In past times the development of agriculture arose out of the teachings of the mystery schools. The cultivation of crops and animals was a way of linking human existence with the work of the divine world. The focus went beyond simply producing foodstuffs. Work on the land was simultaneously work on the relationship between the human being and the cosmos. In this way agriculture had a sacred dimension. The question is, can this sense of the sacred be discovered again today in the pressurized demands of production oriented agriculture? The Agriculture Course of Rudolf Steiner provides a direction that can contribute to a renewal of the sense of the sacred when engaged with the daily work on the land. The key is to be able to transform the concepts in the book into living imaginations that are developed through inner exercises. Through practice, the inner eye of the heart opens to the more subtle forces moving through the spirit of the place in which we work. (Read bio.)
Even though ecological agriculture occupies a growing niche in the food market, many farmers find that the more they produce with that market in mind, the less "ecological" they become. Money exercises a relentless pressure on farmers to compromise their deeply held values: often, it seems, the best financial decision is not the best ecological decision or the best decision for one's community and future generations. This talk will explain how our current money system creates these conditions, how the crisis in money is opening up radically new possibilities, and how we can prepare for — and help to create — an economic future in which money is no longer inimical to community, ecology, health, beauty, and place. (Read bio and watch "Sacred Economics" video.)
Building a Sacred Relationship with the Land
Biodynamics has brought beauty, vitality, productivity, biodiversity, and healing to thousands of farms across the world. In this keynote, four of the leading biodynamic farmers and entrepreneurs in North America — a wine grower, a CSA farmer, an herb grower, and a dairy farmer — give us a virtual tour of their farms and describe how they embody biodynamic principles in their unique circumstances. Come learn how biodynamics has inspired them and thousands of others to build a sacred relationship with the land.