All posts tagged: biodynamic

The growing place – The Field, Weleda UK

As I walked around the Weleda Gardens with Head Gardener Claire Hatterley, you can’t help but realise that nature is the teacher here. I was lucky enough to be shown around one of Weleda UK’s biodynamic gardens ‘The Field’ by Head Gardener, Claire Hattersley. Claire has tended these 13 hectares of land for over 20 years. Not only did she tour me around the meadows and crops she describes more as a ‘nature reserve’ than a garden, she also invited me to learn about biodynamic agriculture first hand – helping the team plant a new field of Calendula. I chatted Claire about how she grew a nature reserve, in the very meadow it all started. Growing a nature reserve “This meadow was actually grown 15 years ago by myself and a team. We trod the land with our boots, not with mechanical rollers.” “Machinery didn’t do it, people did it.” “And this become the seeding meadow for all the other meadows is on the site. And now our local wildlife trust is taking our seeds …

Wandering the Weleda garden of Bouxwiller, France

If you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener. Seems to be the case for Pierre Kappler, Head Gardener for Weleda France and Switzerland. He has worked in the 1.5 hectare biodynamic gardens in Bouxwiller, France for over 17 years. Pierre grew up in gardens. As a third-generation gardener, he grew up in a greenhouse operation and was even born in the farmhouse on the private garden he manages today. He completed his apprenticeship in biodynamic agriculture 17 years ago in collaboration with Weleda and the Goetheanum. 4 gardeners assist Pierre to tend the gardens where over 40-60 medicinal plants are grown. These are harvested in the morning then delivered to Weleda where the production laboratories process the plants by the afternoon. This is why Weleda has its own gardens. To make sure high quality raw materials are close to their production sites to guarantee the quality of the products. As we walked through the gardens I interviewed Pierre for a green gardening book that is in the pipeline. I enjoyed talking …

Today’s bee crisis was predicted back in 1923

Rudolf Steiner predicted in 1923 that in about 80 -100 years bees will suffer a major crisis – mainly due to the artificial breeding of queens. This week, I had the amazing experience of being able to see biodynamic beekeeping at work, and to see the relocation of a bee swarm without artificial breeding of a queen. It led me to look into Steiner’s theories of the great value of bees in nature and his predictions for what would endanger them. The Goetheanum, the stage where Steiner delivered many of his 15 talks on this topic looms over me while I research and write this article. I can’t help but imagine the people walking up that same hill I have to ask their own questions about the state of bees – the same things I am wanting to know more about, 95 years later. We have all read countless articles about the fact that over sixty percent of the American honeybee population has died during the past ten years, and that it’s a problem the …