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The 2019 Pfeiffer Center Midwinter Agriculture Intensive

With Mac Mead, Megan Durney, Harald Hoven, and Beth Corymb

Using Rudolf Steiner’s agriculture course as a foundation, we will explore “the seed” in its dynamic and complex relationship to the depths of the Earth, the expanses of the cosmos, and the agricultural individuality. Working in large and small groups, through art, movement, plant observation, and hands-on seed work (threshing and winnowing), we will delve into the mysteries of the seed-forming process.

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. Join us!

Schedule


The schedule is subject to change.

Faculty

Mac Mead has farmed and gardened biodynamically for nearly forty years. As a co-worker at the Fellowship Community beginning in 1975, Mac learned biodynamic methods directly from former co-workers of biodynamic pioneer Ehrenfried Pfeiffer. Mac has gardened and farmed on every scale, from handwork to field-scale vegetables, tended an orchard, and managed dairy cows. Mac was the resident farmer at the Fellowship Community’s Duryea Farm from 1997 until 2005, and has been the Pfeiffer Center’s Program Director since 2007.

Megan Durney came to the Pfeiffer Center as an intern in 2007, following stints as a WWOOFer and post-Katrina AmeriCorps volunteer. As the Pfeiffer Center’s Head Gardener, Megan trains and supervises interns, directs the creation of each year’s planting calendar, manages produce sales (including the Pfeiffer Center’s CSA and farm stand), and directs production of Pfeiffer Center herb salt, teas and salves. She also conducts the Neighbor to Neighbor afterschool program.

Harald Hoven, a German-trained biodynamic farmer, founded and directed Raphael Garden at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA (1987-2017). Besides training nearly 100 apprentices, Raphael Garden offered biodynamic adult education, a 70-member year-round CSA, and a large seed-saving and plant-breeding program. Turtle Tree Seed carries a large selection of Raphael Garden-developed seeds. Since retiring from RSC, Harald has consulted for and mentored biodynamic farmers, primarily in California. He also travels and teaches internationally, focusing on preparation making and biodynamic practices.

Beth Corymb is the founder, with her husband Nathan, of Meadowlark Hearth Biodynamic Seed Initiative, based on Beth’s grandparents’ 492-acre homestead in western Nebraska. Beth and Nathan began biodynamic farming and seed-saving at Camphill villages in the early 1980s; in 1994 they founded the Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative, and in 1998 they combined Turtle Tree’s seed work with social therapeutic work at Camphill Village Copake, NY. Beth holds a degree in piano performance and researches how agriculture, the cosmos, and music intertwine with and augment each other. The Corymbs are committed to reintegrating seed growing into everyday agriculture on diverse, sustainable, human-scale farms.

Artistic Activities

Each day will feature interval singing as a group led by Beth Corymb. In addition, attendees will choose between eurythmy with Brigida Baldszun or clay modeling (faculty to be announced).

Recommended Reading

Rudolf Steiner, Man as Symphony of the Creative Word, lecture 7, and lecture 2 of Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture lectures.

Meals

The course fee includes five meals provided by Threefold Café: lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday plus lunch on Monday. In addition, the nearby Hungry Hollow Co-op Natural Foods Market serves organic take-out, and there are many restaurants within driving distance.

Housing

If you need housing, you must make separate arrangements. Rooms are available in our dormitory, Holder House; in homes of community residents; and in nearby hotels. For housing information, please click here.

Please note: This is not an introductory course. Participants are expected to be familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s agriculture lectures and to have some working knowledge of biodynamics.

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