Biodynamic Preparations-going live on Monday 23rd November
This unit aims to provide you with knowledge of both the biodynamic spray and compost preparations, how they are made and used and their integration in the management of an agricultural enterprise. This includes exploring how the understanding of soil, plants and animals combine in this unique aspect of biodynamic practice. Current research into the preparations and their use will be included alongside an exploration of the principles that inform practice, and the use of preparations may help to bring harmony, balance and stability to the farm organism.
The preparations are one of the most noteworthy aspects of the biodynamic approach to farming and gardening. Biodynamics can be seen to share a number of tenets and practices in common with other holistic approaches – avoidance of chemical fertilizers, encouraging diversity and resilience in crops and herd through biodiversity, care for the soil as the basis for other life processes etc.
It is the biodynamic preparations, however, which bring a distinctly different gesture to this approach, and often stand out for supporters and critics alike as one of the key features that distinguishes biodynamic methods in agriculture and horticulture.
If you are interested in the biodynamic preparations, why not join us for an eight-week in depth exploration of their history, current practice and new research in this central practice of biodynamic agriculture.
Over the course of eight weeks this unit aims to provide knowledge of the biodynamic spray and compost preparations, and how the understanding of soil, plants and animals combine in this unique aspect of biodynamic practice. This will include how they are made and used and how they can be integrated into the management of an agricultural enterprise, with the aim of harmony, balance and stability within the farm organism. Current research in the field will be included alongside interviews with practitioners involved in this research.
This unit has been developed by Jonathon Code, who also developed the Biodynamic Chemistry Unit. Jonathan is one of the academic faculty leading the Masters in Researching Holistic Approaches to Agroecology at Crossfields Institute. He has a deep interest in Consciousness Studies, Western Esotericism, the natural sciences and education. These interests informed both his Bachelor’s degree (Integral Studies, CIIS, California), and his M. Ed (Social and Environmental Education, RSUC Oslo). Jonathan has taught practical chemistry, phenomenology and nature study to learners of all ages for many years, and he continues to contribute to adult and higher education initiatives both in the UK and abroad. Jonathan’s book Muck and Mind; Encountering Biodynamic Agriculture is distributed by Lindisfarne/Floris books.
Registrations are still being taken; please get in touch if you are interested!
This unit will focus on the biodynamic preparations and will include a look at;
- The history of the preparations and their introduction through the Agriculture course; principles of the preparations
- The spray preparations
- The Compost preparations
- Other commonly used preparations
- Research and innovation in use of the preparations
Whereas the preparations may – when first encountered – seem to be made and used based on pretty straightforward indications (at least in practical terms), it does not take long to discover that in the realm of biodynamic practice, there is a diversity of perspective on how they are made, applied, stored and what they contribute to the agricultural process. This sometimes contradictory and contrasting range of advice and insight is actually a great learning opportunity, and our aim in this unit is to help you orient in this very interesting terrain! You will not necessarily find definitive answers or conclusions, but a range of perspectives – both from theoretical points of view and from the experience of various practitioners.
Ultimately, we are all asked to form our own relationship to the Biodynamic preparations and whereas these may adhere to one or other perspective put forward by others, there is an element in how we each understand, make and use the preparations which will arise from our own processes of understanding and experience.
We will also hear from various practitioners, researchers and individuals who in one way or another have come to work and/or study these remarkable creations in some depth.
We also encourage you to participate in the making and use of the preparations yourself, as this is of course one of the best ways to deepen our understanding of their use in the agricultural organism.
About the College
The Biodynamic Agricultural College came out of a long history of biodynamic agriculture education at Emerson College in cooperation with the Biodynamic Association in the UK. It became independent in 2010 and is a limited company with charitable status.
The stated aims of the college are: to provide education in biodynamic agriculture.
At the moment the primary focus of the college is a distance learning course called Biodynamic Principles and Practice, which makes education in biodynamic agriculture available to students worldwide and at the same time offers support to an international culture of learning and researching biodynamic agriculture.