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Experiencing the Deeper Nature of Nature
February 9 – 14, 2014

“[The farmer] meditates on many, many things during the winter nights.... And as he is walking through the fields [in the summer] it’s suddenly there. He knows something, and afterwards he tries it out.” (Rudolf Steiner)

Gaining a deeper understanding of nature involves a widening of our inner horizons. While it is one thing to acknowledge that nature is dynamic, interconnected and whole, it is another matter to experience, articulate, and respect these qualities in our interactions with nature. How can we perceive and understand life dynamically? That is an underlying question that will inform many of the week’s activities, which will include:

working with animal bones

Plant Study (two sessions per day): metamorphosis; plant growth and development in relation to the environment with a focus on soil; domestication characteristics of food plants; assessing quality through our senses.

Astronomy (one session per day and night sky observations if the sky is clear): the rhythms and characteristics of the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

Projective Geometry (one session per day)exercising flexible thinking; learning to think in polarities; forming the ideas of the infinite and of center and periphery.

While working in these different areas, we will engage in contemplative practices that can help to enliven capacities of thinking, feeling, and perceiving.

The course meets a portion of the classroom study requirement for apprentices enrolled in the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (

The course begins on Sunday, February 9, at 7 pm at The Nature Institute and ends on Friday, February 14, at 4 pm.

Daily schedule:

  • Morning seminars from 9 am to 12:30 pm
  • Lunch break from 12:30 pm to 2 pm
  • Afternoon activities from 2 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Night sky observations if the sky is clear

Course Staff:
Craig Holdrege is a biologist, educator, and the director of The Nature Institute. About Craig Holdrege.
Henrike Holdrege is a mathematician, biologist, educator, and co-founder of The Nature Institute. About Henrike Holdrege.

Course Fee:
Sliding scale: $250 – $500
Fee includes materials, as well as morning and afternoon snacks.

Financial Assistance:
Scholarships are available for those with financial need through the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund; please visit for information and to apply.

Please download and send us your registration form by January 15.

Course Location:
The Nature Institute is located near the hamlet of Harlemville (town of Ghent), New York, and is nestled at the foot of the Taconic Hills. Our neighbors include the 400-acre biodynamic Hawthorne Valley Farm, the Hawthorne Valley School (a K-12 Waldorf school), and the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store. Click here for directions.

Lodging and Meals:
We can refer participants to local families who rent rooms ($30 to $50 per night). For a list of motels and bed & breakfasts, click here. We provide morning and afternoon snacks. Course participants will be responsible for all other meals. The Hawthorne Valley Farm Store has extensive organic food and deli selections and is within walking distance of The Nature Institute.

Event Details
East Coast
Nature Institute Ghent , NY
United States
New York
Sun, 02/09/2014 (All day) to Fri, 02/14/2014 (All day)