ECOLOGY

Biodynamic farming

Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic, ecological and ethical form of organic farming and gardening that respects animals, plants and minerals. The principles of biodynamic farming follow the insights of Rudolf Steiner from 1924, and the guidelines that ensued from these, and biodynamics have been developed by farmers and researchers all over the world since.

One of the defining features of biodynamic farming is the use of preparations, made from herbs, minerals and fermented manure. These are prepared carefully and used as supplements that heal and revitalize the soil, impacting taste, quality and nutritional properties of whatever is grown on the farm or garden. Biodynamics views the farm as an ecosystem, and strives to support the whole of the ecosystem through respectful practices. The use of preparations is intended to support the diversity and balance of this farm ecosystem.

Tinh Truc Gia (TTG) started to develop its biodynamic garden in 2009. Since 2016, our Camphill Community garden also includes a cow, a bull and a calf. These animals play a central role in biodynamic agriculture.

Our wish is, through TTG, to contribute to caring for Mother Earth, by employing these holistic healing methods. Our wish is not just to practice biodynamic agriculture, but also to share it widely and help foster the expansion of biodynamics in Vietnam. Pioneering biodynamic agriculture in Vietnam, we decided to become a learning center, starting off with Module I in January 2017. This first module aimed to give an introduction to the basic principles of biodynamic agriculture, helping participants get in touch with the practice in a three-day course. In January 2018, we followed up with Module II, focusing both on reiterating the basic principles, and also including further materials for participants to expand their practice. The course included a mix of theoretical knowledge from Rudolf Steiner, as well as practical activities involving going out into the garden, looking at composting and preparing biodynamic supplements together. Through our courses, participants also get a sense of the community-life of TTG first hand, therefore experiencing Steiner’s integrated view of socio-economic life.

Follow-up modules we be posted in our Upcoming Events page

Deep Ecology & The Work that Reconnects

Deep Ecology, both a philosophy and a movement, is a term that was coined by the Norwegian mountaineer and philosopher Arne Naess in the 1970s. Deep Ecology challenges Anthropocentrism, the belief that humans are superior to other living beings in the universe, by offering a more Ecocentric view of life.

Schumacher College Deep Ecologist Dr. Stephan Harding describes Ecology as the scientific study of nature and Deep Ecology as the philosophical study of how we should relate to nature. For example, an ecological study of the water buffalo might teach about what the water buffalo eats, where it lives, or the composition of its family, not teaching individuals how they should relate to the water buffalo. Deep Ecology, however, strives to emphasize how to recognize the intrinsic value of the water buffalo (the value of the water buffalo beyond its usefulness to humans), teaching, as a result, how to respect, care for, and live in harmony with the water buffalo.

The Work that Reconnects is an educational framework that comes from the Deep Ecology tradition. Although many teachers, environmentalists, and spiritual leaders have contributed to WTR, the root teacher of this process is Dr. Joanna Macy. Macy developed the WTR practices over years of environmental activism and anti-nuclear work around the world. WTR and the Deep Ecology movement, are a direct response to the ecological challenges of our time. The philosophy of WTR is that humans are responsible for much of the harm done to nature including climate change, the mass extinction of species, soil degradation, and ocean acidification. This is due not only to our behaviors and systems, but also, our false assumption that nature is something separate from ourselves that we can exploit for our own gain. The ‘reconnects’ part of WTR refers to the reconnection with nature that must be made if we are to be responsible co-members in what Macy calls the ‘Web of Life’ (2014, pg. 61). What follows from this connection is a desire to protect our fragile environment and live in harmony with nature.

 

 

TWR Workshops and Deep Ecology events are posted on our Upcoming Events page.