Sitting in the dinning room of a modern designed “farm house of the future” was the perfect way to kick off the Summer BING meeting. Sarah King, manager of Live Power Farm, and I co-hosted the BING Meet-Up at the Summer BDANC (Biodynamic Association of Northern California) meeting at Swallow Valley Farm on Saturday, June 22nd. We started the meeting by having everyone say their name and using one word to describe something that inspires them about Biodynamics. With about 30 people from all ages and interest in Biodynamic Agriculture it was powerful to fill the room with so many inspiring words such as...rhythm, compost, cosmos, animals, vitality, etc.
Our discussion topic for the meeting was “How do we support the next generation of Biodynamic Farmers”. After two world cafe sessions each person met with one other person (who they hadn’t met with before) to write down their ONE main idea/concern that developed. Those were then posted on the glass windows over looking the land into similar themes. Through that process 4 main themes formed. Yet a unifying impulse was “Alternative Farm Communities” as a model for social and economic viability.
Here are some of the ideas:
Meeting place for health care, education, shelter, nutrition, arts, economics, elder care
Alternative models to land access, economics, human relationships, health care, exchange of goods, leadership
“Farm as Heart”
“Stronger on more legs”
Commitment to common goals has to be linking string
How do we bring land and people who want to create farm communities together?
Move away from purely economic models
Diversified revenue streams through education, crops, therapy medicine, craft products, tourism, etc
Group living/shared ownership
Producing more than just food
Increasing connections to our food and food systems
Definitive solutions and answers were not the goal, but putting out the ideas, inspirations and concerns for something new. Yearning for a connection to one another and nature that is grander and different than what we have now....was very inspiring.