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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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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