Dear Friend of Biodynamics,
What is healthy soil? What is quality food? What, for that matter, are health and quality? And what agricultural practices contribute to health and quality?
These questions are burning in the hearts of many people today, and as you know, biodynamics offers vital insights toward answering them. This is why the Biodynamic Association has spent the last year working on a far-reaching concept paper called “Healthy Farms, Healthy Soils, Healthy Food: Establishing a Quality Research Network in North America.” This paper lays the foundation for a long-term research project that will bring together regional working groups of farmers using diverse methods with a network of researchers and laboratories using both quantitative and qualitative testing methods that come out of biodynamics to get at these questions.
This concept paper is the fruit of a long process of convening stakeholders, gathering ideas and building consensus. We are now in the process of reaching out to a host of potential partners and funders. I am pleased to report that we are receiving a warm reception, not only from within the biodynamic movement, but also from our sisters and brothers in the wider organic and permaculture world.
I am writing you today because we need your help to continue this effort to bring a biodynamic perspective to bear on these vital questions. This project of the Biodynamic Research Program is just one example of our work to counteract the destructive forces currently ravaging our planet, by making ever more visible and effective new ways of seeing the natural world and new ways of practicing agriculture that come out of biodynamics. That is why I am asking you to make a generous end-of-year gift to our Annual Campaign.
Let me give you another example of our work this past year through the Biodynamic Education Program.
This summer, again after years of patient planning and consensus building, we launched the Biodynamic Educators Collaborative. This group will foster collegiality, spiritual deepening and the sharing of best practices among the growing group of biodynamic adult educators in North America. I am pleased to report that over 50 educators have already signed up and begun getting to know each other and sharing their work with one another. In the coming years, we will use this group as a seed bed to launch new webinars, workshops, and training and development programs for farmers and gardeners. Indeed, we hope that this group will more and more come to serve as a loose-knit faculty for the whole biodynamic movement in North America.
Our movement is growing and expanding but core movement building work like this desperately needs to be done if this promising momentum is to take root and bear fruit. This is why your support for our work at this time is so essential.
There are so many other positive developments I could tell you about, for example:
- The increased enrollment in NABDAP, our beginning farmer training program: we now have 35 young people enrolled, with 13 set to graduate in 2014
- The growth of our Biodynamic Scholarship Fund: since January we have awarded over $5,000 in scholarships to 24 aspiring farmers to attend biodynamic workshops
- The regional biodynamic conference, The Farm as a Living Organism, we have organized for January 22, 2014, in conjunction with EcoFarm, the largest ecological agriculture conference in the West
- The classic biodynamic books, Weeds and What They Tell Us and The Biodynamic Orchard Book, we have reprinted in partnership with Floris Books
- The emerging vision for our next North American Biodynamic Conference, which will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, November 13-16, 2014
Dear friend, growing a healthy movement, like growing a healthy farm and healthy soil, takes years of hard work. With your help, in recent years the Biodynamic Association has been able to seed a whole ecosystem of important projects and programs that are beginning to grow and bear fruit. We are starting to mature as a movement, as a community and as an organization. But we need your help to continue this work—your financial support and, just as importantly, the moral forces that come with it. Thank you for making a generous gift to our Annual Campaign at this time—whatever generous means to you in your context.
For the future of the earth and the human being,
P.S. Your gift of any size helps the Biodynamic Association continue to cultivate biodynamic education, research and community building in North America.