How to be a ‘Best Biodynamic Gardener’

Harvest Article – Autumn 2015

Rachel Pomeroy is a wealth of knowledge on biodynamics in New Zealand. She has travelled extensively, especially in India, sharing her experience of biodynamics, stargazing and planting calendar use. Rachel makes all the biodynamic preparations and is a keen home gardener.

Sometimes a best conventional farmer becomes a best biodynamic farmer. And the same is true of gardeners. Sometimes a best conventional gardener becomes a best biodynamic gardener.

I have a particular farmer in mind when I speak of a “best farmer.” He is Sarvdaman Patel, a lifelong dairy, fodder and vegetable producer in Gujarat, India, who converted to biodynamics in 2000. But what I say could equally apply to several men and women I have met over the years, each of them examples of best biodynamic farmers or gardeners who were previously best conventional farmers or gardeners.

Read more

Making Compost at Schools and Gardens

Harvest Article – Autumn 2015

Andrew Seagar speaks from experience

Over the past 25 years, I’ve worked in many different agricultural and horticultural situations. They have ranged from a 500-acre mixed biodynamic farm on the Kaipara, to the two-acre Demeter market garden that I’ve developed south of Hastings since 1991.

I’ve worked in 15 schools, developing food gardens with primary and intermediate children, since the ’90s. I’ve done compost demonstrations through local councils, OANZ and education trusts.

Making compost combines art and science beautifully. If more schools did science lessons around a compost heap, we wouldn’t have the fragmented, over-specialised science we have today.

Read more

Compost Making and Weed Management Workshop at Earth Stewards Farm in Hamilton

In collaboration with Rototuna Farm Trust, Earth Stewards and Kete Ora Trust, three workshops were put on focusing on the benefits of vegetable growing, a varied diet with some biodynamic principals sprinkled in. The workshops were presented by Peter and Gill Bacchus, and Coral Remiro.

These images came from the last in a series of three workshops at the incredible Earth Stewards Farm in Rototuna, Hamilton. Earth Stewards is an Urban Farm specialising in certified organic vegetables and fruit grown using regenerative practices.

The workshop focused on ->

  • Compost making and soil fertility
  • Weed management
  • Teas and Peppering

Peter Baccus explaining BD compost preps

Building BD compost stack

Peter Baccus stirring 500

Coral Remiro explaining planting guilds

In Praise of Untidiness by David Wright

Harvests Article – Autumn 2016

Most of us like some tidiness around us. We like to know where to find things, and we like to have things arranged in an orderly way. (I apologise to any teenager who is offended by this suggestion.) Some of us go much further and need to have everything arranged precisely, with all shirts in exact order, and everything else in the wardrobe in its due place, and so on. But does tidiness extend beyond the inside of the house? Is the space between the soil and the floor still carrying the litter left by plumbers, carpenters and electricians? For most of us tidiness doesn’t extend that far because what’s out of sight is out of mind. I’ll come back to the consequences of this later. 

Read more
Applying for Demeter Certification

Biodynamics, Cow Dung and Best Practice: A Viticulturist Journey by Jared Connolly

Harvests Article – Summer 2016

My biodynamic journey began in 1999 while studying organic growing with Holger Kahl at Seven Oaks in Christchurch. We were fortunate to have Ian Henderson teach our class the basics of animal husbandry at Milmore Downs, and I had the opportunity to plough paddocks and dig soil pits at Terrace Farms with Geoff and Ira Wilson. We also picked chamomile flowers at Hohepa Farm in Halswell with Marinus La Rooij.

All three of these occasions in my two years of learning ignited a very strong desire to create a life working and learning with this approach called biodynamics.

Read more

Bringing Forgotten Soil To Life

Harvest Magazine – Autumn 2018

Jen Speedy tells the tale of transforming soil at Taikura Rudolf Steiner School in Hastings, using biodynamic practices.

Six years ago, our school grounds expanded with the purchase of the neighbouring property – a commercial four-story building surrounded by asphalt car parking areas. On two sides of the newly acquired grounds, edging the building and edging the street, were very sorry, pale, baked, unloved and lifeless strips of gardens supported by a couple of Acer negundo maple trees, a eucalypt and that thorny stalwart, the Eleagnus hedge.

On the third side sat an additional very large asphalt carpark. A contracted company ripped up the asphalt for us. On half the area, topsoil was smoothed out and grass seed blasted on – and presto, the existing playing field had been extended.

Read more

Making Compost at Schools and Farms

Harvests Magazine Article – Autumn 2015

Andrew Seager speaks from experience

Over the past 25 years, I’ve worked in many different agricultural and horticultural situations. They have ranged from a 500-acre mixed biodynamic farm on the Kaipara, to the two-acre Demeter market garden that I’ve developed south of Hastings since 1991.

Read more

An Urban Farm Grows Community

Harvest Article – Autumn 2018

Some innovative projects in Auckland are introducing healthy food-growing practices to new audiences. One of them is Katrina’s Kitchen Garden, an urban biodynamic farm operating out of West Auckland. Co-director Katrina Wolff tells their story.

Read more

Manawatu Compost Day

Meet other biodynamic practitioners in the Manawatu, and learn about making a biodynamic compost heap!

Sunday the 27th of March
9:00am start

409 Aranui Rd, Kairanga

RSVP to Joanne 021 255 0725