Workshops & Events

Seed School at the Pfeiffer Center, Part 2

Field Day:
Saving Seeds from
Favorite Garden Vegetables

With Shanyn Siegel
Saturday, July 16, 9:00am-5:00pm
$95

When it comes to seed saving, each crop has its own particular set of needs. The second, mid-summer installment of Seed School at the Pfeiffer Center provides an in-depth look at saving seeds from a wide range of vegetable crops and offers hands-on experiences with skills and techniques all seed savers should know.

In this class, Shanyn Siegel builds upon the fundamentals of seed saving and explains how to plan your garden to ensure a bountiful harvest of healthy, true-to-type seeds. Crop-specific seed-saving instructions will be shared for lettuce, cole crops, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and many other favorite garden vegetables. Techniques used to save seeds from biennial crops in northern climes will also be covered.

The class closes with a garden walk to explore the diversity of flowers and examine how flower anatomy influences pollen flow. Using hands-on field activities, Shanyn will teach various ways to manage pollination in the garden, including hand-pollination, caging, and blossom-bagging.

Shanyn Siegel has worked in sustainable agriculture and horticulture for over 15 years, specializing in organic vegetable gardening and organic seed production. As Collection Curator and Head of Preservation for Seed Savers Exchange, Shanyn grew, evaluated, and saved seeds from thousands of heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable varieties. With Lee Buttala, Shanyn coedited The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving (2015).

Presented in partnership with Seed Savers Exchange and Hudson Valley Seed Library.

Also of interest: Seed School Part 3, Thresh and Winnow: Harvesting, Cleaning, and Storing Seeds (October 22).

Click here to register.


Farm & Garden Days:
A Hands-On Garden, Farm
and Forest Experience

For Children Ages 6 to 12
August 8-12 and 15-19

Digging potatoes, picking peas, milking cows, visiting horses and honeybees, making pizza in an outdoor wood-fired clay oven, and more — with plenty of time for swims, exploring nearby woods and streams, art activities, music and games.

Farm and Garden Days is a collaboration between The Nature Place and The Pfeiffer Center. Activities take place in the Pfeiffer Center’s biodynamic gardens and at neighboring Duryea Farm. Campers can bring their own lunches or enjoy the hot lunch option offered by Threefold Café.

When: August 8-12 and August 15-19, 2016. Camp days are Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm, with before- and after-camp care available, and children are welcome for either or both weeks.

How much: $850 per week ($1,100 for children coming from New York City; includes daily transportation).

Reserve your child's place in Farm and Garden Days 2016: Click here to enroll online. To learn more about The Nature Place, click here, call 845-356-6477 or, email camp@thenatureplace.com.


One-Year, Part-Time
Practical Training in Biodynamics

Mac Mead, Principal Instructor
With Megan Durney, Bill Day,
Bruno Follador, Jairo Gonzalez,
Jennifer Greene, Craig Holdrege,
Steffen Schneider, Sherry Wildfeuer,
and Hugh Williams
Starts September 17

The Pfeiffer Center’s One-Year, Part-Time Practical Training in Biodynamics consists of thirteen full-day workshops beginning in September 2016 and ending in June 2017. Workshop days run from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and feature an engaging mix of classroom talks and field activities. Topics covered include: making and working with the biodynamic preparations • making and working with compost • techniques for soil building • understanding the rhythms of nature and planetary influences on earthly life and growth • best practices in agricultural handwork and pruning • farm animal husbandry • seed saving • biodynamic methods of weed and pest control • the honeybee • and much more.

Information: Click here for a complete description of the course and schedule for the year.

Apply today! To apply, click here.


Third Annual Farm-to-Table Dinner
Benefit for the Pfeiffer Center

Saturday, September 24

Celebrate our autumn harvest with a farm-to-table dinner of fresh biodynamic ingredients from the Pfeiffer Center and our neighbors in the Hudson Valley.

This event is co-sponsored by the Parent Council of Green Meadow Waldorf School; all proceeds benefit the programs of the Pfeiffer Center.

Save the date, and watch this space more more information!


Seed School at the Pfeiffer Center, Part 3

Thresh and Winnow:
Harvesting, Cleaning, and
Storing Seeds

With Shanyn Siegel
Saturday, October 22, 9:00am-5:00pm
$95

Did you know that clean, properly stored seeds can remain viable for decades?

In the last installment of Seed School at the Pfeiffer Center, Shanyn Siegel explains and demonstrates various techniques for harvesting, drying, and cleaning seeds — all using tools and materials found in any household. Class discussions will focus on the different types of seeds and how to best gauge seed maturity • simple, small-scale harvest techniques • understanding seed quality • and the best options for storing seeds at home. Hands-on activities include wet and dry seed processing, germination testing, and more.

Come just to learn — or bring your own seeds to clean and share! Participants will leave with some seeds grown in the instructor’s home garden — and with ties to a growing network of regional seed savers.

Gardening starts with seeds. Why not save your own?

Shanyn Siegel has worked in sustainable agriculture and horticulture for over 15 years, specializing in organic vegetable gardening and organic seed production. As Collection Curator and Head of Preservation for Seed Savers Exchange, Shanyn grew, evaluated, and saved seeds from thousands of heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable varieties. With Lee Buttala, Shanyn coedited The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving (2015).

Presented in partnership with Seed Savers Exchange and Hudson Valley Seed Library.

Also of interest: Seed School Part 2, Field Day: Saving Seeds from Favorite Garden Vegetables (July 16).

Click here to register.


Beekeeping for the Future

With Bill Day
Saturday, November 12, 9:00am-5:00pm
$95

If you are thinking about getting honeybees next spring, now is the time to prepare. This one-day workshop will address questions all aspiring beekeepers need to ask as they prepare to embark on this spiritual yet profoundly nature-bound journey. For beekeepers with one or two years’ experience, this workshop is a great opportunity to take stock, ask questions, and learn new perspectives.

The workshop will be organized around the beekeeper’s essential role in nurturing the hive organism. What can we as beekeepers do to create conditions in which our bees can thrive? What are the most up-to-date natural and holistic methods, and how do they work?

Topics covered will include: the biology of the hive organism and the beekeeper’s role in fostering healthy hives • working with different hive designs • sources of bees • siting your hives • biodynamic methods for disease management • beekeeping as a path to heightened powers of observation and awareness • and much more.

Weather permitting, the day will include a visit to the Pfeiffer Center’s apiary, where we will open some hives and demonstrate techniques discussed in the classroom.

Bill Day has kept bees for more than a dozen years. He is principal beekeeper at the Pfeiffer Center, and also keeps bees at Bluefield Farm in Blauvelt, NY.

Click here to register.

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Prefer to pay by check? Click here to download a printable registration form.


Questions? Directions to the Pfeiffer Center, information about housing, and more can be found at this page.

Need more help? Call the Pfeiffer Center (845-352-5020 x20) M-F, 8:30am-4:30pm, or email us at info@pfeiffercenter.org.


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