A Herd of Distinction: Demeter-Certified Beef Cattle in the Lone Star State

Posted on Sep 20, 2017

By Karen Davis-Brown In January 2017, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association reported that Texas was the top beef-producing state in the country, with 12.3 million head of cattle ¹. Statistics indicate that millions of acres in Texas are dedicated to cattle production ².

In the huge expanse that is Texas, with its culture of cattle and cotton, there are 129 Demeter Certified Biodynamic® acres just east of Austin, with u-pick berries and a small herd of Irish Dexters with six Demeter Certified Biodynamic calves. A tribute to vision, persistence, and one man’s journey in biodynamic learning and practice.

Bill McCranie was originally from North Louisiana, and started his work life in the “oil patch” as he calls it -- the petroleum industry. While he was still in Louisiana he met his wife Nancy -- a Presbyterian minister from Austin who came as the...

“Inspire. Engage. Execute.”: Biodynamics Showcased at Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA) Conference

Posted on Aug 22, 2017

By Karen Davis-Brown In July, approximately 200 independent natural food retailers gathered in Minneapolis, MN, for their annual conference. The theme of the conference was, “Inspire. Engage. Execute. Managing Change in a Changing Marketplace.” Attendees were offered a keynote and two workshop sessions where they could learn about biodynamics and to strategize how to market and inform consumers about Demeter certified Biodynamic ® products.

The Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA ) was formally incorporated in 2006, with the mission “to strengthen independent natural food retailers through shared resources, with a concentration on operational improvement, marketing and joint purchasing.” INFRA represents a diverse group of 231 retailers of all sizes and in all parts of the country; what they have in common is a shared commitment to...

Reflections on Biodynamics and Organics

Posted on Aug 16, 2017

By Anthony Mecca

Originally published in Great Song Farm's CSA Newsletter

This past weekend I was at the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference in Amherst, MA, exhibiting for and connecting folks to the Biodynamic Association , whose farmer training and apprenticeship program I coordinate alongside my work at Great Song Farm . Over 1,000 people attend each year, younger and older, those just starting out and seasoned veterans, gardeners, homesteaders, farmers, policy folks, and "just eaters."

One of the "hot topics" this year was "corporate organics" and the larger corporations stretching the organic standards to include hydroponically grown produce (grown in a soil-less nutrient solution), chickens that live their whole lives shoulder to shoulder and wing to wing, and cows that never see a blade of grass...

Anchoring Biodynamics on the Front Range — Light Root Community Farm

Posted on Jun 20, 2017

By Robert Karp Every bioregion needs a vital biodynamic farm and educational center that anchors the creative light of the sun, moon, and stars deep into the body and soul of the local geography and community. If Daphne Kingsley and Cameron Genter have their way, the Front Range of Colorado will soon have such a center. I had the great pleasure recently of visiting and touring their aptly named Light Root Community Farm in the scenic foothills of the Rocky Mountains just outside Boulder, Colorado. On a modest 40 acres of rented land, Daphne and Cameron have indeed put down a powerful tap root for this vision.

While visiting in their milk house and member pick-up center, Daphne told me how she and Cameron met at Live Power farm in Covelo, California, nearly 20 years ago, and fell in love there with biodynamics, draft horses, and one another. They have been...

My Introduction to Homeodynamics with Enzo Nastati

Posted on Jun 14, 2017

By Stone Hunter When I arrived at Sustainable Settings in Carbondale, Colorado, in March 2015 for the continuation of my North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship (NABDAP) training, I landed into a world of shifting perspectives and practices in respect to biodynamics. Just two months prior to my arrival, there was a five-day intensive seminar in the neighboring town of Paonia, titled “Spiritual Agriculture I,” with Enzo Nastati. My mentor, Brook Levan, attended the seminar after first hearing Enzo speak a year earlier in Paonia and then in Kentucky. Enzo then visited Sustainable Settings to consult with Brook regarding the farm as a whole organism and the Homeodynamic* approach to farm stewardship.

I began to hear stories about the seminar and other farm consultations with Enzo, and could feel how these brief encounters had shifted something in Brook and...

Reverence and Awe

Posted on Jun 7, 2017

By Karen Davis-Brown

Reprinted from the newsletter of the Biodynamic Association of Northern California

You know that biodynamic agriculture lives in you, when you see or smell manure — particularly cow manure — and a deep appreciation and joy wells up within you. I sometimes refer to it as having the value of “gold” for a farm; I am not the only one.

Rudolf Steiner talks about the importance of manure throughout the Agriculture lectures, as an important source of regeneration for the soils from which we extract nutrients for our crops and livestock. But he takes his indications far beyond the recommendation of regular spreading of manure and application of slurries. He presents the possibility of transforming this already valuable resource — with the collaboration of all four kingdoms, the planets, and stars — for the life and...

Bringing Biodynamic Agriculture to Kenya, East Africa

Posted on May 25, 2017

By Vincent Okoth Musiko

Introduction

I was brought up by my single mama after my father’s death 1964 when I was only two years old, the fifth and last born child of my dear parents Andrew Musiko and Clementina Namukuru Musiko, at Khushinoko Namulungu-Mumias, the present Kakamega County, in Kenya, East Africa.

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I got interested in farming as my mother farmed organically three acres of land. We never lacked food — not just food, but nutritious, higher quality, and farmed organically. She was a scientist who never went to anybody’s school; if she did, she never went beyond the Kenyan class two. She had assorted crops and vegetables, cows, and poultry. It was a mixed garden, and we got all our manures and fertilizers from within the three acres of land; we never bought chemicals. We got all we needed as a family from this land. We rarely went to the...