Biodynamics2024 celebrates 1 year

Biodynamics2024 Pty Ltd was legally incorporated on 22nd April, 2009. For many years I have had the objective that biodynamics would become the farming method of preferred choice in Australia by 2024; and I have now incorporated that intention in this new activity. The year 2024 will be the centenary of the lecture series The Spiritual Foundations for the Development of Agriculture given by Rudolf Steiner at Koberwitz in June 1924. Over the past three years community perceptions have changed considerably regarding soil and soil carbon; the speed of this change gives me confidence that biodynamic farmers and gardeners will achieve a significant impact by 2024.

I admire and respect the many individuals and groups who are actively exploring the potential of biodynamics and owe a debt of gratitude especially to those who have given me support in so many ways over this first year of Biodynamics2024. I look forward to developing this activity as a service to the land, its people and our succeeding generations.

Work over the past year has included:

Workshops

Biodynamics2024 has held 18 workshops through the year and these will continue across the country. There are also requests for advanced workshops and the coming year will see more of these as a growing number of people, who have been using biodynamics for some years, are now seeking more information about the Spiritual Foundations from which biodynamics arises. In August the first of a new series of workshop will commence on this theme. This year will also see the start of a biodynamic course with 5 day intensives followed by extensive practical work through the WWOOFing network with further intensives planned for the future.

Preparations

I now have good supplies of Horn Manure, Horn Silica and Biodynamic Soil Activator thanks to the generous support of individuals enthusiastic about promotion of biodynamics in the community. No membership is required to purchase these preparations which are available online via the website in a number of standardised package weights with quoted prices including GST and postage. In the springtime I will have a greater supply of the compost preparations. The fish emulsion and seaweed brews can also be accessed through Biodynamics2024 but not online; please order fish emulsion,
seaweed brews and any non-standard orders via the office.

It remains my hope that biodynamic preparations will be made by local groups and shared around. I sell preparations to help beginners and fund the outreach and education work; I have never conceived of the biodynamic preparations as a product in the purely commercial sense.

Books

An increasing number of books and journals report research projects which confirm the significance of biodynamics in health, economy and nutrition. I will make more of these available in addition to our core biodynamic and spiritual scientific literature. Books are available via the website.

Website

www.biodynamics2024.com.au is designed to be a contact point for my work. It will focus on Biodynamics2024 events and related research with links to individuals, activities and projects that I know of and wish to support. I do not see the need to repeat what others have done so adequately and there are excellent biodynamic sites providing detailed information about biodynamics, which can be accessed via my site as well. The Recent updates page on the website includes all new items added in the previous month.

Office

Mark Fisher is my office associate and he keeps all matters cleared daily. Our objective is to keep administration simple and that all orders will be in the mail within 24 hours of receipt. Ordering and standard transactions are web-based so you can order and pay whenever it suits you, we also welcome calls from those who are not comfortable with online services. I take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank Mark for his great support during the past year.

Horns

Horns are a challenge for biodynamics; however, Biodynamics2024 has accessed a supply of horns. To fund this activity I have issued horn shares and invite you to contribute to the advancement of biodynamics in Australia by subscribing to this share offer. I am heartened and encouraged by the response to date. You will find more horn share information on the website and I am also happy to answer any questions; please feel free to call me.

Associative Economics

The agricultural practices of recent decades have created an urgent need to re-consider our approach. There is equally a need to review the economic structures we find ourselves enmeshed in. Biodynamics2024 will apply for membership of the Associative Economics Association (AEA) to participate in this global activity to connect what I experience as a biodynamic thinking into the world of economy and trade. I believe such a new economy will be made possible in time as more farmers practising biodynamics become interested in associative working. Participation in the work of the AEA will provide peer review to assist the structural development of Biodynamics2024.

Affiliations

Biodynamics has more to offer than just a farming technology. As biodynamic farmers increase in number and experience their production results will resource them to take initiatives in their local community. Australia imports over $4 billion worth of agricultural chemicals. When farmers shed the need for these chemicals there will be $4 billion for them to spend locally on initiatives of their choice. Biodynamics2024 will encourage and support such community oriented contributions. Some of the activities I have been part of during the first year include:

Bio-agriculture

Erwin Berney has done a formidable work identifying research showing the benefits of bioagriculture for the environment and climate change. He has used this research to present a compelling case for solving our global environmental challenges by simply adding bio-agriculture to our business as usual practices. I am collaborating in this project, making Erwin’s work more widely available and supporting the adoption of biodynamics. see www.bio-agriculture.org

Charles Sturt University

In 2009 I was invited to tutor the Biodynamic Agriculture unit of the Bachelor of Ecological Agriculture & Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management, School of Agricultural & Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt University and will continue this in the spring semester of 2010.

Demeter International

Over the past 30 years I have developed and maintained a relationship with what is now Demeter International (DI); I continue to maintain these connections although certification is not my passion. I understand a need for certification, however I am personally more excited by growers who are clear about their ethics and enthusiastic to see their customers receive the best food possible – at a price that is equitable and realistic.

Organic Federation of Australia

The Organic Federation of Australia (OFA) is Australia’s organic peak body. This provides an important industry participation in government policy and debate. Biodynamics2024 is a member and I continue to serve as an OFA board member.

Outlook Australia (OA), Regenerating our Landscape Project

This is an initiative of the Major General Michael Jeffrey, the former governor-general of Australia, with the intention to regenerate Australia’s soils to full health and a sustainable condition. A number of biodynamic farmers are making important contributions to this project and my participation is directed at ensuring competent biodynamic farmers already running environmentally viable enterprises
become active in this project.

Going forward

Increasing research programs are indicating that the cumulative, generational consequences of poor nutrition will be dire. However, I am confident it is possible to grow food that will prevail over these projections. We can also build networks which recognise and celebrate diversity; where hierarchies of function, unique individual capacities, supersede hierarchies of authority, in which individuals
seek power over others.

If you would like to find out more about Biodynamics2024 please visit my website or contact me. Again a warm-hearted and deeply felt thank you to the many of you who have been so generous in your support throughout this first year; I know, beyond doubt, I could not have succeeded in this way without your help and encouragement. I also wish you well in your biodynamic endeavours.

Aye
Hamish Mackay

April, 2010

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