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Rethinking Agriculture

STAY TUNED for updates on the 2016 Biodynamic Conference, "Tierra Viva: Farming the Living Earth," held November 16-20 in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico  —which saw nearly 800 farmers, gardeners, educators, activists, and stewards of the earth from across the continent and beyond gather to discover how we can consciously collaborate with our planet to create healthy, living, vibrant landscapes. and nourishing food.

CONFERENCE RECORDINGS may be purchased online and will be available for download in mid-January. 


New Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program

January - November 2017 at the Maharishi University of Management

The Maharishi University of Management (MUM) is offering a 10-month certificate program in Regenerative Organic Agriculture, the first such program in the U.S, in collaboration with the Biodynamic Association. Led by Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah, this unique program takes learning beyond the classroom and provides students with the hands-on farming experience they need to use their skills confidently in the field.

The course will be held January through November 2017. Find out more and apply online at mum.safire.net/roa-certificate.


Why Cows Have Horns

A new report, Why Cows Have Horns, published by he Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in Frick, Switzerland, considers what horns mean for cows and what that means for practices such as dehorning and breeding hornless animals. 

Read the full report here.

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. 

 


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....


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.


 

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