The information below is excerpted from the website for the Guelph Organic Conference Jan 24-27th:
Practical Aspects of Biodynamic Farming, Thurs. Jan. 25, 1-5 pm
In this 4-hr workshop, we invite you to view the farm as a living organism and learn practices that work in harmony with both the physical and the spiritual realm. Robby Gass and Chris Boettcher will highlight the synergies between biodynamic, organic and regenerative farming approaches and how we can apply lessons learned from each to enhance our understanding of soil and plant health. At the heart of the biodynamic method are the preparations used to treat the soil, compost and crops. Robby and Chris will lead us in making most of these preparations, as we discuss their healing effects on the earth and its produce. Participants will have the opportunity to handle the various materials and preparations to gain a clear understanding of why they are important to the wellbeing of the whole farm and garden.
With over 30 years of experience, Robby Gass is a seasoned agricultural manager, consultant and trainer of large-scale mixed organic and biodynamic farming, soil biology and market gardening. Born and raised in South Africa to English-Scottish parents, Robby broadened his understanding and expertise as an educator and consultant in horticulture and organic farming, while earning an MSc in organic farming from the SRUC, Glasgow University. He then attended Dr. Elaine Ingham’s world-renowned Soil Food Web School in Oregon where he was awarded a certificate in soil microscopy.
After coming to Canada in January 2022, Robby worked as Director of Regenerative Agriculture at Refeed Farms in BC, as well as establishing ALBA Organics Consulting in Canada. In December 2022, he was appointed as the Director of Biodynamic Education at the Rudolf Steiner College Canada in Ontario to develop and direct a distance learning, private career training program for biodynamic farming and gardening, a role he continues to fulfil. Robby loves to share his knowledge and experience across a wide array of agricultural and ecological entities towards improving the way we steward our planet for a healthier future.
Coming out of conventional agriculture, Chris Boettcher has practiced biodynamic farming for 25 years. His family-run farm is located in mid-western Ontario. They sell Demeter-certified grains and tofu beans, as well as marketing about 500 lambs from their pasture-based sheep flock. The farm also includes a family orchard and a 5 to 10-acre vegetable operation. The newest addition is a forage-based 200-goat dairy run by the two oldest sons.
History of farming in regards to human and social development, Fri. Jan. 26, 1:30-3:00 pm
Understanding the difference between “genetic potential” and natural ability. Husbandry as the foundation for developing your own local breed. Rationalization as a symbolic form of divorce. Renewing the commitment to “husbandry”
Michael Schmidt has been farming for over 50 years, 40 years in Ontario at Glencolton farms. He has a masters degree in farming. He always tried to cultivate a balanced diversified farm with the focus on social and economic sustainability. The model of co-operative and farmshare ownership as a way to connect people with their food has been a lifelong struggle in the face of bureaucratic hurdles which focuses on rationalizing food production, food distribution and food safety regulations. A diversified livestock and the breeding of animals based on the principle of farm specific breeds has been successfully implemented at Glencolton Farms since 1983.
Of course there are lots more lectures and workshops at this 4-day conference. Find complete details on their website.
Summer Festival brochure 2024:
© Rudolf Steiner College Canada 2024