A New Agricultural Initiative
We are integrating our agricultural production and educational programs in a new cooperative endeavor, creating a mutually supportive association of work and community.
This new collaboration will bring field-scale, tractor-based farming, dairying, and community life to the Pfeiffer Center’s educational programming. To the Fellowship’s long tradition of biodynamic farming, the Pfeiffer Center brings its well-established educational programs and its status as a Participating Mentor Farm in the Biodynamic Association’s Farmer Training Program. Together, we look forward to building a biodynamic farm individuality spanning Threefold and Fellowship properties, rising to a new level of agricultural productivity, forging community connections with our work, and reaching out to the world with new programs for adults and children.
In the coming year, our work will be focused on the following goals:
- To develop a biodynamic farm individuality on Fellowship and Threefold land (encompassing 9 acres in cultivation and 38 acres of pasture) according to the principles and ideals expressed in Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture lectures.
- To serve our communities and neighbors by providing abundant biodynamic produce, dairy and herbal products to the Fellowship’s Hilltop House kitchen, the Pfeiffer Center CSA, our Friday Farm Stand, the Hungry Hollow Co-op, and Threefold Café.
- To connect farm life and the lives of Fellowship elders and co-workers through work activities and participation in Fellowship community life.
- To cultivate new children’s programs that complement our current offerings, which include Neighbor to Neighbor, the Nature Place Day Camp, Farm and Garden Days, Otto Specht School gardening programs, and Green Meadow Waldorf School’s Third Grade Farm Block.
- To strengthen and expand our adult education programs. Our interns will attend the Pfeiffer Center’s workshops and One-Year Training in Biodynamics; learn the arts of dairying, horse care, land stewardship, and biodynamic agriculture (from handwork-scale gardening to field-scale farming with draft animals and tractors); and experience life in an intentional community.
This project is being directed by a Farm Leadership Team – Megan Durney, Kim Pace, and Peter Alexanian – working under the mentorship of Mac Mead and supported by Seamus Riordan and interns Muuhito Phillips and Alanna McCabe. Their work in bringing this new initiative to life is being guided by a Farm Advisory Group composed of individuals from the Fellowship, Threefold, and other organizations, including the Otto Specht School and the Nature Place.
As the calendar turns to March, the alliums are germinating and our farm team is sowing early greens in the greenhouse, placing final seed orders, and completing the 2019 farm plan. Shares for the 2019 CSA are available to purchase, and the farm team is looking forward to seeing old and new friends and our Friday Farm Stand and the Hand & Hoe starting in June.
While our gardens grow, this enterprise will take shape, and we look forward to sharing more news over the course of the season.
About the Fellowship Community
Founded in 1966, the Fellowship Community is a work-based intergenerational community centered on the care of the elderly. Approximately 140 elder members, co-workers, and their children live together in a rural farm setting just 30 miles northwest of New York City. From its beginnings, the Fellowship Community had gardens; its members were committed to growing as much of their own food as possible, and to being good stewards of their land. So naturally they were delighted when in 1997 John Duryea offered them the opportunity to buy Duryea Farm and keep its original 33 acres intact and under cultivation.
About Threefold Educational Foundation
Chartered in 1965, and directly descended from an anthroposophical community that began in 1926, Threefold Educational Foundation supports a living community of practical work inspired by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. The Foundation is the steward of the land, buildings and facilities that comprise a large part of the Threefold community’s physical setting, and it serves as the legal and fiscal umbrella for institutions including the Pfeiffer Center, Green Meadow Waldorf School, the Otto Specht School, Eurythmy Spring Valley, the Fiber Craft Studio, and more.