JOIN US this November 16-20 in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico — along with hundreds of other farmers, gardeners, educators, activists, and stewards of the earth from across the continent and beyond — for the 2016 North American Biodynamic Conference, Tierra Viva: Farming the Living Earth. Discover how we can consciously collaborate with our planet to create healthy, living, vibrant landscapes and nourishing food.
SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE EXTENDED: We are pleased to report that we have extended the deadline for applications to the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund for the 2016 Biodynamic Conference to Sunday, October 2nd.
INTERESTED IN SPONSORING? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 649-9212 x7.
Distance Learning Courses Starting This Fall
The Individuality of the Farm
Six-month course with Cory Eichman beginning September 26: 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. Led by renowned biodynamic farmer and educator Cory Eichman of Saugeen River CSA, this is a unique opportunity to deeply explore biodynamics in a distance learning format. This is the second year the course is being offered through the Biodynamic Association after many years as an on-farm course in Ontario. Registration now closed.
Digging Deeper: Cosmic and Earthly Evolution for Farmers
Advanced biodynamic course with Cory Eichman beginning October 25: This is an advanced biodynamic course designed for those who have completed "The Individuality of the Farm" and wish to delve deeper into the spiritual scientific foundations of biodynamics. The curriculum of this course is centered on Chapter 4 of An Outline of Esoteric Science, which looks at the evolution of our Solar System, the Earth, the kingdoms of nature, and humanity. We will specifically explore those aspects that relate to our work on the land. Find out more.
The biennial conference of the Biodynamic Association (BDA) brings together more than 700 farmers, gardeners, educators, researchers and food lovers to teach, learn, connect and share about biodynamics and sustainable agriculture in a new region of the continent every two years. In addition to the dozens of educational workshops, participants also hear from inspiring keynote speakers, meet in peer-to-peer learning communities and visit and learn from thriving local farms.
Who will steward our farms and grow food for our communities thirty years from now? The future of agriculture depends on the next generation of farmers. Thank you for supporting the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund!
New Report from the Section for Agriculture
The Biodynamic Preparations in Context: Individual Approaches to Preparation Work
The Section for Agriculture commissioned, directed, and published this study on the biodynamic preparations. It is particularly directed towards the International Biodynamic Association (IBDA), Demeter International (DI) and the Circle of Representatives of the Section for Agriculture, and especially their member organizations and their individual members. The hope is that this study will stimulate interest and encourage an extensive exchange about and reflection on the biodynamic preparations throughout the movement.
This publication contains 14 case studies with comprehensive and easily compared descriptions showing how a selected group of people from across the world work with the preparations in their own geographical and social contexts.
In Memory of Trauger Groh
We are sad to report that Trauger Groh passed on Wednesday, July 27th at 6:00 am. In honor of his tremendous impact on the biodynamic and community supported agriculture movements in the U.S., we share this piece written by Steven McFadden for us in March. McFadden co-authored Farms of Tomorrow and Farms of Tomorrow Revisited with Groh.
We also invite you to read several of the articles by Groh published in the Biodynamics journal over the years (see links at the end of the article).
Who Owns the Land? And Why Does It Matter?
The Spring 2016 issue of Biodynamics on the theme of "Who Owns the Land? And Why Does It Matter?" is available online now for members.
Biodynamics has a long history (since 1941) as one of the preeminent publications on biodynamic farming and gardening in the world. A benefit of membership in the Biodynamic Association, each issue provides a thoughtful collection of articles centered on a theme such as animals, farming for health, composting, or regional wisdom. Online access for the most recent four issues, plus supplementary materials, is available to BDA members.
Join our vibrant community of biodynamic farmers and gardeners and enjoy immediate access, plus other membership benefits, like discounted registration for the 2016 Biodynamic Conference.
Working with the Living Realm: Draft Horses and the Farm Organism, by Light Root Community Farm (Aug. 9): We are in the midst of the hazy summer dream time here on the farm — long hot days abuzz with activity. The days seem to run into one another, waking early and working late into the evenings on the farm. Our summertime schedule is a solid rhythm of early morning milking and farm chores, mid-day lunch break and siesta time to escape the heat of the day, and when the heat breaks we emerge back out for an evening session of farm chores and other various projects as the sun sets behind the foothills....
Grafting the Food System to North America's Root Stock, by Steven McFadden (Aug. 4): As we are rocked by repeated waves of climate change, and sharp shifts in politics, economics, and society, something durable is called for — something strong, wise, rooted in the land, waiting at last to find a home in our souls....
Tierra Viva: Farming the Living Earth, by Thea Maria Carlson (July 13): The understanding that the earth is alive was once widespread—and still exists in many indigenous cultures and spiritual traditions today. Yet for centuries the dominant Western culture has treated the earth as an inanimate object, a storehouse of resources for us to extract, and a sewer to absorb our wastes. Industrial agriculture arises from and perpetuates this mindset, reducing the soil to a dead substrate whose only value is in the number of pounds of grain that can be harvested from it each year....
Who Is Victor Kubia? - A Farming Revolution in Cameroon, by Andrew Toothacker (June 23): Arriving within a week of one another, Victor Kubia and I came to study biodynamics at the Pfeiffer Center in September of 2015. It isn’t enough to say that we come from very contrasting life situations: Victor is a spry 57-year-old from Bamenda, Cameroon, and I am a 22-year-old from Portland, Oregon. Despite the gap of common experiences, however, Victor and I became comrades the instant we met....
By Wali Via: Devon Strong was a biodynamic farmer, buffalo rancher, sweat lodge water pourer, sheep shearer, and father. But those are just labels. Those fortunate to have spent a little time with him knew him as a wise soul, a kind man, a humble teacher, and a person who lived by prayer finding guidance in his connection to Spirit and the world around him.
He died on November 23 when his hand slipped while carving a feather from a buffalo bone. Somehow it was a fitting way for him to go. One of the important focuses of his life work was learning how to kill in a holy way, respecting the group soul of the animal with immense gratitude and respect. Read more.
Managing an Organization Like a Biodynamic Farm
By Thea Maria Carlson (Kosmos, Nov. 3): A commercial industrial farm is a machine, but a biodynamic farm is a living organism. Guided by ecological, ethical and holistic principles, biodynamic farmers work to bring all the elements of their farms — crops, livestock, compost, soils — into right relationship, so that they balance and support each other, creating a self-sustaining whole. The Biodynamic Association is the oldest sustainable agriculture organization in North America, and throughout our 77-year history we have sought the evolutionary edge in farming. We have also questioned how we might manage our nonprofit membership association more like a biodynamic farm — more like a living organism. Read more.