Raising life through partnerships, a human responsibility
We align with the belief and ethics that humans have been entrusted in caring for the Earth through partnership with the natural world, each other, and unseen forces. Raising life and improving soil over time is a spiritual path that requires practical training in our observational skills. If the natural world is truly seen, it can teach and guide our agricultural practices, to be more aligned with a path of interrelatedness and reciprocity with the living Earth.
Biodynamics intends not merely to maintain, but to raise the vitality of the Earth and its produce. Rather than aiming for mere sustainability, we in the biodynamic movement study and follow practices that actively heal and enliven the soil as we work it. Through resting areas of the farm, cover cropping, and composting, and the use of the Biodynamic preparations, we strive to improve the health of the Earth and quality of food we grow.
Animal stewardship is the thread that ties land and people together. Everyday care of our animals teaches us the respect, humility, skills and understanding needed to fully support these wise creatures who by their participation, create a dynamic agricultural landscape. Raised on grass, our Jersey-forward dairy herd not only supplies rich and creamy milk to our farmstead creamery, but they are the basis of our fertility cycle. While they clip the grass above, the biological community below the soil converts their manures and the pruned roots of forage plants into organic matter and carbon creating the ultimate symbiotic relationship between Earth, plant and animal. The manures we collect are transformed – through the addition of the Biodynamic Preparations – into compost with the wisdom to bring balance back to the land.
Captain and Paris, our team of Haflinger draft horses, provide horsepower for tillage and bed preparation. As with our cows, their manure is composted and applied to our fields and gardens, creating soil fertility, while their movement and grazing enhances the productivity and beauty of our pastures. Visiting children and elder members of the Fellowship Community delight in their interactions with these majestic animals. Using implements designed by Mac Mead, our horses also support ongoing research into the viability of field-scale raised-bed vegetable production using draft power.
Our Apiary is a vibrant and necessary element in the animal life of our farm. From the weeds in stream beds, to the crowns of tall maples, to the flowering vegetables in our fields, our honeybees touch every part of our farmscape with their warming life forces. In keeping honeybees, we honor the essential nature of this pollinator in relationship to our landscape and the human food supply. The primary mission of our apiary is educational: to demonstrate that a small, diversified farm can support a thriving bee operation, managed according to humane, organic and biodynamic principles.