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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 152 - Ueli Hurter & Jean-Michel Florin on Biodynamics at the Goetheanum in Switzerland
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Biodynamics ~ Celebrating the 100 Year Anniversary at the Goetheanum!

Recorded at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, this podcast episode features Jean-Michel Florin and Ueli Hurter, the Co-Leaders of the Goetheanum’s Agriculture Section, which is the global headquarters for the Biodynamic farming and land stewardship movement. Preparing to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Rudolf Steiner’s agriculture lectures in 2024, Jean-Michel and Ueli discuss the momentous Agriculture Conference (titled “Sun, Earth, Human”) that will take place at the Goetheanum February 7-10, 2024, with a focus on climate, resilience, nutrition, and health.

About Biodynamics

In 1924, when Rudolf Steiner gave eight lectures on agriculture in Koberwitz (Kobierzyce), Poland, the Biodynamic movement was conceived, and an advanced form of ecosystem regeneration and stewardship framework was launched. Responding to requests from farmers to provide guidance for improved vitality and nutrition after many of them observed declining health and productivity in their farms as a result of utilizing the synthetic chemical fertilizers stemming from the munitions industry of WWI, Steiner’s recommendations for the foundation of an advanced form of organic agricultural, and a land stewardship practice involving intimate human-nature relationships. Biodynamics involves the use of myriad “preparations” – certain herbaceous plants, manures, and inorganic minerals buried, composted, and “transmuted” underground for months at a time, resulting in extremely potent fertilizers and life-enhancing organic agricultural inputs. In his characteristically deep, spiritual style, Steiner had this to say about the state of our food and agricultural systems: “The most important thing is to make the benefits of our agricultural preparations available to the largest possible areas over the entire Earth, so that the Earth may be healed and the nutritive quality of its produce improved in every respect. This is a problem of nutrition. Nutrition as it is today does not supply the strength necessary for manifesting the spirit in physical life. A bridge can no longer be built from thinking to will and action. Food plants no longer contain the forces people need for this.” As it is currently being practiced around the world, from small-holder farms in India to high-end vineyards in California, and from Australia to Europe, biodynamics not only provides improved farm ecology and nutrient density in food products, but also an important approach to carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation grounded in humanity’s aligned co-creation with nature. All of this and more will be featured at the upcoming Agriculture Conference in February, 2024 (agriculture-conference.org).   

About the Goetheanum

Named in honor of the great author, scientist, and esoteric mystic, Johann von Goethe, the Goetheanum is a spiritually-energized theater, gathering center, and ceremonial mecca that embodies the spirit and practices of Rudolf Steiner’s immense legacy, which bridges spirituality, science, and artistic expression. From biodynamics to Waldorf education and from Eurythmy to all-natural cosmetics, Steiner’s legacy (or “impulse”) has spread world-wide, with vitalizing impacts in agriculture, pedagogy, medicine, body movement, and personal care products.

About Jean-Michel Florin

Co-leader of the Section for Agriculture from 2010. Studied agriculture and nature conservation, coordinator of the biodynamic association in France (MABD), author and editor of books and journals, expert and speaker on the subjects: Goethean botany, medicinal plants, landscape, viticulture, etc.

Responsibilities: Head of the Section Responsible for the professional groups olive growing, viticulture, consulting, training, landscaping, fruit growing, herbs & medicinal plants. Collaboration in the Goetheanum Leadership.

About Ueli Hurter

Co-leader of the Section for Agriculture from 2010 and, since 2020, also on the Executive Council of the General Anthroposophical Society. Member of the Board of Directors at Weleda since 2019. Biodynamic farmer on the Ferme-Fromagerie de L’Aubier and part of the management of L’Aubier until 2020. From 2002 board member of the International Biodynamic Association (IBDA) and on the Supervisory Board of the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International (BFDI) since 2021. Author of Biodynamisch!

Responsibilities: Head of the Section. Responsible for: Projects, Economic Council of the Section, preparations and seeds. Collaboration in the Goetheanum Leadership.

Resources & Related Episodes

www.sektion-landwirtschaft.org/en/

www.agriculture-conference.org

Ep. 147 – Sheila Foster, Exec. Dir., Biodynamic Demeter Alliance

Ep. 98 – Lin Bautze, Geotheanum

Ep. 47 – Thea Maria Carlson, Past Exec Dir., Biodynamic Association

Ep. 44 – Pat Frazier, Peace & Plenty Farm

Ep. 5 – Stephanie Syson, Biodynamic Botanicals & Herbal Medicine

Ep. 3 – Brook Le Van, Sustainable Settings Biodynamic Ranch

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