Midwinter Agriculture Intensive
COSMIC & EARTHLY NUTRITION
With Mac Mead, Cynthia & Harald Hoven, Branko Furst, Kim Vaughan & Megan Durney, Jennifer Fox, Sea-Anna Vasilas, Jennifer Kleinbach
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This year’s Midwinter Agriculture Intensive with the Pfeiffer Center at Threefold Community Farm will delve into the theme of cosmic and earthly nutrition in both the human being and the farm individuality, from January 13th through 16th.
We will explore foundations from Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture Course and the human encounter, the breakdown and up-building processes, with the nature of food. The art and practice of eurythmy will weave throughout the program to provide an artistic lens through which we can actually experience spiritual content and truths.
The Midwinter Agriculture Intensive 2023 will include the following presentations:
- “Human Individuality and the Farm Individuality” by Mac Mead
- “The Biodynamic Preparations as Earthly and Cosmic Nutrition for the Land” by Harald Hoven
- “The Digestive Process through the Four Elements” by Cynthia Hoven
- “Cosmic Nutrition through the Sense Experience” by Branko Furst
- “Food for the Senses: Cooking with Intention” by Jennifer Fox
- “Cow Observation: Cosmic and Earthly Nutrition Made Visible” by Kim Vaughan & Megan Durney
- “Nutrition through Movement” by Sea-Anna Vasilas & Cynthia Hoven
Through our conversations, presentations, artistic activities, and shared meals set with cosmic and earthly nutrition in mind, we hope to deepen our understanding of a kind of vital nutrition that can support the health of the earth, our unique individual destinies in the world, and our spiritual capacities.
This long weekend is truly a unique educational and social opportunity to broaden and deepen your understanding of the role of biodynamics in the development of humanity and agriculture. Join us from Friday evening through Monday morning for meals, conversations, and workshops to dive deeper into the cosmic and earthly nature of biodynamics.
Please note: This is not an introductory course. Participants are expected to be familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture lectures and to have some working knowledge of biodynamics.
REGISTRATION: Click on the ticket link below to register.
MEALS: Catered lunch Saturday-Monday and festive dinners on Saturday and Sunday, all provided by Threefold Café, are included in your registration fee. The Café will also be open for dinner on Friday evening and will be offering simple breakfast options each morning on a pay-as-you-go basis.
SCHEDULE: The course begins with a presenter plenum on Friday evening at 7:30 pm and concludes with lunch at 12:30 pm on Monday. Click here to see the detailed schedule.
DISCOUNT RATE: We are offering a discounted rate of $295 for Fellowship members and employees at institutions in the Threefold community. To obtain the discount registration link, please email [email protected] letting us know your affiliation.
APPRENTICE RATE: A rate of $195 is available for farm apprentices who were active during the 2022 season or will be apprenticing in 2023. Please send an email to [email protected] with a short description of your apprenticeship and why you feel this course would benefit your continued learning. Once reviewed and approved, you will receive a link to register at the apprentice rate.
CANCELLATION POLICY: You may cancel your registration any time before December 31, 2022, for a full refund, less a $25 administrative fee. No refunds will be offered after December 31, 2022.
ACCOMODATIONS are available on campus at the Holder House, through our local homestay list, or at several hotels a short drive away. Click here to visit the Holder House web page for more information about these accommodation options. Once registered, you will receive a booking code to reserve a room at Holder House.
MAC MEAD, a biodynamic farmer since 1975, mentors the Pfeiffer Center and Duryea Farm Leadership Team and is lead faculty of the Pfeiffer Center’s adult education programs. Mac regularly speaks at conferences of the Biodynamic Association (BDA), the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). In 2016, he was an invited speaker at “The Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture,” a conference of the Harvard Divinity School.
HARALD HOVEN founded and ran Raphael Garden at Rudolf Steiner College (Fair Oaks, CA) from 1987 to 2007. There he trained close to 100 apprentices, created a seed-saving and breeding program, established biodynamic adult education at RSC, and operated a year-round 70-member CSA. Since his retirement from RSC in 2017, he has consulted, trained, and mentored biodynamic farmers in the U.S. and abroad, focusing on preparation making and biodynamic practices.
CYNTHIA HOVEN has worked as a eurythmy teacher, performer, and therapist for over 35 years. Her work has also included in-depth teaching of biodynamic students and practitioners in collaborative workshops with her husband Harald Hoven. She worked as a key professor at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA, for over 25 years, where she also founded and directed a full-time eurythmy training program. She now offers extensive workshops in China, Taiwan, Guatemala, and elsewhere.
Prof. BRANKO FURST, MD, is a graduate of the University of Ljubljana Medical School, Slovenia, Europe, and he completed residency in anesthesiology in Portsmouth and London, UK. The pursuit of an academic career took him to the US where he joined the Department of Anesthesiology at Texas Tech University Medical School in El Paso, Texas. Since 1993, he served on the faculty at Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, and retired from clinical duties and teaching in October 2021. His main research interest is bridging the conventional and anthroposophical understanding of the human being. He has authored several peer reviewed articles as well as a monograph The Heart and Circulation – An Integrative Model and has lectured to professional and lay audiences in the US and internationally.
KIM VAUGHAN, Herdsperson and Dairy Manager, heads up the only dairy herd in Rockland County. In addition to supporting all aspects of Threefold Community Farm operations and administration, she is an active member of the Fellowship Community’s Administrative Circle and Community Council. Kim first met biodynamics at a year-long course with Harald Hoven at Raphael Garden in Fair Oaks, CA. She soon joined their CSA and became a star volunteer, serving on the steering committee, organizing fundraisers, and milking the cows on weekends. In 2016, Kim stepped away from Waldorf kindergarten teaching to become a full-time apprentice at Raphael Garden, followed by a summer at Fulcrum Farm in Grass Valley, CA, where she helped tend a small herd of Scottish Highland cows.
MEGAN DURNEY is the Farm Manager and coordinates the daily work on our Threefold Community Farm, and is an instructor for Pfeiffer Center’s one-year part-time biodynamic training. She takes a leading role in planning and carrying out our annual Plant Sale and each season’s vegetable production. She directs our seed saving, herb growing, and herbal product production, and manages our CSA, Farm Stand, and sales to other outlets. Megan is a board member of the Nature Institute and Biodynamic Demeter Alliance (BDA). Megan joined the Pfeiffer Center as an intern in 2006 and became a staff member in 2010. In 2014-2015, she studied seed saving under Harald Hoven at Raphael Garden in Fair Oaks, CA.
JENIFER FOX, graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. Chef Jennifer Fox worked at Oceana Restaurant in St. Thomas, USVI, where her work with local farmers shaped her menu development. She continued pursuing her passion for local ingredients at Peninsula Grill and Sea Island Savory Herb Farm in Charleston, SC, and was opening Sous Chef at Quality Meats, Miami before moving north to run the Threefold Café kitchen.
SEA-ANNA VASILAS has been teaching eurythmy internationally since 2011, after graduating from the four-year eurythmy training at Eurythmy Spring Valley in Chestnut Ridge, NY. She first encountered eurythmy through her work with biodynamic agriculture and has continually been inspired by the living relationship between biodynamics and eurythmy. Sea-Anna earned her MA in Performance Eurythmy from Alanus Hochschule (Germany), and is currently a member of the Eurythmy Spring Valley faculty and ensemble.
JENNIFER KLEINBACH, Speech Artist, teaches speech for the School of Eurythmy, Sunbridge Institute, and the Fiber Craft Studio. She also coordinates community speech ensembles for local festival performances. Jennifer received her Speech Formation diploma from the Speech School of North America and her eurythmy diploma from Eurythmy Spring Valley. She has toured with Eurythmy Spring Valley Ensemble as a eurythmist and speaker, and performed in Threefold community productions of Rudolf Steiner’s mystery dramas (2007, 2012-2014). Jennifer holds a BA in classical languages from Haverford College and an MA in medieval studies from the University of Notre Dame.