At this special pre-conference workshop, apprentices and mentor farmers participating in the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program will gather for a full day of presentations, experiences, conversations, and shared exploration of how we can develop the potential of our human souls to meet the challenges present in our farming communities today.
We live in a time when higher human qualities must be consciously cultivated. Soul-spiritual maturity is no longer a given, but rather something that must be sought and actively developed. Creating an imagination of—and intimate relationship with—the Spirit Self, that aspect which draws us upward and is arguably a necessary foundation for such ideals as social understanding and moral activity, will be increasingly vital to the future evolution of humanity.
With a changing climate, historical weather patterns can no longer be relied upon, and developing water resilience is a must for every farm. Hugh Williams of Threshold Farm will describe how to create a whole-farm Keyline plan, including off-contour farming, drought-proofing your farm, engineering of Keyline dams and reservoirs, Keyline scale of permanence, and how Threshold Farm is implementing these to manage the flow of water across their land.
In this full-day workshop, children will learn songs, circle dances, and singing games that honor our relationship with the living earth and the cycle of seasons. We will listen to stories from different cultures and also share our own songs and stories, drawings and dances, of our experience of the living earth. In the afternoon, we will reflect on the themes that emerged in the morning and weave a collective offering that can be shared with parents and friends at the end of the day and, perhaps, with the larger community later on in the week.
In his Agriculture Lectures of 1924, Rudolph Steiner emphasized that the ideal farm would include the proper mix of trees and shrubs, pastures, flowers, and fungus along with the proper balance of animals. In short, he advocated for designing an ecological system. In this full-day workshop we will explore the principles and framework of restoration agriculture and biodynamics in parallel as a basis for designing and creating a farm that is a self-contained, ecological whole.
This workshop will provide a unique window into the growing Biodynamic® marketplace and many of the key individuals and business active in it. With their help we will take up the burning question of how biodynamic agriculture can be scaled up in the Americas to meet growing consumer interest while also maintaining quality and integrity. A host of issues will be addressed in this session from consumer education, to finance, to various supply-side challenges. Can the biodynamic movement model fair and associative trade all along the value chain?