As many of our members know, a stunning Biodynamic Conference was being planned for this Winter Solstice by a great subcommittee. Unfortunately due to Covid-19, the 2020 Biodynamic Conference has been cancelled. The AGM must and still will take place, online. We look forward to when we are able to gather in the future.
Date: Sunday, 21st June 2020, Winter Solstice morning
Venue: Online via Zoom Conference Room
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.
At the time of this notification, due to uncertainties around future restrictions due to Covid-19, the Association has decided the best contingency is to hold the AGM via online conference call with members. A physical venue will be updated and notified, should this become possible following the general guidance from Government, on Covid-19.
You will be able to join in and attend, 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 to adapt. For any questions, please send thru to email@example.com
We also invite any key points of feedback ahead of the AGM, so the Council can respond accordingly at the time. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
There are 4 positions available for nomination for National Council. The Association is calling for an especially visionary team of skilled, proactive and considered Council members to create change and develop an Association that is refreshed in feel and 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 moving it into this new era. Members of the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association can nominate a financial member for the governance body.
The Association is especially in need of experienced candidates in areas such as Managing Directors, Finance, Communications, Strategic Planning, Biodynamic Education and Governance. Interested people will need to be/become Members of the Association.
The National Council consists of six elected members who are voted in for three-year terms, and/or co-opted members where needed.
The closing date for submitting nominations to the Association Office is Friday, 8th May 2020.
Email your nominations to the email@example.com or post to the Office PO Box 356 | Martinborough 5741 | New Zealand
HOW TO NOMINATE SOMEONE:
For nominations to be accepted, please submit:
Those nominated or nominating should also submit:
Hannah Tatton – Chair – co-opted until AGM
Julie Young – Interim Secretary – co-opted until AGM
Joao Corbett – Treasurer – co-opted until AGM
Allen Gorthy – elected to 2021
Jenny Lyons – elected to 2021
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Making the biodynamic preparations – held at Hohepa Poraiti Farm, Hawkes Bay from 25-26 April 2020.
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:
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.
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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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
Biodynamic agriculture is a way of living, working and relating to nature. Based on common sense practices, a consciousness of the uniqueness of each landscape, and the inner development of each practitioner. It provides a holistic, economical farming system, reducing our dependence on expensive and polluting mineral fertilisers and other chemical or synthetic inputs.
Based on the philosophies of Rudolf Steiner, biodynamics works in harmony with nature’s rhythms, improves the quality of the soil, strengthens the natural immunity of land, plants and animals and embraces the health of the environment.
The organizing committee for the Biodynamic Association’s Annual Conference are made up of members of The Otago Biodynamic Community, a discussion group – set up in 2013 and managed by Su Hoskin and Loran Verpillot. The group holds informal meetings to share ideas and knowledge, run workshops and seminars relating to organic and biodynamic land husbandry.
There is a growing movement of Biodynamic farmers in our region and we are excited to be hosting an event, which, hopes to attract more than a hundred attendees from all over New Zealand and beyond.
Each year different regions within New Zealand host the conference. This year Central Otago was chosen to showcase some of the countries most extreme climates and diverse terrain. The perfect backdrop for the theme – Water and Light.
Whilst central Otago is home to some of New Zealand’s most significant biodynamic wine producers, this is not a wine event. Although it is interesting that the wine industry has been the one to take the subject of biodynamics seriously. This might be due to the fact that the wines tend to have a vitality and vibrancy and are a more honest interpretation of the vineyards terroir.
The opening day will be held at The Orchard Gardens in Clyde on 22nd June and continue at the Rippon Hall, Wanaka on the 23rd and 24th to coincide with the Winter Solstice and Matariki celebrations.
The programme includes talks by leading biodynamic experts including a keynote presentation by Thea Maria Carlson from the Biodynamic Association in the United States. The weekend event includes workshops; farm visits, a banquet on the Saturday evening with local band Black Lagoon providing entertainment.
Locally owned and run Oasis Yurts will be accommodating our guest speakers in a unique lodge setting.
We are grateful to our generous sponsors including Ceres Organics, the Otago Community Trust, Eurofins, Commonsense Organics, Chaos Springs and BioGro.
Registrations and further details can be found at https://biodynamic.org.nz/news-events/our-sponsors-2018
We have three main goals for our conference. One of these is, as the Biodynamic Association mission states, to foster, guide and safeguard the biodynamic approach to agriculture, horticulture, forestry and animal husbandry in New Zealand. This involves nourishing, strengthening, and supporting our current biodynamic community.
Our second goal, however, is to use the conference to reach out to new individuals and groups who may be interested and offer them an opportunity to explore biodynamics in a friendly, open setting. This is one of the reasons we have an introductory workshop that will be held at Domaine Thomson Vineyard in Lowburn on the 21st June.
Our third goal is to support the growth and development of the wider food and social change movements. In light of this, our presenters and keynote speakers are not just biodynamic folk. Many people are seeking to align their lives, their farming and gardening practices and their food buying, cooking, and eating practices with a deeper understanding of the earth. In this regard, we see this conference as an important bridge-building event. We have learned from our previous conferences that this combination of goals and audience works very well together. It creates a dynamic mix of people and perspectives that builds a powerful sense of community.
The global biodynamic movement is growing both inside and out of the wine business. Herein lies your opportunity to immerse yourselves into one of our country’s unique wine growing regions, whilst taking in the breathtaking Alpine scenery and the spirit of its people during one of the most important seasonal and cultural festivals of the year.