans was born in East Prussia and enjoyed his childhood there. He studied medicine in Gieseen and from 1932 practiced gynecology at the university clinic. Once he had qualified as a university lecturer he was appointed as a lecturer in gynecology and obstetrics. However before he could take up his teaching appointment he was ordered to Sicily to serve as a military medical officer.

After the war, Rusch found a position as a doctor at the cancer clinic in Lehrbach and the bacteriologist A.Becker, he researched the function of bacteria with the aim of developing new medicines. In the process, Rusch made discoveries which he published in an article in the 1950 medical journal entitled: The Cycle of Bacteria as Life Principle.

In the article, Hans Muller found the basis for the scientific approach to natural farming. Muller sought out Rusch, and when Rusch was given notice by the clinic, Muller urged him to found a laboratory, for which a friendly pharmacist in Herbon made a garage available. Over the years, a significant medical institute evolved from it.

In this laboratory, Rusch investigated the microbial condition of the soil a developed a test which was named after him which allowed farmers and gardeners to test soil fertility.

At the same time Rusch acted as scientific adviser to the Swiss Co-Operative for cultivation, gave courses on the Moschberg and explained the scientific principles of organic agriculture in lectures and regular contributions to Culture and Politics.