Our Farm, Garden, and People
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.
Our Farm Leadership Team
Mac Mead mentors the Farm Leadership Team 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.
Megan Durney coordinates the daily work of our Farm Team and interns, 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.
Kimberly Pace manages and directs 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.
Peter Alexanian contributes to all aspects of farm operations; he also provides elder care in his role as a Fellowship Community co-worker. A former Waldorf school elementary class teacher, Peter has also assisted Nicki Robb at the Hartsbrook Waldorf School’s grades 3-9 Agricultural Arts Program and worked under Gunther Hauk at Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary in Floyd, VA. A Pfeiffer Center internship alumnus, Peter has also served as the Pfeiffer Center’s program coordinator for children and young adults.