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Biodynamic Ambassadors Project Developments

December 20, 2013

By Ambra Sedlmayr, Reto Ingold, and Ueli Hurter

This post follows up on an announcement from last year about a new international program called “Biodynamic Ambassadors” through the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.

Photos: taken by Melchior Pfeil at the biodynamic school in India where he spent the past year helping with hands-on teaching and with the farm work.

The decision to spend a year abroad or to host someone for a year needs to be well considered. Preparing for it and making the move takes some time. Although the set-off phase of the project is therefore longer than expected, we have verified a slow but steadily increasing interest from young biodynamic graduates. Pioneer projects were much less reserved from the start! We now have 11 accredited pioneer projects: they are based all over the world. In South America the range varies from Patagonia (Argentina) to Mexico; in Africa there are five projects; the fewest applications came from Asia; some came from the periphery of Europe. There are small family-run farms that want to get into biodynamics, rural and social development projects needing help with the extension and support work they provide for disadvantaged farmers, biodynamic training centers in their early years, and biodynamic gardens in development connected to Steiner schools or socio-therapeutic institutions.

Melchior Pfeil, our first official and fully fledged ambassador returned from his year in India. A German theosophy graduate is now studying biodynamics to be able to take up Melchior’s place in the Inba Seva Sangam project in India, starting next autumn.

Planetarium Melchior

Gekroese from Holy cow Melchior

The cooperation with the Friends of Waldorf Education is developing further. They are starting an incoming program for people who want to come to Germany and work on biodynamic farms. This is another way that knowledge can be transferred to pioneer projects far away. The voluntary workers on German biodynamic farms can certainly take a lot of know-how back home. To deepen that know-how, we plan to work in cooperation with German biodynamic trainings and offer some twenty days of biodynamic training to the incoming volunteers.

This year we have also been able to move the idea of “senior ambassadors” forward. We have received a number of inquiries of people with much experience in biodynamic agriculture who would like to support pioneer projects abroad with a short-term stay (up to two months). Some pioneer projects have specific questions, such as how to make good compost using biodynamic methods, but are not able to host an ambassador for an entire year. Connecting the experienced “seniors” with projects has become a further area of work of the Biodynamic Ambassadors project. Marco Brutschin, a gardening teacher in a Swiss Waldorf school, will be traveling for two months to Colombia to help an organic dairy and vegetable garden to introduce biodynamic methods. We are looking for financial support to help a senior ambassador go to Kplaimé in Togo, where they are introducing biodynamic methods as a way of fighting chemical agriculture in a community project. They found biodynamics to be a real alternative that resonates with the people’s cultural undersanding of nature. We would like to twin up this and other projects with a farm or project in Europe that is interested in continuous exchange and supporting their work.

News about the project is now communicated via the BINGN newsletter, and we have been invited to make regular contributions to the newsletter Biodynamics in the World. We have been able to help out and connect a number of people during this past year.

At the upcoming Agriculture Conference at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, we will host our second Biodynamic Ambassadors open meeting. This will be held on Thursday the 6th of February from 3.15 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. (the room will be announced in the conference reader). Anyone interested in this project is warmly welcome!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 25, 2013 9:45 pm

    Steiner Australia is an esteemed group of Educational institutions that has curriculum based on Steiner philosophy of Education. We are one of the best child school and high schools in Central coast and have taken many initiatives in the NSW region.
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