Past Events



Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum
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Short conference report: Transforming the earth into a garden

Ralph Machunze

During this year's agriculture conference and annual gathering of the biodynamic movement which took place at the Goetheanum from 3rd to 6th February 2016, over 550 participants came together from all corners of the earth to explore how the earth might be transformed into a global garden. Biodynamic farmers and gardeners are already hard at work on this and a picture was given during the conference of their activity in all its diversity and global reach.

In order to develop a garden as a living organism, it is necessary to consider the spirit of place, the genius loci. This is made possible by working with the local conditions and forming relationships. Examples were taken from a mountain farm in Norway, a park in the city of Singapore and an oasis in the Tunisian desert.

What we know as farming and gardening today has its origin in the ancient Persian epoch. The archetypal nature of gardening and farming which at that time was always associated with ritual, remains as real and current as ever. This is expressed in a verse handed down to us from that time that connects with the conference theme.

Bring the sun to the earth.
You humans who live between light and darkness.
Fight for the light,
Love the earth.
Transform the plants,
Transform the animals,
Transform yourself,
Into a radiant jewel!

Work of this kind today requires a conscious knowledge of nature and an attitude of soul which presupposes a cultivation of the inner garden so that a feeling of responsibility for the earth can blossom. It is a way of meeting the needs and longings of our children and young people by engaging them in activities that connect them with the earth.

The global relationship between horti-culture and agri-culture was made visible during the conference and shone a light on the movement's further development.

Next year's conference from 1st - 4th February 2017 will have the theme: Building Soil Fertility – from Natural Foundations to Cultural Tasks