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2 year Basic Training in Biodynamic agriculture - Denmark

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2 year Basic Training in Biodynamic agriculture - Denmark

Skjoldhøj Agricultural Community offers an intensive two year work- and study course to explore and develop a path into a deeper understanding of agricultural life.

If you are resolved upon finding a way into the life of agriculture, or if you want to explore this path, which you are already on, we have room for two apprentices, on agreed terms, beginning April 2014. 

The main theme will be to find a way into a profounder relation to
Work. This inner relationship to work is a fundamental building block
in agriculture. Machines make things easier for us, but also weaken our
actual ability to work. When we use machines today, we therefore have
to be much more conscious of finding our way back to the work process.
While working one is often confronted with oneself and one´s own
limitations. If one takes up this challenge, one can here find a path of
developing a love for that which one creates the living conditions for
through one´s work: the soil, plants, animals and fellow men.
A part of this process is to work with the question: What do I
bring with me, and what is essential to what I want to do in life?
Anthroposophy can be a help to grasp what I sense as my individual
intention in life. It can also help me to commit myself to the reality of
this world.
The Biodynamic (biologic-dynamic) agriculture actually describes
how soil, plants and animals (i.e. nature as a whole) can continue evolving,
if only the human being will inwardly take hold of his own life.

Work
During the two-year basic training on the farm you will be participating
in the daily work, through which we strive to find a path for
agriculture in the future, connected to the cultural and economical
conditions of our time.
The farm for the present consists of 10 ha (24,7 acres) of land and
buildings. But it is big enough to offer the working environment we
need for this training. The emphasis is on the growing of vegetables
with weekly trips to town to deliver them. In addition we grow fodder
for cows, pigs and chickens (the animals are old domestic breeds)
and some grain. Thus there is a full working day with a rich variety
and opportunity for experience. – On the farm there is also a small
kindergarten with 8 children.
In the first year, depending on your previous experience, we will
mainly focus on the more immediate work experience. In the second
year there will be more focus on acquiring specific work skills (for
example a more comprehensive look at the use of machines).
We emphasize the importance of getting into a close contact with the
things we work with. To do this it is decisive to find a working rhythm
which can carry the work process. In order to do this there will be
specially chosen tasks and simple eurythmy exercises on a daily basis.

Anthroposophy
Our studies and teaching will be founded on questions coming up on
our way, or which we are already carrying with us, both related to work
and to life in general. On this basis we will select an appropriate text
by Rudolf Steiner, which we will work thoroughly with throughout the
year. During the second year we will work with the eight lectures by
Rudolf Steiner given to farmers, called ‘The Agricultural Course’.

Biodynamic agriculture
As already mentioned, we want to give the more agricultural questions
deeper resonance by taking our departing point in the experiences
and the immediate connection we get in the work.
Firstly we wish in the next step to expand or contribute to the experiences
we make during the work. E.g. through daily notes on nature
observations and the keeping of a diary describing ones thoughts and
experiences, through carrying out soil studies to get an impression of
the topsoil (mull layer) and the underlying substrata, through visiting a
limestone quarry, observing the star constellations and the movements
of the planets etc.
Secondly we will work with the questions that have arisen, trying to
develop a finer differentiation towards: our own thoughts, the observations
and thoughts of others (among them various points of view of
natural science) and the images and observations found in for example
‘The Agricultural Course’. Some things are probably evident. But it is
of decisive importance not to force the answers and above all to learn to
harbour the questions we cannot find an immediate answer to.
It is our intention to expand and intensify an inner relationship to the
reality we work in, and hereby find a deeper motivation for the daily
work.

In a broad outline we imagine the following monthly themes:

First year:
Anthroposophy and eurythmy
Astronomy
Geology
Meteorology
Soil science
The plant´s symbiosis with the soil and other forms of life in the soil
Fertilisation
The plant´s being
Plant families and various cultivated crops
Cultivated plants and wild plants. Plant breeding
Growing of various crops
Crop rotation

Second year:
The essence of feeding
The different animals´ tasks in the agricultural organism
Domestic animals and wild animals. Care and breeding
Insects and bees
Weeds and pests
The biodynamic preparations
The evolution of the earth. The four elements
The cultural history of agriculture
The social life
The challenges of our time. Technology
Occasionally we will visit other farms and invite various lecturers.
Others who are interested may attend these events. In July each year
there will be an open invitation to a work- and studyweek, based on a
selected theme. Once a year there will be a field trip abroad.
If needed, we can offer a more advanced course than the basic training
described above, by adjusting the studythemes. Thus we can as a
place offering internship and trainig also support more advanced studies
such as for instance BINGN´s Nordic biodynamic apprenticeship
program.
The most important thing for us is to be able to contribute to finding
a satisfactory solution when someone has a question. Thus it is perhaps
also possible to agree on a course of shorter or longer duration.
A more detailed description of the daily and weekly schedule, accommodation,
finances, spare time etc. may be acquired and agreed upon in
a previous dialogue.
We look forward to hearing from you!

Skjoldhøj Landbrugsfællesskab
Louise Lemche, Kirsten Larsen, Simon Wiesner
Skjoldhøjvej 24
DK-8471 Sabro
Tel: +45 86 21 19 07
Mail: morgenfrue2006@yahoo.dk

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