Since our last article, published in the Newsletter of Demeter-International in February 2017 on the situation of agriculture in Ukraine, and my first attempts to carry on the work of Xavier Florin to develop biodynamic agriculture in Ukraine, the first 20 days training course on biodynamic agriculture in Ukraine has just ended.
This extraordinary one-and-a-half-year experience was made possible by the collaborative work between the Ukrainian organic farmers association and a farm practicing biodynamic agriculture in western Ukraine (managed by Schiwa Semlja, a Swiss association) and myself as project coordinator.
At the beginning, we had only a great will to bring biodynamic agriculture in Ukraine. Things developed step by step, first thanks to the Section for Agriculture of the Goetheanum which gave the opportunity to Ivan Bojko (farmer) and Elena Berezovska (organic association president) to participate in the Agriculture Congress at Goetheanum in 2017.
Filled by enthusiasm and guided by the same Idea, our journey went on…
Our next step was the creation of a Ukrainian association for the development of biodynamic agriculture in May 2017. Almost 40 participants (farmers, consumers, scientists) attended the establishment of “Biodynamic Ukraine”. Our first project consisted in the setting up of a biodynamic agriculture training course for Ukrainian farmers. This project was ambitious as we wanted to invite European biodynamic experts in Ukraine and the financial costs were high. Yet, the Forces of the Universe made it possible as in July we obtained a financial support from the AFC (German project for organic agriculture development in Ukraine) to start our first module in August 2017 with 20 participants (organic farms of 1 ha to more than 5,000 ha).
The total training course included 7 modules, covering many aspects of biodynamic agriculture: soil, plant and animal sensitive approaches, rythms, biodynamic organisms, preparations, nutrition… Throughout the year, we went through moments of doubts when faced to financial or simply human relationship issues, but thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign in January, to the support of the Swiss association, to the funding of the three last modules by the AFC, and to new impulses in our work group, we have managed to complete our 20 days biodynamic training course.
The last module took place on Ivan Bojko’s farm in September 2018, with Jean-Michel Florin as a trainer on the subject “Building a biodynamic agriculture farm” which was the quintessence of all the themes that the participants have discovered during the course, and which gave new perspectives to biodynamic agriculture in Ukraine.