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Rethinking Agriculture

The Individuality of the Farm

Six-Month Distance Learning Course with Cory Eichman

Are you a farmer or gardener interested in exploring the deeper aspects of the work you are doing? Biodynamics offers a unique way to live positively on the earth with our fellow soil, plant, and animal companions. In this six-month interactive course, we will develop a deeper understanding of biodynamics through intensive study of Rudolf Steiner's Agriculture, the 1924 series of lectures that founded the worldwide biodynamic movement. Building on many years of leading this course at Saugeen River CSA in Durham, Ontario, Cory Eichman is now partnering with the Biodynamic Association to offer this deep exploration of biodynamics in a distance learning format. Registration now open. Find out more.

Sharing the Loss: Embracing a New Agricultural Paradigm

By Jeff Schreiber: As many who read our newsletter know, the philosophy of community supported agriculture (CSA) is a favorite topic of mine. So it was with great interest that I recently heard a different take on the idea while listening to a farming-related podcast. In this episode of the excellent Farmer-to-Farmer podcast, host Chris Blanchard discussed the core values of CSA with Dan Kaplan, the long-time manager of Brookfield Farm in Amherst, MA – one of the first CSAs in the US. Kaplan stressed the often-heard notion that CSAs are about consumers and producers sharing risk. But then he took it further: CSA, like no other farming model, is also about consumers and producers sharing loss. Read more.

Demeter's Biodynamic Garden & Lounge

Join us September 8-10 in Santa Rosa, CA for Demeter's Biodynamic Garden & Lounge at the 5th Annual National Heirloom Exposition, where you can see demonstration gardens, take classes from Biodynamic practitioners (including BDA Co-Director Thea Maria Carlson), and relax in the lounge. The Garden and Lounge are free for Expo guests; Expo tickets are $10 a day.

Demeter Rocks! After Hours VIP Party: Demeter USA will host a night of fun and conviviality after the National Heirloom Expo closes for the day, which will be turned into a dance party space with Biodynamic food and wine and live music.

Soulful Reflections

By Sally Voris: For the last five years of her husband's life, my neighbor sat next to him reading as he dozed in his recliner. He had been a feisty, skilled farmer. Now he barely spoke. The last Christmas he was alive, she made him his favorite cake: fresh apple cake with black walnuts. He ate one piece. Perhaps she knew on some level that he was dying. That January, he had heart surgery. He died 16 days later. I relate that image to my work on the farm this year. I am attending to the health of a loved one: the farm. I focus on keeping its rhythms going in the midst of chaotic weather. Read more.

Biodynamic Intensive Workshop Series in Colorado

Build your understanding of biodynamic principles and practices through intensive workshops taught by leading farmers and educators from the region. The full series is designed to fulfill the classroom study requirement for graduation from the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP). Workshops may also be taken individually.

  • Biodynamic Preparation Making Intensive: Sept. 24-26, Sustainable Settings, Carbondale, CO
  • Biodynamic Principles for Regenerative Agriculture: Oct. 9-11, Shining Mountain Waldorf School, Boulder, CO

Conference on the Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture   

Harvard Divinity School will host a conference on "The Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture" from March 31 through April 1, 2016, with the goal of bringing together farmers, religious and spiritual leaders, and academics for a robust and stimulating discussion about the spirit of sustainable agriculture and its past, present, and future. The Biodynamic Association is a co-sponsoring organization for the conference, which was inspired in part by the 2012 North American Biodynamic Conference on "Sacred Agriculture."

Call for Papers and Proposals: Proposals for individual academic papers (20 minutes in length), full panels, or hour-long workshops are welcome from farmers, food activists, spiritual leaders, and/or academics. The deadline is October 1, 2015.

Biodynamic Association Adopts Shared Leadership and Evolutionary Approach to Work

Thea Maria Carlson Named Co-Director

Milwaukee, Wis. (Apr. 6, 2015) - Amidst the dominant agricultural paradigm of farms as inanimate factories, churning out commodity crops and animal products, biodynamics offers a radically different perspective: the farm is a living organism with its own inherent integrity, intelligence and health. The Biodynamic Association (BDA) is now working to embody a similar approach to how it operates as an organization, moving away from a traditional hierarchical and mechanistic organizational model to an agile, living approach to organizing its work. As a first step in this transformation, the BDA is pleased to announce that Thea Maria Carlson has been named Co-Director of the Association. Read more.

2016 North American Biodynamic Conference

The Biodynamic Association is excited to hold our next biennial North American Biodynamic Conference in the Southwest, a region of unique landscapes, climate, agriculture — and for many, spiritual and transformational power. With its many historic sites, museums, and other cultural amenities, Santa Fe is a city that is easy and fun to explore, and it has been rated as one of the most walkable cities in the US.

Located in downtown Santa Fe, the Convention Center echoes Santa Fe's historic adobe architecture, and will allow for both indoor and outdoor conference activities. Discounted rooms will be available at several local hotels, all within walking distance of the Convention Center.

What would you like to see in the 2016 Biodynamic Conference? Please share your ideas to help with our planning.