3-day workshop are available with a purchase of a main conference ticket
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings from 9:00 – 10:30
Finding Your Voice - Becoming an activist through art and action
The world is calling to each of us to speak up and advocate for the Earth and those whose voices are not often heard. Finding your own voice is not always easy. Renowned artist Betty LaDuke has used her spectacular art as a way to tell the stories of agricultural workers, refuges, and water protectors, traveling internationally with humanitarian organizations Freedom From Hunger and Heifer International to create public art work inspired by these experiences. Winona LaDuke is an economist, environmentalist, farmer, author and longtime Native Rights activist who has spent a lifetime advocating for tribal land rights, environmental justice and more. Join these two inspiring women to learn how they found their voices and you can find your own.
The Magic and Mystery of Water Management
Water is life, and currently our world is challenged in how to manage water into the future. Too much in some places, too little in others. Join world renowned permaculture teacher Penny Livingston in looking at Living Water through the eyes of Victor Schauberger and learning practical skills of how to manage, conserve, harvest, store and infiltrate water on your farm, in your garden, and as a community.
Our Relationship to the Land - Land Access
As farmers and landowners across the country grapple with the struggles and challenges of land access, tenure, and succession, we will use this session to consider historical roots and conventions around land and “property”, conservation and land trusts, and to reflect on the current land challenges, and reimagine what farmland ownership, access, and tenure might look like in the future. Through a mix of storytelling and facilitated discussion we will engage the collective wisdom of the group to search for insights into how we might help foster a relationship with land that centers care for Earth and communities. David Outman, Ian McSweeney, and Kristina Villa will facilitate this open conversation, sharing ways their work supports farmers, protects farmland, and provides opportunities for people to steward land in harmony with nature.
About the Preparations
This workshop will feature seasoned preparation makers from coast to coast and how they each make the biodynamic preparations.
- Day 1 Larry Mabe, preparation maker with Grace, Love, and Biodynamics, (former preparation maker for Josephine Porter institute) and Marjory House, preparation maker with the Oregon biodynamic group, will present “demystifying the biodynamic preparations” - a deep dive into practical preparation making.
- Day 2 will feature Lloyd Nelson, preparation maker with Biodynamic Source in Colorado and Dawn Rains also of Colorado, with Jeff Poppen, preparation maker from Tennessee. They will present preparation making 101, with an esoteric bent.
- Day 3 will feature a panel of preparation makers from across the country. This will be a question and answer session and will highlight the work of the Fellowship of Preparation Makers and regional groups in North America. Bring your questions about biodynamic preparations and get answers from the gambit of makers and distributors!
Integrating Seed Growing into the Biodynamic Farm Individuality: Practical Steps Towards a Spiritual Ideal
Seedsman Nathan Corymb will speak on the mystery of the seed as shared by Rudolf Steiner and how living with these spiritual images can deepen and enrich our practices as farmers and gardeners. Then the Meadowlark Hearth seed team will share techniques in seed growing, including cultural practices of growing, selection, harvest, cleaning, handling, tracking, quality control and storage, with demonstrations and hands-on participation of seed cleaning and germination testing. This will be combined with meeting and consulting with farmers and gardeners on how to integrate seed growing into their particular agricultural entities in a practical and profitable way.
Pursuing Parity in Production: Money, Love and Power
This track seeks to engage the question – how can biodynamics inform how we approach labor on our farms and in the marketplace. How has the idea of social responsibility impacted our work? This will be an inclusive deep-dive conversation examining the past, present, and future of responsible farm labor practices.
Living Your Ideals in Agriculture: Nourishing Earth, Community, and Self
Born out of ideals and enthusiasm, many people embark on a path in agriculture to serve and heal the Earth, our communities, and ourselves. We soon find ourselves face to face with the realities of agriculture today, from health challenges in the natural world to social and economic disharmony. How can we meet these formidable situations and bring our ideals to life? This workshop will be a gathering place to clarify and hone your ideals, strengthen your resolve and enthusiasm, and look towards your next steps in cultivating the ground for healing impulses.
100 Years of Biodynamic Beekeeping
One hundred years ago, on Feb 3, 1923, a group of workers engaged in building the Goetheanum (the home of the Anthroposophical Society in Dornach, Switzerland) asked Rudolf Steiner about the difference between bees and wasps. Steiner’s answer to this seemingly simple question led to a magnificent series of lectures on Bees and the related realms of nature, concluding in December of 1923.
In 1923, modern beekeeping was about 50 years old, dating from the invention of artificial queen rearing which has become standard conventional practice. Beekeepers were modernizing and adopting new technologies quickly, using Langstroth hives, wired and stamped foundation, and feeding sugar. In his lectures on Bees, Steiner warned of the short-sightedness of these new methods and predicted the collapse of honeybees if these extractive practices were to continue, which has since proven true.
This workshop will start with an exploration of the spiritual foundations of biodynamic beekeeping through the lens of anthroposophy and the Bee Lectures and bring us up to the present day application of this wisdom with an in-depth sharing of the life-giving beekeeping methods that are taught and practiced in partnership with the Bees at Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary in Floyd, Virginia.
Laying the groundwork for an Economy of Love: An Exploration into Associative Economics
By Invitation Only
How can Biodynamic thinking lead the way in creating a regenerative economy that honors life and supports the wellbeing of all people? In this workshop we will explore different expressions of associative economics. We will consider bioregionalism as an appropriate scale in convening stakeholder dialogues conducive to forming associations and imagine how to connect these bioregions in a web of learning towards a more compassionate commerce. This is meant to be a generative conversation in which we will all share what we are observing in our own communities of practice.