Goodfoot Farm

Beth Hoinacki is a member of the Demeter USA Board of Directors and recently joined the Unification Nucleus Group to help support the unification process, communication, and overall support to boards and staff. Beth owns and operates Goodfoot Farm in the Coastal foothills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, growing certified Biodynamic® fruits and vegetables for the local community.

Beth, thanks for sharing with us about your journey with biodynamics and your work with the current unification of Demeter USA and the Biodynamic Association (BDA). To start, what most inspires you about biodynamics?

You know, that probably changes over time…. Right now I have been reflecting most on the practice of biodynamics. For me, biodynamics is all about the “doing,” the experience of engaging in a method of agriculture. I believe I am farming as a means to learn the lessons with which I have been tasked in this life on Earth. Practicing biodynamics is framing those lessons in a holistic way — for my head, hands, and heart.

Could you share a bit about your involvement over the years with Demeter and the biodynamic community?

I was first introduced to biodynamics through my work with Stellar Certification Services and Demeter Association in 2008. Initially I did office work, reviewing files. Later, while at an IOIA organic inspector training in Wisconsin, a seasoned organic inspector with over 1,000 inspections to date mentioned the most beautiful farms she had been on were biodynamic ones. My subsequent inspection work for Stellar and Demeter — on those beautiful farms! — along with the concurrent development of my own farming system, led me to practice biodynamics. It’s an interesting way to come to biodynamics — through certification — and I remember engaging conversations with then Demeter director Jim Fullmer on the idea of means and ends and the tensions present in bringing people to biodynamics through a marketing focus. As I was looking to support the development of my own biodynamic practice, I found the Oregon Biodynamic Group and began attending meetings and making preps.

The Biodynamic Association also served as a source of information and inspiration. My work with Demeter and Stellar decreased as I turned more of my time and attention to farming and by 2016 I had stopped doing certification work and was farming full time. In 2017 I met Thea Maria Carlson and Rebecca Briggs from the BDA when they visited the farm in advance of the national Biodynamic Conference, which they were planning for November 2018 in Portland, Oregon. In February of 2018, they returned to Corvallis to help present a biodynamic-centered track at the OSU Small Farms Conference, along with members of the Oregon Biodynamic Group and Jim Fullmer of Demeter. It was really rewarding to bring together individuals from these different realms of the community (national, regional, certification) to present workshops introducing biodynamics to a broad spectrum of the agricultural community. I subsequently served on the conference committee for the BDA for the Portland conference, as well as to present at the conference. In 2020 I joined the Demeter board and currently serve as secretary.

What inspires you to volunteer your time as a board member and participate in the in-depth work of the unification process?

A few years ago my daughter asked why I served on the board of our local rural charter school (of which I was also a founding member and for which I have served on the board for many years). My answer to her was “because I can.” It was a simple answer, but it is rooted in my belief that if we are able to serve our communities, we should. Of course, there are lots of ways to define and interpret what it means to be “able.” And part of that is having the interest and talent for the nature of the work. Board work is unique in how it links policy to mission work. Policy helps guide the practice of getting things done. To get it done well, and right, it helps to have policy that represents and upholds the mission. The in-depth work of the unification process interests me because I recognize that the “devil’s in the details,” so to speak, and if we can get it right at that level, there will be so much more potential expressed in the unification and the work of the new organization.

What potential do you see in the unification between Demeter and the BDA?

I think the unification of these two organizations into one will create a formal structure whereby different programs (education, trade advocacy, certification) can better inform each other toward a shared mission. I think of it as the voice in my head, or the devil (and angel!) on my shoulder, whispering, “But did you think of this, what about this, how about that…” as a means to constantly evaluate action and the relevance of it. I believe, actually, that there are potentials in the unification that we do not yet imagine because they will be borne out of our experience in the process. I am reminded of the Sufi teaching: you think that, because you understand “one,” you therefore must understand “two” because one and one make two. But you forget that you must also understand “and.” The “and,” which will be expressed in the unification of Demeter and the BDA, is really exciting to me.

What do you think we should stay mindful of as we go through this unification process?

I think I am always considering whether we are being mindful of the process. I am actually a very goal-oriented person, but I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, which creates an interesting tension! I’m highly motivated to achieve measurable outcomes, and I’ve learned (through farming) that the best outcome is dependent on being very attentive to how one achieves that. Part of that is not just paying attention to the process and those who wish to participate, but also to creating the space and adjusting one’s own perspective to make room for and hear and understand others’ contributions. We need to constantly be seeking to understand what others bring to the table and how to best get them there.

What do you hope to see for the biodynamic movement in five or ten years?

I would like to see more individuals in local and regional groups practicing biodynamics in community. I think the success of the movement is fundamentally expressed in the farmers practicing biodynamics and who are in relationship with each other and the people they feed. When I imagine the people I feed, who then in turn go about their business expressing the vitality of that food and the connections to me, their farmer, and to the Earth that it provides, I am hopeful.


Discover more about Beth's farm and work with biodynamics in this video.

 

Comentarios

Rebecca Briggs said:

We will be sharing revised FAQs soon to answer a number of questions we've received about the unification. We are very much still in the process of discussing much about how this will all actually work, with the intent to be thoughtful about the many complex and interweaving aspects. We're also endeavoring to pull as much information together as possible so that we can share with everyone the most accurate and transparent picture, including what we still don't know and what there is still to decide (which is much). I hope we'll be able to share revised FAQs and other information very soon, and in the meantime appreciate any feedback and questions from community members about unification. Please be in touch with us at info@biodynamics.com. Thank you for your patience and input!

— Rebecca Briggs, BDA Staff

Jamie Meyers (no verificado) said:

Perhpas you could answer these questions, please and thank you?

February 12th 2021 Questions I response to notice;

Who do we write the check out to for Demeter certification for 2021?

Make it out to the Biodynamic Demeter Association?

Where do we send the paperwork and check now that there is no one left in OR other than a P.O. Box?

Where is this newly formed or joined organization-company incorporated?

What is the actual physical office address and zip code for certification?

Is Demeter-USA now a part of the BDA from a legal standpoint?

Do you have any legal documents that show how this transfer or conjoining was done in a legal business sense?

Is this a new organization, a new LLC or new 5013c?

Is this new organization truly a nonprofit at this point in the game?

Does this new construct imagine not charging the farmers for certifications quite like the Sun and Earth or Real Organic programs?

Does this new organization for certification plan on rewriting the standard Everett’s new contract to exclude the political USDA NOP that considers hydroponics "organic"?

Does this new and better organization plan on returning to the original standards from 1928, or better yet the standards clearly set forth in the Lecture series? Or are you planning a "better version" that is all-inclusive and inspires all the BDA farmers to Become certified in unity?

What motivation can you suggest or offer to Demeter certified farmers that yearly must change and adapt their organizations to these ever increasing, (4 -168+ pages of new in 19 years....) standards only to then realize that 1000's of BDA farmers call their farms Biodynamic Organic and exist validated-supported without verification, annual inspections or fees which tend to dilute the brand and the standards via the BDA elitist-entitled-enablement?

When I read and reread this email that you sent out to all of us it just sounds really nice but there is nothing concrete about it, no real or clear answers and this has been going on for a year.

If you know me or you've heard of me you know the problems that exist. I am all for a certification that is written, agreed upon up front, inclusive and brought down to everyone, everywhere.

When you and the select group are done rewriting history, can you please consider in the future, if members don't get their farm certified to the original lecture series then that farm doesn't have a right to use the word's biodynamic, farm or organic in the same sentence.

Please for once answer the questions.

Love and respect from Detroit.

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