NABDAP's two years of on-farm training are complemented by classroom study courses that cover the fundamental principles and philosophy of biodynamic farming. NABDAP classroom study courses are offered in several regions, and are taught by experts in the theory and practice of biodynamic agriculture.
Each course is organized either as a series of weekend workshops or longer intensives for a total of at least 13 days or 78 hours of instruction. All of the sessions in a given region are designed to be taken together to cover the full NABDAP curriculum. Tuition assistance for classroom study is available to apprentices with financial need through the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund.
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.
2017 Winter Intensives
Developing a Qualitative Understanding of Nature: Animals, Humanity and Evolution, February 12-17 at The Nature Institute in Ghent, NY
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
Next course opens in Fall 2017.
Are you a farmer or gardener interested in exploring the deeper aspects of the work you are doing? Biodynamics offers a unique way to live positively on the earth with our fellow soil, plant, and animal companions. In this six-month interactive course, we will develop a deeper understanding of biodynamics through intensive study of Rudolf Steiner's Agriculture, the 1924 series of lectures that founded the worldwide biodynamic movement.
Led by renowned biodynamic farmer and educator Cory Eichman of Saugeen River CSA, this is a unique opportunity to deeply explore biodynamics in a distance learning format. This is the third year the course is being offered through the Biodynamic Association after many years as an on-farm course in Ontario.
Biodynamics is the only method of caring for the land, plants and animals that aims to raise the vitality of soil, healing and enlivening the earth even as we draw from it for our sustenance.
The Pfeiffer Center's One-Year Part-Time Practical Training in Biodynamics uses classroom sessions and hands-on workshops to provide a thorough grounding in every aspect of biodynamics, from its underlying principles to techniques in the field.
Thirteen full-day workshops from September to June cover it all: Compost and soil building, farm animal husbandry, care of fruit trees, seed saving, weed and pest control, bees, and much more.
Principal instructor Mac Mead, director of the Pfeiffer Center, has farmed and gardened biodynamically for more than 35 years. Expert guest faculty include Hugh Williams (orchard management and seed saving), Steffen Schneider (farm animal husbandry), Craig Holdrege (Goethean observation), and Sherry Wildfeuer (working with the rhythms of nature).