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Farm-Based Educators Inspired by Anthroposophy

Farm-Based Educators Inspired by Anthroposophy (FBEIBA) describes a vocation of people who are: 

  • Involved in education of children, youth, or adults (but not professional farmer training),
  • Utilizing a farm, garden, or some type of food production,
  • Inspired by Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, or Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy.

FBEIBA's purpose is to cultivate collegiality, networking, and best practices in this emerging field. We gather annually in the fall, in different regions of the country to further our mission.

FBEIBA Discussion Group Coming Soon!

 

FBEIBA Discussion Group

The FBEIBA Discussion Group will be a place for educators to ask questions, share ideas and resources, and connect with each other.  

 

Articles & Resources

 

What Does Anthroposophy Have to Offer the Farm-Based Education Movement?  

by Kim Wass

The Farm-Based Education Association (FBEA) was founded in 2006 in Shelburne, Vermont under the guiding language outlined here. The FBEA is an extremely valuable organization and resource and we encourage all FBEIBA participants to become members of the FBEA. Kim Wass attended both the FBEA conference and the FBEIBA retreat. She jotted down her reflections in an attempt to make distinctions between FBEA and FBEIBA following back to back 2011 conferences. Learn more...

 

From Parking Lot to Urban School Farm

It takes a special kind of community to support a farmer who wants to take an acre-and-a-half, road-base parking lot and nurture it into an urban farm with biodynamics. At Mountain Song Community School, a public charter school that follows Waldorf methods inColorado Springs, Colorado, such a community exists and is pulling together to raise awareness concerning a priority for all of us — our food and how its grown. Read more... 

 
 

Farming and Culture in the United States: Farm-Based Education Inspired by Anthroposophy

by Dana Burns, FBEIBA Coordinator

Over the lifetime of this country the percentage of the workforce who listed their primary occupation as ‘farmer,’ has gone from 90% of a total population of 3,929,214 in 1790 to less than 0.6% of the workforce of a population of 308,745,438 in 2010. Read More... 

 

Farm-Based Educators Advanced Retreat with Gunther Hauk

by Lori Barian

Rudolf Steiner clearly saw farming and other practical arts education as part of the Waldorf school 3rd grade curriculum. He spoke of such education giving children going through the 9 year change, who are experiencing their "fall" from wholeness and the pain of separateness, experiences that foster their self-confidence and re-connection as they learn about house-building, food and fiber production, crafts and trades. Read More... 

 

Overview of FBEIBA Events at 2014 Biodynamic Conference

"During the presentation, I found myself feeling most fortunate that I grew up on a farm, surrounded by nature, and engaged with the earth through myriad chores and responsibilities. The children of today can benefit tremendously from immersion in farm life, through building up their will forces and their moral forces."  --Farmer John Peterson, Angelic Organics

Farm- and garden-based educators made a strong showing at the 2014 North American Biodynamic Conference, “Farming for Health.” Five educators shared their insights and experience at a well-attended workshop, “Farm-Based Education Inspired By Anthroposophy,” and a Saturday afternoon learning community meetup allowed for peer-to-peer exploration of burning questions, and connections to Waldorf education and school gardens. For those who were unable to attend the conference, a few experienced educators and long-time members of FBEIBA shared their reflections. Read more... 

Featured Article: One Place Where There is Still a Culture of Agriculture

by Dana Burns, with photos by Zuri Burns

Southland, New Zealand - The Winton A & P Show

Rudolf Steiner's original Agriculture Course was presented exclusively to practicing farmers. 

"It ought to be clear to anyone that people have no right to talk about agriculture, including its social and organizational aspects, unless they have a sound basis in agriculture, and really know what it means to grow grain or potatoes or beets. Without this you cannot talk about the economic principles involved. These things have (to) be derived from real life and not merely from theoretical considerations."  

But where are these people that practice agriculture, the real farmers today?  Read more... 

Featured Education Centers

The Land Stewardship Program at Hartsbrook School

by Nicki Robb

The Land Stewardship Program at the Hartsbrook School has, like the school itself, grown out of the very soil upon which this school is planted. More than 20 years ago, the fledgling program was slowly finding its way into the life and learning of our students, beginning as field trips to a local biodynamic farm (Brookfield Farm CSA) to join in a variety of seasonal planting and harvesting activities, then expanding to other area farms, patiently waiting for the opportunity where a full program could start to be realized at the school itself. Fast forward to today, with an almost full curriculum in place that encompasses the kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school, supporting students as they work and learn about the many pressing issues that affect our relationship with the earth. Learn more...

Mother Earth School

by Kelly Hogan, co-founder of Mother Earth School

Mother Earth School started as an all-outdoor kindergarten class of Shining Star Waldorf School in fall 2007 held at Tryon Life Community Farm, an urban permaculture farm and sustainability education center in Portland, OR. In 2008, the Faery Garden Preschool was added and in 2009, both classes became Mother Earth School - a project of Tryon Life Community Farm and an evolving educational paradigm combining aspects of Waldorf education with permaculture practices and traditional living skills.  The farm is surrounded by a 700 acre second growth forest (Tryon Creek State Park) and so the school has been a fusion of the European model of 'forest kindergarten' as well as homestead schooling. Learn more...

Angelic Organics Learning Center

Angelic Organics Learning Center helps urban and rural people build local food systems. We offer opportunities to grow healthy food and a better quality of life, connect with farmers and the land, and learn agricultural and leadership skills. The Learning Center reaches more than 2,500 people each year through our programs at partner farms and urban growing sites in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Learn more...