Farm Identity

Harvest Magazine Article – Spring 2018

Biodynamic farmers frequently talk about the need to consider the farm as an individuality or organism – but why is this important, and what does it mean? In a series of articles, this issue of Harvests explores that concept from multiple perspectives.

Here, long-time biodynamic practitioner and guide Peter Bacchus explores the original foundations underpinning the concept of farm as organism.

Ninety-four years ago, biodynamic agriculture was born at a conference in what is now northeastern Germany. It is now 96 years since the first biodynamic preparation was made and demonstrated by Dr Rudolf Steiner. When the first biodynamic course was given, it was a series of lectures given to mostly farmers and was called Lectures for the spiritual renewal of agriculture.

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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.

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Farming Empathy

Harvest Magazine Article – Spring 2018

Dairy farmer Laura Beck describes how farm individuality arises out of a farmer’s integration with her animals, land and community.

I’ve been playing with the idea of what farm individuality means for a few years now and letting the idea slowly evolve in my head and my senses.

When I first started this farm almost five years ago, I was whirring with the different, varied and many needs to get the farm and the business up and running. I didn’t give myself much space to sit and be present in the farm. But, slowly over the years, the daily rhythm has crept into the pulse of my body and there are times that I can see things in a new, fresh way. These times happen mostly when I am entirely present with the cows that live on the farm.

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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.

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Biodynamic Gardening In An Urban School

Harvests Magazine Article – Summer 2016

Jen Speedy manages the gardens at Taikura Rudolf Steiner School, and assists with the Taruna Certificate in Applied Organics and Biodynamics.

It’s a busy bustling life, that of the school garden.

The school year begins in late summer, after a six week rest for the garden from the activity of children, teachers and school people. I’m sure our school gardens rejoice when term begins, with the renewed activity and the return to rhythm.

We use the biodynamic calendar in our gardening activities and our general work over the three-acre grounds, as well as when we work alongside the children of the lower school in their gardening.

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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.

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An Amazing Year in the Greenhouse

Harvest Article – Spring 2016

Anne Dodds’ greenhouse is at Te Awaiti on the Wairarapa Coast. A visit to her garden is part of the coastal walk for many people.

What a season! Day after day this past summer, I would walk into my greenhouse and be amazed.

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Climate Considerations from Members

Harvest Magazine – Autumn 2021

The following piece is an excerpt from The Autumn/Winter issue of Harvests 2021. For access to the full article and to participate in monthly Zoom gatherings, become a member of Biodynamics New Zealand.

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Biodynamics and Demeter Certification at Seresin Estate

João Corbett of Seresin Estate was interviewed for the 2021 Spring issue of Harvests Magazine, in the interview he talks through the benefits of Demeter Certification from his perspective as an agricultural engineer and his experience working on a vineyard. For access to the full article and other perks, become a Member of Biodynamics New Zealand.

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Gill Bacchus Talks Biodynamic Food

Below is an excerpt written by Gill Bacchus from the Spring 2021 issue of Harvests (available to members of Biodynamics New Zealand). Gill recently self published a book called ‘Love Your Vegges’ which is packed with information about biodynamic gardening and how to get more nutritious vegges into your children! We highly recommend it. Contact Gill if you want to purchase a copy gillbacchus@gmail.com. Become a member here https://biodynamic.org.nz/product/annual-membership

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