Workshops & Events

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.

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.


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.


Michaelmas Festival
in the Garden

Sunday, September 25, 1:30-4:00pm

All are invited to help make, stir and spray the biodynamic preparation #500, which supports humus formation and root growth. This free, child-friendly event is a well-loved community tradition. After the garden activities, don't miss Eurythmy Spring Valley's Michaelmas Family Festival in Threefold Auditorium.

Location: In the Pfeiffer Center garden, opposite 285 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY; click here for directions.

For more information: call 845-352-5020 x20, or email info@pfeiffercenter.org.


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.


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.

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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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