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Southeastern Biodynamic Association

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A flurry of activity ensued around the end of September, as we once again turned the cabin into a conference center. The living room became a dining hall and lecture room, and the whole house got a good cleaning. Pumpkins and gourds dotted the corners of the yard and an outdoor kitchen materialized.

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Old friends started arriving and setting up their campsites. New bracing for the barn loft floor got done in time for major decorating. Kids began playing and the cooks kept cooking. Here we go again.

Alan Savory’s holistic management relies on the proper utilization of pastureland, and Greg covered it superbly. Richard and David were talking about bees in another three hour workshop, when I realized I’d forgotten to collect seven buckets of manure. I interrupted everyone and organized an improptu farm tour. As that’s where the cows and bees were, everyone agreed and off we went.

The Friday night banquet featured eggplant parmesan, salads, greens, potatoes and pumpkin pies. Everything we ate all weekend long was homegrown and delicious. These conferences are not about lectures, on farming, they are about eating farm fresh food. Our surprise guest of honor Friday night was Crazy Owl, our local, 83 year old herbalist, and the bonfire became an oyster roast.

Saturday began with talks on radionics, beekeeping, nature spirits, calcium and silica, the biodynamic preparations and the plants used to make them and the garden I started for a Nashville restaurant. After a huge lunch we experienced homeopathy, minerals for health, anthroposophical medicine, compost tea, bio-char, homemade jam and mustard, and the spiritual hierarchies. I continued keeping horn stuffing going, and we made a batch of barrel compost.

Young kids bounced all over the place, and many young adults were itching to bounce. Another feast was followed by the long anticipated talent show. We saw skits and tricks, song and dance, hoola hoping and poetry reading. The out of control bonfire lent excitement, all leading up to a rock’n’roll show barn dance. The break dancing was unbelievable, it was biodynamics at it’s best.

We picked up all the pieces Sunday morning, and had our “Church.” This is when we read from the agriculture course, and the lecture was number four. We studied why in the world would we stuff a cow horn with manure. All who wanted some were encouraged to take home horn manure, horn silica, and barrel compost at no cost.

A tent was set up for trading, and the JPI bookshop was a hit. Honey, jams and a few other goodies were also available. And the young children kept playing.

Our last workshops were about raw foods and interns. A circle formed and everyone was either a farmer with intern or an intern. Everyone spoke in turn. A need arose for more connection in our Southeastern biodynamic association of these two groups of people. Although each farm has unique intern dynamics, the uniqueness of each farm can be nothing but valuable for those wanting to learn. We hope to move interns from farm to farm in our area on a more regular basis.

I was active in planning organic conferences in the early 1980’s. In 1987 we started an annual biodynamic conference in Georgia, which moved here in 1996. Within a few years it was no longer just a conference for the Southeastern Biodynamic Association, it was a harvest festival. It has further evolved into the annual biodynamic family reunion.

Long hugs and loving goodbyes were Sunday afternoon’s activities, followed by a small candlelight dinner of leftovers. About 150 folks attended, and about 40 gave us enough money to cover expenses, everyone pitched in where needed, doing dishes and chopping vegetables. A big thank you to all who came, especially the vibrant youngsters. “With our agriculture conference we have also enjoyed a real farm festival,” is as true today as it was in 1924.