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.
Students from last year's course say . . .
“The course was amazing in so many ways. . . . I always felt so nourished after our workshops. . . . I love the practical but I also love the theory and philosophy that goes into all of it. I am now more in touch with myself as a teacher of children because of this course.”
— A teacher from Pennsylvania
“I loved seeing the progression of the garden through the year, learning to use cover crops on vegetable beds, and thinking about the whole year's plan. I was inspired by the ideas about how to integrate animals with the garden and seeing the farm as an organism. I thought it was so important that Mac stressed the importance of respecting and learning from local farmers, whatever their approach.”
— A teacher from New York, NY
Information: Click here for a complete description of the course and schedule for the year.
Apply today! To apply, click here.
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 email@example.com.
Third Annual Farm-to-Table Dinner
Benefit for the Pfeiffer Center
Saturday, September 24, 6:00pm
$75 per person
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.
Last year's dinner sold out, so if you plan to come, order your tickets early. Click here to purchase tickets. Or be a Pfeiffer Center angel and click here to purchase a table.
Seed School at the Pfeiffer Center, Part 3
Thresh and Winnow:
Harvesting, Cleaning, and
With Shanyn Siegel
Saturday, October 22, 9:00am-5:00pm
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
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.
The Agriculture Course:
An Intensive Study of the Origins
and Future of Biodynamics
January 13-16, 2017
Save the date for the Pfeiffer Center's annual midwinter intensive study of biodynamics. This long weekend is truly a unique educational and social opportunity to broaden and deepen your understanding of the role of biodynamics in the development of humanity and agriculture. Make plans to join us, and watch this space for news and information.