Last week, in collaboration with The Resilience Hub, MCWS hosted a series of events for the community featuring Thea Maria Carlson, executive director of the national Biodynamic Association, who lives in northern California. Like Waldorf education, biodynamics was initiated nearly 100 years ago by Rudolf Steiner and is now practiced all over the world. Biodynamics “enliven(s) co-creative relationships between humans and the earth, transforming the practice and culture of agriculture to renew the vitality of the earth, the integrity of our food, and the health and wholeness of our communities”.
Over a whirlwind 2 ½ days, Thea immersed herself into this community: she joined students during Michaelmas and saw them build pollinator hotels, she spoke to our faculty about the benefits and principles of biodynamics, she spoke at a dinner to biodynamics enthusiasts who traveled from all over northern New England to meet her, she participated in a Round Table discussion between 12 local non-profits and organizations whose work relies on healthy “living” soil, she gave a public talk on biodynamics and climate change, and she led a half-day composting workshop that transformed our Early Childhood compost pile. Those who participated in any of the events came away energized and excited about biodynamics. They also appreciated the connections they had made through these gatherings.
Being a center of learning for the entire community is an aspiration for MCWS, especially as we mark this 100th anniversary of Waldorf education. This collaboration with Thea Carlson clearly demonstrated the immense benefits of partnering with other local organizations and individuals from outside the Waldorf school community. MCWS was the host of these events, but it was made possible only through our long-term collaboration with The Resilience Hub and our collective ability to reach larger audiences by engaging the professionals and members of the following organizations: Avena Botanicals, Biodynamic Association, MOFGA, Freeport Conservation Trust, Lucy Birkett Consulting, Milkweed Farm, UNH’s Sustainability Institute, Wild Seed Project, Wild Carrot Herbs, and Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment. We are very grateful to each of these groups, and the individuals who participated, for sharing their knowledge and joining the conversation about supporting healthy, living soils.
From the Farm Field and Forest Committee:
Lynn Wetterhorn, Brian Kessler, Ellen Labbe, Lynne Espy, Lucretia Woodruff