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Rethinking Agriculture

Spring 2015 Biodynamics Journal Online

Who Are the Animals? In this issue we explore the essential nature of animals, our relationship with them, how we can integrate them into our farms and gardens, and our future together.

Online access for the four most recent issues of Biodynamics, plus supplementary articles, is available to all Biodynamic Association members. Join our vibrant community of biodynamic farmers and gardeners and enjoy immediate access.

NABDAP Graduate Profile

Thomas M. Arminio is a first generation farmer living in rural New York. He completed the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NBADP) in 2015 and, starting in 2016, plans to work as a crop extension volunteer in Tanzania.

What inspired you to pursue biodynamic agriculture and participate in NABDAP? I had four years of experience in organic agriculture before working in biodynamic agriculture and starting the apprenticeship program. During those four years, I observed several friends and coworkers attempt to start their own farm or agricultural enterprise and encounter all of the difficulty that comes with it. The support systems and cultural motivators that once made working in agriculture practical for many people seemed to have eroded. After discovering it and studying it further, I realized that biodynamics fills an important role for young farmers. Read more.

Online Interest Groups and Learning Communities

Building on the vibrant interest group and learning community meetups we hosted at the 2014 Biodynamic Conference, we are launching a new online space for people to connect around shared interests and learning goals.

The Biodynamic Association's online groups offer a platform to connect with other members of the biodynamic community to discuss questions of interest and share resources.

Bruno Follador Named an "Earth Day Superhero"

In honor of Earth Day, the Food Tank named Bruno Follador - biodynamic researcher, geographer, and compost and chromatography expert - as one of their top 20 favorite innovators protecting the planet: "According to Follador, educating and helping eaters to become conscious of their responsibility in a biodynamic system is one of the best ways to heal the food system. His work focuses on life processes and actively improving the health of farms."

Look forward to "The Creature That Never Was," an article by Bruno on how we think and talk about animals in the upcoming spring issue of Biodynamics.

A Biodynamic Therapeutic Alliance

By Melissa Greer, DO (Apr. 22): In medical school I learned very little about the role of nutrition in health. Much of what I did learn in conventional nutrition teachings I have found has little actual meaning in wellness. No one ever spoke in medical school about the role of the farmer in health or illness. As a medical student I was taught of the helping role of the physical therapist, the nurse, the masseuse, the diabetes educator...but no mention was made of the local farmer. Yet the role of the farmer is an extraordinarily influential one on local community health. Farmers have the potential to be our frontline of wellbeing. Read more.

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.

Evolution of the BDA Board of Directors

The BDA Board of Directors met in mid-March, welcoming two new board members, Terry Brett and Peter Littell, and bidding a fond farewell to Jean-Paul Courtens. Board President Steffen Schneider offers a heartfelt thank you to Jean-Paul here.

As part of its evolutionary approach to how it operates as an organization, the BDA is next planning to expand its board of directors. While the whole will always be greater than the sum of its parts, the directors who make up the board should bring talents that will further the growth of the biodynamic movement and who reflect the broad diversity of those interested in supporting biodynamic agriculture in North America. 

Let's Do Something About the Lack of Well-Rounded Raw Milk Information

By David Gumpert (Apr. 21): I know I'm not the only supporter of food choice who is frustrated because much of the news in the mainstream media about raw milk seems to be negative and often inaccurate. I know I'm not the only one who is tired of complaining and wants to do something about it. But do what? There is clearly a dearth of accurate information being presented by the media about raw milk. Many of the articles that are written are confusing and inaccurate....

I don’t pretend to have a magic fix for the abundance of inaccurate information about raw milk, but I have developed an idea for beginning to counter the problem. Read more.

One-Year Training in Biodynamics

September 12, 2015 - June 12, 2016, The Pfeiffer Center

Now in its 19th year, the Pfeiffer Center's One-Year Part-Time Training in Biodynamics offers a thorough introduction to the principles underlying biodynamics, plus ample opportunities to experience how those principles come to life in the field. Each of the 13 full-day workshops features an engaging mix of classroom talks and activities in the Pfeiffer Center’s biodynamic garden. Topics covered include making and working with compost, the biodynamic preparations, seed saving, honeybees, weed and pest control, and much more. The course is also eligible for study credit in the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP).

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.