The prairie fields I farm are not Demeter certified. I do respect that biodynamic certification program, and at some point will engage in their process to get certified. Right now these fields are certified organic by the USDA. My farming practices are aspiring biodynamic. Currently there are no cows on the farm. This is a core requirement for a traditional biodynamic farm. There are however cows close by, and I do have access to manure, which is very important.
What is biodynamic about this operation?
*working with nature as a guiding principle, tuning in to natural patterns and cycles
*focusing on the soil’s health, regarding tractor work, crop rotations, biodynamic sprays
*making and using the biodynamic preparations, out in the field, and in the compost
*planting by the moon, using the Stella Natura calendar to guide other field activities
*carrying a clear intent as the farmer to engage with the farm as a living organism
*listening and paying attention to all the elements, the wildlife, the invisible world above and below, and of course the humans.
I was introduced to biodynamics in the early 1990s by an influential friend in BC, who had the most amazingly vibrant plants in his garden. However it was not until 2002 that I decided to learn more about biodynamic practices, along with my partner at the time. We travelled to biodynamic farms all over the USA, and worked on these farms in order to learn different aspects of agriculture, (dairy cows, seed production, grains, orchards, etc..) all in a biodynamic context. It was quite the two year odyssey, and I am very grateful for all the farmers who took us in and shared their lives and practices with us. The experience was very rich and inspiring. On that journey I met Dewane and Ann Morgan at their 500 acre farm “Midheaven” in Minnesota, who have remained important mentors for me.
Dewane is the first farmer who let me drive his tractors and he has been incredibly helpful from a distance in this grain growing experiment. With real passion and generosity, he has fielded all my calls, requesting his insight and experience. I am so admiring of this farmer’s commitment to the fostering of more biodynamic farms in this country and I certainly could not be doing this without his faithful support.