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

preparation 500

Earthly Greens Takaka Workshop

Here’s a quick summary from Tony Hudson on his recent workshop in East Takaka, Golden Bay

We all had a great time and we nearly did the whole property of 20acres! The fermented poo came out really well. So pleased about this.

Tony Hudson

First they started by digging up he horns, Tony was stoked with how the fermented cow manure turned out. These horns have clay tops which really helps to keep the water out. Tony has used this method for a while and generally gets good results. (Only one horn was still wet and slightly green.)

Here’s the photos from the stirring and spreading across the production areas and hay meadows. (They had a smaller copper tank and a 200lt plastic barrel so the stirring pole can hang down.) There were 10 people in total and 4 of those were new to this group.

It’s great to have this active group now in Golden Bay. Still no youngsters coming through. The local Sustainable living centre attracts many people who are into organics and permaculture but they’re not really believers of biodynamics. 

Tony Hudson

Tony will be running a workshop to make prep 501 horn silica next month – send him an email at earthlygreens@gmail.com for more info and to express interest.

Spring in your Biodynamic Garden

From a biodynamic point of view, Springtime is when the universe releases it’s ~ exhale ~

The earth starts to release and extend it’s energy upwards to the sun.

Birds and insects are starting to get more active so lets follow their lead and do the same!

To set yourself up for a productive Spring – consider these tasks;

  • Clear winter crops away and create space for your new Spring seeds/seedlings to go
  • Stir and spray Preparation 500 on the soil to increase fertility. Our next descending moon period starts from the 4th of the 15th of October which is a good time to spray prep 500. Order your 500 prep now to get ready.
  • Celebrate the Spring Equinox – 23rd of September with friends and whānau. This is when the days get longer than the nights!
  • Participate in a horn lifting – especially if you haven’t done one before.
  • Now is a good time to prune fruit trees and other perennials
  • Protect blossoms from late frosts by spraying valerian 507
  • If you have put put at least 2x Horn Manure 500 applications, you can do a 501 application. Not only to help with balancing the Spring cosmic/terrestrial connection, but also to try and balance the excessive weather modification that continues to affect the “natural” balance of life on our planet.  Ascending moon is a good time for 501 application so 19th of Sep – 3rd of Oct or after the 15th of Oct (until 30th).

Hohepa Nominated for two Sustainable Business Awards

A very special congratulations to Hohepa Hawkes Bay for being named finalists in the 2022 Sustainable Business Awards!

An incredible achievement for such a deserving organisation 💕

They’ve been nominated for two different categories; Social Impactor and Food For Good. We wish them luck for the Award Ceremony in November 🙌🏻 What a great opportunity to spotlight high quality biodynamic food…!! 💥

More info on the Sustainable Business Network Website.

2022 Council Award for Commitment and Service to Biodynamics

We’re celebrating a very special award to the incredible Gill Bacchus! 🍎

Gill has been awarded this year’s Council Award for Commitment and Service to Biodynamics 🐄 Gill has a long-standing relationship with biodynamics and the Council feels that she is a very worthy recipient.

Included in Gill’s numerous achievements is her newest book she has released is ‘Love Your Veges’ which follows her first book – Food, Full of Life 🌱 This is alongside being a pass member of the council, doing research on the growth habits of lettuce, run workshops and is a wonderful good half of a good biodynamic team.

Gill accepted the award with pleasure and expressed her commitment to continue to promote biodynamics to consumers and retailers to encourage
growing and eating of biodynamic food and asked anyone who wants to help her to get in touch.

Last week, the award was officially presented to Gill Bacchus by Peter Bacchus in Coromandel. Thank you Gill for your wonderful books on Nutrition and Food and your years of sharing your expertise with us all here in NZ 🙌🏻

If you’re interested in learning more about health and nutrition in relation to biodynamics – both books are available to purchase below! We appreciate your support 💕

Kiss the Ground – Farming in Service of Life

Wondered about biodynamics? Here’s a short film from the incredible Kiss the Ground team which gives a great overview and introduction to the philosophy biodynamics.

Share with any curious friends and family!

Kiss the Ground Short Film.

Cheesery with a unique approach wins big at NZ Cheese Awards

A Hawke’s Bay cheesery has won big at the New Zealand Cheese Awards, taking home six awards for their perfectly crafted cheese.

Hōhepa Hawke’s Bay cheesery has become one of the top boutique manufacturers in the country with its own unique approach.

It was founded 65 years ago to provide intellectually disabled people with more opportunities, and now employs 180 people in the region.

“Everyone at Hōhepa has something to offer. We come together and live our vision of every life fully lived; it makes a difference every day,” General Manager Santiago de Marco says.

“We feel very privileged and proud to celebrate these cheese awards. We bring people together and celebrate diversity. It’s all about making a positive impact in the community and the world.”

The cheese has also impressed a world-renowned expert.

Juliet Harbutt says the cheese at Hōhepa is “some of the best I have tasted in the world because of the way they make it”.

It’s made through a biodynamic farming system, meaning it follows a more sustainable, holistic approach than traditional farming practices.

Harbutt says what the cows graze on is “so interesting”, adding that the cheese is “all made on-site”.

“You can taste the difference.”

Santiago says the secret to a perfect cheese is time.

“Some of the cheese being tasted is a pre-Covid cheese, made three years ago so the news couldn’t come at a better time.”

Biodynamics Council

Conference 2022 – Speakers

Steiner Community Workshops Continue at Motueka School

The latest Community Workshop on Biodynamics was held on Saturday 12th February at the Steiner School site in Robinson Road, Lower Moutere. This was the third workshop in a series of eight which started in November last year. The Motueka Rudolf Steiner School Trust (MRSST) has been able to offer workshops in the theory and practice of using biodynamics to bring life and health back to our soils, our land and the food we grow, for koha. This has been through funding from Kete Ora Trust.

On Saturday, participants were led by Dieter Proebst with a morning theory session at the Steiner school which Dieter describes as ‘a mind massage’, and an afternoon session in the shed at the school’s farm. The workshop was entitled ‘Permaculture as a Design Framework for Biodynamics’, looking at the best of both and combining them. In the afternoon, participants were invited to create together a model landscape on a  two square metre sandbox set up on a table. It was participatory and collaborative with lots of conversation. 

Dieter is one of the founders of the Motueka Rudolf Steiner School Trust, which began in 1984 with the kindergarten in a house at Riverside, Lower Moutere. Dieter is a highly-experienced forester, nurseryman, farmer, and orchardist. He came to New Zealand from Germany in 1981 with a Master of Science/Forestry from Munich University, and he settled in the Motueka Valley on the West Bank. 

Over 35 years, he turned 30 acres of bare pasture into a successful certified organic farm and nursery with, amongst others, over 100 varieties of apples. Dieter holds a Diploma in Permaculture Design and is a recognised land-use consultant. He has led many workshops over the years, is an author, a long-standing biodynamic grower and advisor, and a former Demeter Inspector.

There are many techniques of land management – biodynamics, permaculture, organics, regenerative agriculture and others. Dieter refers to these as ‘franchises’, as he believes the most important in all of these is the land, the environment, and working out what the land wants and needs: ”While there is a plethora of literature about land management,” Dieter says, “often the problem lies in people’s minds. People need to trust their instincts.” 

His Treedimensions Land Use Consultancy, which he continues to run from where he now lives in Golden Bay, is about finding site appropriate solutions. He hopes that the workshop participants will learn to apply their own common sense, their gut feeling and  their intuition to living with their land. He calls for people to have open minds, be curious and humble to learn.

The next  Biodynamic Community workshop will be held on 266h March and will be led by Su Hoskin, an experienced biodynamic practitioner and educator, on making the Biodynamic preparations. Dieter will return for another workshop in April which will be about edible landscaping and the food forest concept. For more information and to reserve a place email carolynhughes@foulis.nz .The workshops are each limited to 25  people so registrations are on a first come first serve basis.