On our first day of the Weston Price Swiss Farm Tour we visited The Goetheanum, viewed the gardens, shopped at the biodynamic farm stand, had a private tour of The Goetheanum, which was closed due to renovation, and ate a glorious locally grown meal at the restaurant there. A magical day to be sure.
“The Goetheanum is the center of a global network of spiritually dedicated people. As the home of the School of Spiritual Science and the General Anthroposophical Society, it serves as a place for exchanges over spiritual issues and trainings in artistic and scientific fields. The events held here range from lectures on special topics to large international confrences.” from the Goetheanum website.
“The Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum is one of currently eleven departments of the School of Spiritual Science based at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. The Section for Agriculture contributes to the development of agriculture, out of anthroposophical spiritual science. The main tasks of the Section for Agriculture are to coordinate and give impulses to the worldwide biodynamic agriculture movement.
Biodynamic agriculture was born in 1924, in a series of lectures given by Rudolf Steiner, known as the “Agriculture Course”. Nowadays biodynamic agriculture is practiced worldwide with over 150.000 ha of certified biodynamic land (certified by Demeter). The ideas behind biodynamic agriculture have infused and inspired many related fields such as landscape work, nutrition, social therapy, bee-keeping, wine making and many more. Also new research methods, new economic systems for agriculture and new systems of land ownership (amongst other innovations) have been developed out of the biodynamic movement.”
Biodynamics from The Biodynamic Association
“Biodynamics is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition. Biodynamics was first developed in the early 1920s based on the spiritual insights and practical suggestions of the Austrian writer, educator and social activist Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), whose philosophy is called “anthroposophy.” Today, the biodynamic movement encompasses thousands of successful gardens, farms, vineyards and agricultural operations of all kinds and sizes on all continents, in a wide variety of ecological and economic settings.
Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Preparations made from fermented manure, minerals and herbs are used to help restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm and to enhance the nutrition, quality and flavor of the food being raised. Biodynamic practitioners also recognize and strive to work in cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health.
Most biodynamic initiatives seek to embody triple bottom line approaches (ecological, social and economic sustainability), taking inspiration from Steiner’s insights into social and economic life as well as agriculture. Community supported agriculture (CSA), for example, was pioneered by biodynamic farmers, and many biodynamic practitioners work in creative partnerships with other farms and with schools, medical and wellness facilities, restaurants, hotels, homes for social therapy and other organizations. Biodynamics is thus not just a holistic agricultural system but also a potent movement for new thinking and practices in all aspects of life connected to food and agriculture.”
a map of the Gärtnerei am Goetheanum (gardens at the Goetheanum.)
Apples and so many incredible fruit trees.
Greenhouse and farmers in a field thinning carrots
I loved the cold frames with flats of lettuce plugs and other vegetables to plant out.
Garden with cold frame and view of small castle in the distance.
A view of the Goetheanum under renovation and scaffolds
Vegetables and calendula…
Cabbage and asparagus…
Cleared beds with rake dibber to space out and plant the lettuce plugs, great idea!
The leeks were under the hoops with landscape fabric over them.
Amazing herb beds with every herb imaginable!
My favorite! Herb bouquet nosegays.
and love that we could also buy straight bunches of herbs
I could not resist buying one.
and wanted to sit there and make them.
The biodynamic apples and many varieties of other fruits and vegetables were beautiful.
potatoes freshly dug
I also loved this design of an outdoor barbecue.
It was surrounded by amazing fruit trees of unusual varieties.
I also bought some lovely red currants and other vegetables to snack on for the next few days.
My next post will be on The Goetheanum and other architecture there and on Rudolf Steiner.