One-Year Training Schedule

2017–18: Our 21st Year!

Mac Mead

Saturday, September 16, 2017
Biodynamics & Earth Evolution / Autumn Tasks for Farm & Garden

Why do farmers and gardeners play a vital role in resolving present-day ecological, economic, and social issues? Mac Mead introduces biodynamics in the context of the spiritual-scientific understanding of earth evolution. In the garden, we do hands-on work with the horn manure preparation, and practice making raised beds and planting cover crops.

Megan Durney

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Introducing the Biodynamic Preparations

The biodynamic preparations harness life-regulating processes and subtle catalysts to help create conditions for healthy growth. In this class, Mac Mead and Megan Durney lead us in making most of the preparations, and discuss their healing effects on soil and plants.

Saturday, November 4, 2017
Soil Building & Composting

Bruno Follador

Biodynamic composting practices bring vitality to the soil. In the classroom, Mac Mead and Bruno Follador explore the relationship of soil science and spiritual science, and Bruno introduces chromatography, a method for qualitative evaluation of soils and compost developed by Ehrenfried Pfeiffer. In the garden, we handle composts of different materials and maturities, build compost piles, make potting soil mix, and treat compost piles with the biodynamic preps.

Steffen Schneider

Saturday, December 2, 2017
Large Animals &
the Farm Organism

The ideal biodynamic farm is a self-contained individuality to which cows contribute milk, meat, and soil fertility. Steffen Schneider, who has been a biodynamic dairyman for more than thirty years, shares his wisdom about dairy herd management, including rotational grazing and pasture management.

Hugh Williams

Saturday, February 24, 2018
Pruning Fruit Trees /
Seed Saving & Rejuvenation

The science and art of pruning fruit trees is thoroughly covered by Hugh Williams, one of the best orchardists in the East and a biodynamic farmer with a large CSA; the class gets a few hours of pruning the Pfeiffer Center’s fruit trees under Hugh’s expert guidance. In the classroom, Megan Durney joins Hugh to present seed saving, vital knowledge for the future of our food supply.

Sherry Wildfeuer

Saturday, March 17, 2018
Life Rhythms / Farm & Garden Tasks / Seeing Nature Whole

Sherry Wildfeuer, long-time editor of the Stella Natura planting calendar, explains how the calendar is created, what it tells us, and how we can use it to learn to work with, rather than against, nature’s rhythms and forces. In the afternoon, Craig Holdrege explores how to work with the living dynamic qualities of plants and animals to better understand the world around us.

Craig Holdrege

Friday, April 6, 2018
Barrel Compost / Weed & Pest Control Preparations / Small Animals

Barrel compost is an efficient way to boost soil fertility, especially when access to cow manure is limited. In the garden, Jairo Gonzalez leads the class through every step of making this valuable substance, and how to use it. Mac Mead covers weed and pest control using biodynamic preparations, and discusses small animal husbandry (primarily chickens and sheep). An afternoon artistic activity rounds out the day.

Jairo Gonzalez

Saturday, April 7, 2018
Cosmic Forces in Relation to Nutritional Qualities / Greenhouse Methods & Plant Propagation / Berry Pruning / Bees

By learning how to strengthen and harmonize the influence of the moon and planets on plant life, we can enhance the nutritional value of our food. Presented by Mac Mead, who also leads a session on berry bush pruning. Megan Durney demonstrates greenhouse methods and plant propagation in the Pfeiffer Center greenhouse. In the afternoon, Pfeiffer Center beekeeper Bill Day outlines the biodynamic approach to beekeeping and leads a visit to the Pfeiffer Center’s hives.

Bill Day

Friday, May 4, 2018
The Horn Silica Preparation / Biodynamic Tree Paste / Draft Horses / Prep Storage

The horn silica preparation influences the color, flavor, and keeping quality of produce; Mac Mead leads the class in making this prep in the garden. We also make biodynamic tree paste and apply it to the Pfeiffer Center’s fruit trees. Also covered: horsepower on the farm (with a visit to the Pfeiffer Center’s team of Haflinger draft horses), how to store preps, and an afternoon artistic activity.

Jennifer Greene

Saturday, May 5, 2018
Water: H2O or Much More?

Water is crucial to biodynamics: Not only to water plants, but for the process of stirring, which potentizes the preparations. But do we really know what water is, what tasks it has in life processes, or how it carries them out? Jennifer Greene of the Water Research Institute takes us far beyond what we commonly know, or suppose we know, of this element.

Friday–Sunday, June 8–10, 2018
Bringing It All Together

In this final weekend we tie together the year’s material to draw a comprehensive picture of biodynamic theory and practice. We review — by doing — how to make and use all eight biodynamic preparations plus the insect “pepper.” In the classroom, Mac Mead wraps up the year with talks on record keeping, field care and crop rotation, elemental beings, the farm individuality, and the biodynamic cycle of the year. Time is also given to project presentations, artistic activities, and a festive potluck dinner on Saturday night.

Dates and presenters subject to change.

Registration for the 2017-18 One-Year Part-Time Training has closed. To be among the first to hear about the 2018-19 course, watch this space, and join our email list.


This training meets the classroom study course requirements in the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program of the Biodynamic Association.