Our Farm and Garden
In 1926, on the site of the present-day Pfeiffer Center garden, the founders of Threefold Farm began growing biodynamic produce for Manhattan’s Threefold Vegetarian Restaurant. For decades thereafter, the garden’s produce fed attendees of Threefold’s popular Summer Conferences, and Ehrenfried Pfeiffer conducted his research here from the 1940s until his death in 1961.
Socially and geographically, our farm spans the Fellowship Community – a dynamic, work-based, intergenerational community centered on the care of the elderly – and Threefold Educational Foundation, a community of people and institutions centered around the work of Rudolf Steiner.
Along with milk and produce, we provide our community a rich festival life and opportunities to be involved in the life and work of the farm. Our biodynamic land-care practices foster a farm individuality that can receive wisdom and guidance from the biodynamic preparations, trace substances and vital forces from the air and soil, cosmic influences, and the activity of the elemental beings.
We firmly believe that the future of agriculture lies in biodynamic practices and the development of networks of small, diversified farms that are thoroughly integrated into their local communities. Our daily work – practicing, teaching, and researching biodynamic methods of land and animal care in a community setting – models and points the way toward a thriving future for agriculture and human society. We value inclusion and diversity and are working with new social forms (such as peer leadership) on our farm.
Mac Mead mentors the Farm Leadership Team (Megan Durney and Kim Pace) and is lead faculty of the Pfeiffer Center’s adult education programs. Mac began farming in 1975, when he had the “privilege and good fortune” to learn biodynamic methods directly from former co-workers of biodynamic pioneer Ehrenfried Pfeiffer at the Fellowship Community. In 2006, Mac became the Program Director of the Pfeiffer Center. The core instructor in the Pfeiffer Center’s One-Year Part-Time Training, Mac regularly speaks at conferences of the Biodynamic Association (BDA), the Northeast Organic Farming Association, and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. In 2016, he was an invited speaker at “The Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture,” a conference of the Harvard Divinity School.
Head Grower and Farm Manager Megan Durney coordinates the daily work on our farm, and is an instructor in our One-Year Part-Time Training. She takes a leading role in planning and carrying out our annual Plant Sale and each season’s vegetable production; directs our seed saving, herb growing, and herbal product production; and manages our CSA, Farm Stand, and sales to other outlets. A Biodynamic Association (BDA) board member, Megan has served on the core planning group for the BDA’s national conference, has conducted workshops at BDA national conferences, and has hosted many young farmer meet-ups. Megan joined the Pfeiffer Center as an intern in 2006 and became a staff member in 2010. In 2014-15, she studied seed saving under Harald Hoven at Raphael Garden in Fair Oaks, CA.
Herdsperson and Dairy Manager Kimberly Pace heads up the Duryea Farm dairy, in addition to supporting all aspects of farm operations and administration. Kim first met biodynamics at a year-long course with Harald Hoven at Raphael Garden in Fair Oaks, CA. She soon joined the Raphael Garden CSA and became a star volunteer, serving on the steering committee, organizing fundraisers, and milking the cows on weekends. In 2016, Kim stepped away from Waldorf kindergarten teaching to become a full-time apprentice at Raphael Garden, followed by a stint at Fulcrum Farm in Grass Valley, CA, where she helped tend a small herd of Scottish Highland cows.
Assistant Grower Courtney Ryan is a California native with a life-long passion for plants and animals. A veteran of the Pfeiffer Center’s internship program, Courtney contributes to all aspects of our farm’s operations, from greenhouse and field work, to assisting in the dairy, to caring for our team of Haflinger draft horses.
Farm Liaison Peter Alexanian is responsible for coordinating work needs and opportunities on the farm with volunteers and co-workers from the Fellowship Community, helping to integrate the farm with daily life at the Fellowship. Peter also plays a lead role in processing farm produce for Fellowship Community consumption. A Pfeiffer Center internship alumnus, Peter has also served as the Pfeiffer Center’s program coordinator for children and young adults.
Education and Outreach Coordinator Paige Hartsell brings people of all ages and backgrounds to our farm and garden to get their hands in the dirt and their hearts turned towards the earth and each other. A trained Waldorf high school teacher, Paige is also pursuing dual Masters degrees in Divinity and Social Work from Union Theological Seminary and Hunter College, with concentrations in Islam and Interreligious Engagement and Community Organizing.