The Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association is an incorporated society and registered charity governed by an elected Council.
Our current Council members are:
I first encountered biodynamics in the wine world nearly 30 years ago, when I wrote a dissertation on organic and biodynamic viticulture. I had a memorable evening drinking a deeply satisfying amount of wine with James Millton and talking about life, the universe and everything. I subsequently set up the 22 ha Churton vineyard and started making wine.
From the start we had a strong focus on the ecological values of the land. We gradually adopted elements of biodynamics in the vineyard and farm, starting with the planting calendar, then compost making and finally using the biodynamic preparations. By 2008 we ran the whole farm enterprise as a fully biodynamic system.
What attracts me to biodynamic farming is its pragmatism. Biodynamics has the ability to take into account scientific principles; as a microbiologist by training I often think of it from the microbial world outwards. But alongside this scientific base it allows for a strong emotional and spiritual impact. It has the flexibility to work with experience and intuition and puts structure around the multi-dimensional and multi-variable systems in agriculture – much of which will always remain beyond our control and beyond our understanding.
For the future I would love to see biodynamics stronger, with Demeter certification becoming paramount amongst producers and being internationally accredited.
Along with my husband Greg we run a Demeter-certified berry farm in the Manawatu. I have held a number of secretarial positions in New Zealand and overseas at an executive level. As well as completing a Secretarial Diploma, I also hold a Diploma in Horticulture. If you have any questions or want to make any comment about the Association feel free to contact me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally from the Portland, Oregon area, I have been involved with biodynamic practices for the last 15 years. Currently living in Auckland, I am working on many different projects around the city as an independent consultant. I have taken a lead role with the Rudolf Steiner House in Ellerslie, teaching biodynamic gardening techniques, while making local preparations available throughout the community. I have also teamed up with the For the Love of Bees organisation as a facilitator, giving talks to different groups all over the city and contributing to the ‘OMG’ market garden project. I have also started an Auckland Biodynamics Facebook page in order to encourage and promote events, projects and conversations. Before moving to Auckland I was involved in the viticulture industry, working for Burn Cottage in Central Otago, Hirsch Vineyards on the Sonoma coast in California, and Harlan Estate in Napa County, California. I am very excited about the opportunity to help lead the biodynamic movement in New Zealand into its next phase, with the goal of helping to bring connectivity and availability of biodynamic teachings to all who wish to access them.
Jenny grew up in England and emigrated to New Zealand a number of years ago. She has worked on a number of biodynamic properties, including Hohepa Gardens in Hawkes Bay. Currently she is working in the vegetable and fruit gardens at Millbrook Estate in Queenstown.
Hannah Tatton has recently been co-opted onto the Council until the next AGM.
Hannah is a market gardener with a background in sales and marketing. She studied biodynamics at Taruna College in 2014 and recently returned from three years working on leading farms in Canada and the USA, where she was inspired by many successful biodynamic and organic producers, small and large.
Hannah is currently dedicated to supporting the young farmer movement of incoming farmer generations and family farming, and is passionate about ensuring that New Zealand returns to more regenerative and ecological methods of food and wine production at in-field and policy level. She is offering her time to the Council as part of the younger generation to ensure that biodynamic philosophy, education, collaboration and integrity continue to play a fundamental role in New Zealand’s modern farming picture. While Hannah enjoys many approaches to the connection of people to earth and relationships, biodynamic philosophy seems to have ebbed and flowed in her life, always returning as the most cosmic, complex and whole approach she has had the honour to experience (and keep learning about) yet.
Joao Corbett was born and educated in Brazil. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering in 2004 he started working with table grapes. Three years later he came to New Zealand where he continued working in viticulture. In 2008 he was hired as a trainee at Churton. In 2009 Joao became Assistant Vineyard Manager and held the position until 2010 when he went back to Brazil. In 2016 he came back to manage Churton vineyard. Joao joined Seresin Estate in early 2018 as a Viticulturist, taking care of the vines, livestock and biodynamic preparations. While committed to organic and biodynamic farming principles, Joao is also interested in permaculture and regenerative agriculture. On the rare occasions when he is not in the vineyard, you will find Joao diving and gathering seafood in Marlborough Sounds.
Kia Ora, I’m Julie Young (Donaldson) your newest co-oped Council member pictured here with my 2 youngest mokopuna at home in Waikawa Beach, Manakau, Levin. I have 3 acres of biodynamic, permaculture, pharmacopeia, gardens, ponds, paddocks, creek and woodlands. I’m off grid, building with earth (myself), teaching & studying yoga whilst enjoying life. Some of you will know me from studying BD and Art of Health at Taruna, others as a teacher at Raphael House and Te Ra /Te Rawhiti school/kindergarten. I first met Rudolph Steiner directly in Massey University library 25 years ago, here our journey began. The practice, the reading, the understanding continues to grow & deepen my connection with his teachings. I welcome this opportunity to serve the Biodynamic community. Kia Ora.