Beyond my home farm..., the Winter Intensive was my first experience being a part of a circle of people striving to enrich the land through the shared philosophy of biodynamics. The sense of collective effort nurtured by the rich conversation that took place in and out of class strengthened my resolve to cultivate and spread an understanding of holistic land care. What a gift to sit in a group of such interested individuals and explore how people relate to the land, our food, and what this means about how we relate to ourselves. And then to go a step further and together consider how we can bring a greater degree of harmony, longevity, health to this picture!

— Anna Goff

The winter intensives in Ghent, NY serve as valuable resources to an aspiring farmer, providing deeper experiences within observation, biological nature, astronomy, practical farming, and the agricultural lectures. The Nature Institute is a wonderful combination of natural science observation, within and outside of the realm of agriculture. Examples include piecing together the full vertebrae of different families of animals, nature walks in a wetland, farm animal observation at Hawthorne Valley, and a botanical dissection of various fruits and vegetables, among many other activities. Hawthorne Valley connects the realities of farming and raising plants and animals with biodynamic principles by providing instruction from experienced farmers and teachers, covering the topics of the self-contained farm, holistic animal care (from a practicing veterinarian), cover cropping, orcharding, and discussions on the preparations and agricultural lectures and there use in modern agriculture. This experience comes at the perfect time of year for a review and renewal of principles and practices that will guide us through the next season, set in beautiful upstate New York, close to the Hudson river and the Catskill mountains.

— Brady Loux

2017 Winter Intensives

Developing a Qualitative Understanding of Nature: Animals, Humanity and Evolution, February 12-17 at The Nature Institute in Ghent, NY with Craig and Henrike Holdredge and Bruno Follador

Attending to Animals in a Caring Economy: Working in Agriculture, with Each Other, and Our Inner Selves, February 19-24 at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY with Steffen and Rachel Schneider, Ursula Versteegen, Robert Karp, Hue Karreman, DVM, and Karen Derreumaux

The Biodynamic Winter Intensives are two week-long courses held each February for farmers, gardeners, and those seeking a working relationship with the living land. The first week takes place at the Nature Institute and the second takes place at Hawthorne Valley Farm Learning Center, both in in Ghent, NY. Each features renowned biodynamic educators in a dynamic learning environment, including lectures, hands-on experience, inner work, and social activities. These two powerful weeks are designed to build on one another, but may also be taken independently, and are open to all.

The theme of the intensives alternates between Animals, Humanity and Evolution in one year and Plants, Earth and Cosmos in the next year. Students may start in any year, and return the next year for the complementary curriculum. This year's focus is on Animals, Humanity, and Evolution.

The Biodynamic Winter Intensives are developed in partnership with and supported by the Biodynamic Association.

Scholarships are available through the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund.

Apprentices enrolled in the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP) who complete both week-long intensives for two years in a row fully satisfy the classroom study requirement for graduation.