The New Generation of Biodynamic Gardeners

Kaitlyn is  18 years old and is John Paul College’s environmental captain in Rotorua. She has a huge passion for growing nutrient rich food from seed and diverting waste from the landfill by making compost. She has recently become a member of Biodynamics New Zealand and shares with us her passion for gardening, sustainability and visions of what her future holds.

This is an excerpt from the Spring 2021 issue of Harvests, to have access to the full article, and many other perks become a member of Biodynamics New Zealand here

What is it about biodynamics that interests you?

What interests me about Biodynamics is that the garden and every single part of that garden environment is looked at from a holistic viewpoint. This is very important, as nothing in nature is separate. They are all interconnected. Just like we are to Papatuanuku. Which is why I love how growers use ‘waste’ and plants from their land/garden to improve the health of their soil and therefore the health of the food they produce and the health of the ecosystem. I find this truly amazing because nowadays lots of growers depend on external inputs in order to grow food, which isn’t sustainable. I believe if we can return to biodynamic methods, then we will be able to even further slow down the greenhouse effect and find an even stronger connection to our environment. 

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Into the Soil: An interview with Mattias Olssen about biodynamics and film making.

I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Swedish film maker and podcaster Mattias Olssen about his documentary film ‘Into the Soil’ for the Spring issue of Harvests. He is the creator of the multimedia project called Campfire Stories, where he interviews people in his community pursuing sustainable and sometimes alternative lifestyles.  In this film he documents the philosophical approach of the biodynamic farmer Brigid LeFevre, who grew up in a Camphill community and now runs a small biodynamic farm where she grows supplies to make some of the best Kimchi in Europe.

To read the full interview and have access to Harvests Magazine, become a member of Biodynamics New Zealand here

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Biodynamics In Action at Ipuwai Farm

Harvest Article – Spring 2021

Below is an excerpt from the Spring 2021 issue of Harvests Magazine, written by Rachael Ewings. In Harvests, we share biodynamic stories from around Aotearoa, New Zealand and beyond. To get your hands on a copy of Harvests – and loads of other perks – become a member of Biodynamics New Zealand.

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A Biodynamic Cathedral

Harvests Magazine Article – Summer 2017

Andy Black gave a wonderful presentation at the 2017 annual Biodynamic Association Conference about growing great biodynamic food “in a plastic bag” (a greenhouse) at Hohepa’s Poraiti Farm between 2009 and 2016.

His presentation was called “The biodynamic greenhouse: A desert or a cathedral of life?”

Here’s the article written in the Summer 2017 Harvests Magazine

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Suckling calf

Ethical Calf-Rearing

Harvest Magazine Article – Autumn 2016

Reports late last year of brutal calf-rearing practices at conventionally-run New Zealand dairy farms shocked the nation. But a Manawatu organic dairy producer has demonstrated it’s possible to run a productive and profitable operation without compromising  animal welfare standards.

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A Mothers’ Milk + Good Practices for Raising Calves

Harvests Magazine Article – Summer 2015

Bucking an industry accustomed to quiet cruelty, Canterbury raw milk dairy farmer Laura Beck shares her quest toward kinder calf-raising.

This article has been republished from the Summer 2015 of Harvests Magazine.

I have a lot of time to think on the farm. As I squat behind the cows every day to wash their teats before milking,
I often receive this immense sense of calm, contentment and joy. And it got me thinking: These animals are so much Mother. Many New Zealanders’ lives – and a significant part of our economy – revolve around these beautiful creatures, with their massive udders and their incredible capacity to produce milk. We are fortunate that these big beasts stand quietly for us twice a day as we take this milk from them with absolute ease. Their mother’s milk feeds our children and our adults.

And then I got thinking: How is it that we receive this gift, given so gracefully, but we remove so quickly the reason for giving it? In most dairy farm systems, including organic and sometimes biodynamic, calves are typically taken from their mother within the first 24 hours of life. They are then reared by humans away from the herd. For most milk drinkers, the practice of calf-rearing is an unknown facet of dairy farming; some people are not even aware that to give milk, the cow has to have a calf. I’d like to relate to you my experience of calf-rearing.

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