Over a three-day period, Marney Blair and Lisa Bjorn of Fulcrum Farm in Grass Valley, CA, will guide participants through an experiential understanding of the three stages of a compost pile: order, chaos, re-emergence. We will look at the order of the molecules that make up manure, straw, wood chips, etc., and explore what characteristics carbon has in these compounds (according to the characterizations Steiner elucidated in the Agriculture Course), as well as the roles of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and sulphur. From there we will move into the chrysalis of the compost pile, the heat of transformation and the complete breaking down of molecules to the primal elements in an experience of chaos and all that it brings. Then like the butterfly, we will reorganize into a new being, the living plant-mineral substance of humus, and look at what the biodynamic compost preparations do to help facilitate this cosmic re-membering. As a complement to this process, Megan Durney of the Pfeiffer Center and Kim Pace of Duryea Farm will facilitate a daily experience of the central principles of the Goethean approach so that participants can begin to meet and converse with these substances and learn to apply this technique in their own experiences with nature.
Photo credit: Broken Banjo Photography