News & Events

Congratulations David Wright, MNZM.

Congratulations David Wright, MNZM.
Congratulations David Wright, MNZM.

Congratulations David Wright, MNZM pictured below at his Investiture Ceremony, 1 July 2020. This recognition is so very well deserved. “Mr Wright helped develop the NZS8410:2003 Organic Production minimum standard for defining the term “organic” and so much more. Thank you for all your years of dedication and commitment and everything you have done for your community. Read more here.

Notice of AGM | Call for Nominations for National Council

Notice of 2020 AGM of the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association | Call for Nominations for National Council and Remits

As many of our members know, an invigorating Biodynamic Conference was being planned for this Winter Solstice by a great subcommittee of collaborators. Unfortunately due to Covid-19, the 2020 Biodynamic Conference has been cancelled. The AGM must and still will take place, most likely online. We look forward to when we are able to gather in the future.

Notice of AGM: 21 June, Winter Solstice

Date:        Sunday, 21st June 2020, Winter Solstice morning
Time:        9:00am
Place:      Rehua Marae, Otautahi, Christchurch
*

*Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it is likely a physical gathering may not be possible. A physical place is stated here to satisfy the letter of the Rules.

We invite you to the Annual General Meeting of your Association. This is a chance to hear where the Association is at financially, and feed back to the Council. Ample time will be given to allow membership feedback. We are looking at ways we can still include some talks.

At the time of this notification, should Covid-19 restrict us from gathering safely, the contingency plan advised by Charities Commission, is to hold the AGM via online or telecommunications conference call with members. Confirmation of the place will be updated and notified closer to the time, should this become possible in respect of guidance from Government.

In which case, you will be able to gather with fellow members, from the comfort of your own home on Winter Solstice morning. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented responses, and we thank you for being reasonable and in supportive spirit as the Council works hard to adapt. For any questions, please send thru to office@biodynamic.org.nz

We also invite any key points of feedback ahead of the AGM, so the Council can respond accordingly at the time. Please send to office@biodynamic.org.nz

More details including the venue, National Council nominees and voting papers will be published via FiveHundredFootnote and www.biodynamic.org.nz in the coming month, followed by an Agenda.

Call for Nominations for National Council

There are 5 positions available for nomination for National Council. The current Council is gearing the Association up for renewed growth that with the help of a professional team, will put it back on a path to re-vitalised, re-enchanted and steady, sustainable growth that brings Biodynamics, by way of embodying and exemplifying its philosophies, into its time. A time of Health.

Therefore the Association are calling for an especially visionary and committed team of bold, skilled and proactive Council members to carry this work thru over the next 3 years. There is a need for a sense of, to quote Steiner, Imagination (Innovation), Truth (Awareness) and Responsibility (Care), as core values of the team. Council are currently working on an exciting new approach and strategy, to get there.

Together the team is hoped to create change and regenerate an Association to one that is refreshed in feel, that reflects the desires of its members, delivers education and is appropriate to the next generation of growers. We encourage you to consider who would be good people to carry forward the vital work of Biodynamics Association in championing biodynamics in New Zealand and helping drive a new movement into this new era. Members of the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association can nominate a financial member for the governance body.

It has been identified by current Council, the Association at this time could especially benefit from experienced candidates in the fields or solid experience within effective Governance, Managing Directors, Finance/Treasurey, Communications, Sales, Strategic Planning and Biodynamic Education. Interested people will need to be/become Members of the Association.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

The National Council consists of six elected members who are voted in for three-year terms, and/or co-opted members where needed.

HOW TO NOMINATE SOMEONE:

For nominations to be accepted, please submit: 

  • A signed statement of nomination from two financial members of the Association, one nominator and one being Seconder.
  • A signed statement of acceptance from the nominee.

Those nominated or nominating should also submit:

  • A 250 word statement for publication by the nominee or nominator of as to the nominated’s background history, including any strategic experience with a national organisation and/or governance strength, the skillsets they can offer and a note of their aspirations for their term in office. *This statement shall not contain untrue or defamatory material and will be shortened if it exceeds 250 words.
  • A photograph of the nominee for publication if the candidate so wishes.

The closing date for submitting nominations to the Association Office is Friday, 8th May 2020.
Email your nominations to the office@biodynamic.org.nz or post to the Office PO Box 356 | Martinborough 5741 | New Zealand
If you are interested about being a Council member and would like to know more, please email hannah@biodynamic.org.nz or 027 231 0824

Current Council

Hannah Tatton – Chair – co-opted until AGM
Joao Corbett – Treasurer – co-opted until AGM
Allen Gorthy – elected until 2021

Call for Remits

A remit is an item referred for consideration and a proposed change to the Associations Standing Orders and Rules. Remits may be submitted to the AGM by groups or individuals who are a financial member of the Association, as well as the Association’s Council.  A financial member is one whose subscription is paid up-to-date or not more than three months in arrears.  All remits submitted by groups or individuals must be signed by at least 10 financial members of the Association. Further information on the process for submitting remits can be found in the Standing Orders.

The last day for submitting remits to the Association Office is Friday, 10th April 2020.

Autumn Equinox National Stir, this Friday evening.

Join in as NZ growers unite for Autumn Equinox celebrations, this Friday evening, 19th March as it is the perfect time to stir and apply preparation 500 and bring balancing energy to the soils and world. We asked three Biodynamic educators, Rachel Pomeroy, Su Hoskin and Rand Carter for a brief commentary on what is occurring this Autumn Equinox, and what we can do biodynamically, to help the positive forces of our gardens, farms and our spirits grow.

The preparation 500, more commonly called cow horn, is buried in the fall and dug up in the spring. It is then energized by creating vortices and spread on soil and crops in large drops. This Friday’s Autumn equinox is an optimum time to stir and apply Preparation 500.

In Aotearoa, we find ourselves called return our intentions to papatuanuku, earth and the cosmos above and in turn breath much needed balance and grounding into our wairua, spirit. To perhaps sit this Friday, as we stir in aroha and gratitude, and celebration of seasons change into Autumn and the descent into the time of earth forces and energy.

As Rand Carter (RC) in the Northern Hemisphere writes “In order to fashionably welcome Spring, on March 19, we will spray BD #500. On March 20, we will all spray BD #501. The Merry Prepstirs desire is to promote the visual process of the biodynamic sequential spray from simply ‘your personal farm/garden’ into a global sequential spray. Imagine the boundaries of this spray day to reach from coast to coast and from continent to continent.”

SH: Autumn Equinox is perfect timing for spreading the biodynamic field preparation horn manure or Preparation 500.

The descending Moon will be in the earth sign of Capricorn from Thursday 19th March until just before 5.00pm Saturday 21st March. Utilise the drawing down phase of the afternoon to stir and apply for optimal timing at the change of seasons.

Strange as it may seem, the soil life actually awakens in the fall, to receive the dying plant matter and replenish from the growing season.

The Earth inhales during this time in a rhythmic process, so compost, liquid manures and barrel compost are also of great benefit if applied now to the land.

AUTUMN EQUINOX INCREASING MAURI OF THE SOIL

Rachel Pomeroy, educator and astronomer writes, “At the Autumn Equinox, Tama Nui Te Ra farewells Hine Raumati and moves hastily towards Hine Takurua, in whose home he will linger for the next several months.  But notice how the brilliant winter full moons of the next months all keep company with Hine Raumati, she’s not abandoned.

Although the warmth and light have left the land and the luxuriant growth of plants will slow or cease, below the ground, the life of soil and roots is very active.  To support Te Marama in below ground activity, increasing the Mauri of the soil, add compost and mulch around fruit trees and vines, use CPP and liquid manure around the roots of the winter vegetables and apply the horn manure preparation to all the land.”

Rachel Pomeroy’s photo of the eastern horizon from Atea a Rangi, Napier taken Thursday March 19th

WHAT TIME TO SPRAY

RC: Though many people spray “after 3pm” this is not the beginning of the cosmic in-breathing time except on specific days and only during specific seasons. For example, in summer, the soil is almost certainly NOT yet cooling nor contracting at 3pm, but in winter, the soil almost certainly will begin to cool by that time of day.We want to spray out 500 when the soil is contracting, which means when the air pressure is switching from negative (expansive) pressure to positive (contracting) pressure. If we spray something out strictly at 3pm, most of it will evaporate. These conditions are extremely local. If you have an overcast day, you can’t rely on a recipe. If you have an unseasonably warm front moving in during the evening, a 500 spray will not be drawn into the soil as it should. Likewise, a cold front moving in at dawn will not help 501 move up and out over a garden. It is far more important to be sensitive to local conditions.

When soil cools, it contracts. When air heats, it expands.

To put it as simply as possible: is the soil cooling off? You can spray 500. Is the soil warming up? You can spray 501. A good general rule is this: are shadows starting to fall across the farm? You can spray 500. Conversely, is light starting to hit the soil? You can spray 501, or about the time the dew begins to dry. This will all be different depending on your altitude or whether you have hills surrounding you (or even trees). Discard dogma. Your local conditions are paramount.

THE PREPARATIONS

RC: BD #500 prep contains immense ethereal and astral forces. If you are fortunate to have BD500XP then you have a 20 minute stir, otherwise the standard 1-hour stir.

SH: Horn manure preparation 500 is a manure concentrate. Available for purchase from the BDNZ.
Fresh cow manure buried in cow horns in fertile soil for Autumn and Winter, is transformed into a potent conditioner for soil and plants. Applied in Spring and Autumn. It is a living substance which helps build soil structure, stimulates microbial activity and the formation of humus, greatly improving the absorption and retention of water in the soil.

Used as part of a regular practice, it regulates acidity, stimulates the growth of root systems to greater depths, increases the germination rate of seeds and helps to dissolve hard pans.

Stirring or dynamising the preparation for a full hour is a wonderful activity for a group or family, but can also be achieved by one person.

RC: BD #501 is Horn Silica or Horn Feldspar (for you with sand in your shoes) requires a 1-hour stir. It is best is to spray it into the air on a windless day from sunrise (not before) to mid-morning – before 8AM with a temperature not above 72. (Stewart Lundy’s & Troy Teets comments on shadows (see above) rings true).

EQUIPMENT

SH: The dynamic interaction between the prep and the water can be done in clean separate small buckets or in a larger container such as a wine barrel, copper tub or plastic drum. Individual buckets can be stirred using your hand or a stick or wooden spoon. A larger vessel will require more effort and therefore a suspended pole is recommended on a tripod over the barrel or attached to a frame / roof beam of an outdoor building.

WHAT SORT OF WATER QUALITY TO USE?

SH: Water quality is of the essence, rain water, spring water or bore If possible, warmed to blood temperature. This will activate the biology to a greater degree than cold water.

RC: Enzo Nastati says there “are basically three kinds of water. The water that descends, the water that rises, and the water that flows. What kind will you use for the 500? Spring water. Well water if it is not too deep. When a well is more than 100 meters deep that water is full of darkness.” If you must use municipal water, let it aerate for a day to off-gas the long-lasting disinfectant called Chloramine (chlorine & ammonia).

SH: Barrel compost can be added for the last twenty minutes of the stir. This will then become the carrier for the compost preparations.
It’s a good idea to time yourself, you’ll be surprised how quickly an hour passes during this meditative and stimulating activity.

RECIPE ON HOW TO STIR BD 500

SH: Use 50g of the horn manure preparation to about 30L water per ha.
Stir from the outside of the container inward and clockwise until all the liquid is surging in one direction and then break the flow to create ‘chaos’ by reversing the stirring action anti clockwise. Opening the surface area of the water allows aeration and other energetic forces to enter. Repeat for whole hour. The water will become silky and ‘elastic’ as the preparation is incorporated into the liquid.

Have more knowledge to add about Autumn equinox? Leave a comment and your experiences or send us an email hannah@biodynamic.org.nz and we’ll update this article.

Share with us your stir by tagging us on Instagram @biodynamicsnewzealand or Facebook @facebook.com/BiodynamicsNewZealand and we’ll share your photos.

Preparations can be purchased from the Biodynamic Association. Simply purchase a membership (digital or full) and head to the online Shop.

Autumn Workshop – Postponed

UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS. A spring workshop is now being planned. Stay tuned. We look forward to gathering in the future.

Making the biodynamic preparations – held at Hohepa Poraiti Farm, Hawkes Bay from 25-26 April 2020.

Rachel Pomeroy presents at International Biodynamic Conference, Switzerland

Photo: Rachel presenting in the Goetheanum. Slide features Hua Parakore / Te Waka Kai Ora indigenous verification principals. Photo Credit: Adriano Zago

The Annual International Conference of the Biodynamic movement was held last week from the 5th to 8th February 2020 at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland. Well known New Zealand biodynamic practitioner and teacher Rachel Pomeroy was asked to attend and gave three presentations.

Life Sketches are short lectures based on life, practice and projects. Rachel’s lecture discussed the following:

Universal Spirituality
Colonisation of India and New Zealand, in each case, virtually destroyed a complete, intact indigenous knowledge system.  A knowledge system which determined their practical life, from cultivating food, collecting healing plants, to navigating the mighty Pacific Ocean.  Rachel’s experience of biodynamic practice in both countries has helped her to see a universal world spirituality, existing in differing contexts of location, culture and religion. 

During the 3 day workshop, which was designed to deepen understanding and share experiences, Rachel joined with Marcela Vega Toy and Sundeep Kamath and presented the following:

Different spiritualities and biodynamic agriculture / Espiritualidades diferentes y agricultura biodinámica
Marcela Vega Toy & Sundeep Kamath & Rachel Pomeroy (English/Español) (s)
The Maori creation mythology, the sadness of the separation of heaven and earth, and our possibility, through practice of biodynamics, to turn sorrow to joy. The temple of the heavens reflected in the Wharenui, the meeting house, and, further, in the temple of our own body. In the context of these histories, experience “As above, so below”, macrocosm and microcosm and the role of the BD preps in facilitating the ordering forces of the Cosmos to order the life in our farm and garden. Maori astronomy and star-lore will help us understand and remember the ascending and descending periods of the moon and which farming activities to do in each period.  The summer and winter homes of the Sun help us know the seasons of the year, and the ascending and descending moon, and how they are used in timing agricultural practices. The Maori moon calendar, based on moon phases and tides and what can we learn from it. Jessica Hutchings’ characterisation of the six principles of traditional Maori food growing/collecting, and how she incorporated biodynamics into her own garden management. From India, the Navagraha, the nine planets, their plants, their arrangement in the temple in relation to the setting and rising horizons, dying and becoming. Shiva bringing the world into creation helps elucidate the role of planetary processes and BD preps in unfolding life. The circle of 27 Nakshstra star groups, or 12 Rasi (Zodiac constellations), as natural divisions of the 360 degree circuit of sun, moon and planets through the stars.  Sacred grove plantings of the 27 Nakshatra trees. The sacred cow, traditional fertility building recipes and practice, and how biodynamics is incorporated in practice.

A time each day was set aside for an Open Space section during which Rachel lead the following discussion:

The Biodynamic Preparations; their function in relation to Planetary Processes
The Biodynamic Preparations; their function in relation to Planetary Processes.  This is the question she lives with as a star watcher and prep maker.  Rachel shared her experiences and invited conversation with others.

Rachel Pomeroy will be presenting on similar topics at the 2020, 96th Annual Biodynamic New Zealand Conference, to be held in Akaroa, Otauhtahi, Christchurch this June.

Stay tuned for more information, speaker line up and registrations over the coming month.

Be part of the change for good

We’re on a mission to make the world a kinder, gentler, healthier place for the next generation.  We want to upgrade our website so we can offer more information and a better service to those looking to farm and garden the biodynamic way.

We’ve made a start and with your help we can move this project to the next level.  We’ve added e-commerce so you can have the convenience of on-line payments but there’s much more we could do. Donate now and watch this space as we add new features to the website.

As a charity we can provide a receipt for tax purposes, as long as you give us your details.

An Introduction to Biodynamics

Workshop being held on Friday, 26th April 2019 – 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm at Chaos Springs, 131 Deam Road, Waihi

Led by Rachel Pomeroy and Steve & Jenny Erickson

This is an introductory workshop for those interested in learning about this holistic form of farming and gardening.

Wondering what biodynamics is all about? Want to give it a try but don’t know where to start? Keen to develop or expand your growing skills and deepen your connection with the soil?

Find out more information about the workshop here.

Registrations close on 24 April. If you are interested in attending please contact the office on 06 306 8582 to see if there are any places still available.

2019 Conference Registrations Open

Don’t miss out – registrations open until 14th April.

The programme for the Conference has been finalised and registrations are now open for the 2019 Biodynamic Conference – Four Pillars of Future Agriculture. The programme includes experienced national and international speakers.

Find a copy of the programme for the conference here.

Further information about the speakers can be found here.

Registrations for the conference can be made here. Registration will be open until 14th April. Don’t miss out on a great weekend of information. Register now!

Conference 2019 – Four Pillars of Future Agriculture

The 2019 Biodynamic Conference will be held at Waitawheta Camp, Waihi from the 26th to 28th April 2019.

The programme for the conference is coming together and looks to be a thought-provoking weekend. As the title suggests, there will be discussions on three different modes of agriculture, and then how biodynamics can draw all of them together. The four pillars of future agriculture that we will look at are:

  • Mineral Balancing – William Albrecht’s work
  • Biological Management – Elaine Ingham’s work: Soil Food Web
  • Holistic Grazing – Alan Savory’s work
  • Biodynamics – Rudolf Steiner’s work

There will also be a farm visit and Steve & Jenny Erickson will kindly open up their farm for us to look at and discuss the differing parts of the property that make up the organism that is Chaos Springs.

The programme will be completed and registrations open in the next week or so. Any questions please contact the office.

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Conference Registrations Closing Soon

Conference registrations will be closing this weekend.  Don’t miss out on a wonderful opportunity to hear some great speakers.  Registrations can be made here.