The Southeast annual biodynamic event went off without ahitch as once again our log cabin became transformed into a conference center. About 150 folks roam about for a few days of fun and feasting, most of themcamping in the field. Speakers came from as far away as Oregon and Costa Rica,along with a good representation from our more nearby states.
Resilience and restoration were the themes this year. Fridayafternoon saw us touring the farm to look at the gardens and the cows. Aspecial treat was opening up the beehive and getting to taste the honey.
Phillip Lyvers had the floor after the evening banquet. Hegrew up poor, on poor soil, and did not see the soil restore itself properlyuntil he began using the biodynamic method. His farm is unusual, as it is aconfinement hog operation with commercial corn and soy beans also using soundorganic principles.
Saturday was busy. The lectures ran all day, touching onhomeopathy, permaculture, composting, nutrition, soil restoration andgardening. We stuffed cow horns and made chamomile sausages, along with a batchof barrel compost.
Fiddles accompanied lunch, and children ran around having ablast. Another farm tour happened in the afternoon, making it back in time forthe dinner circle. The weather was perfect and a sense of community envelopedus.
After another great supper a lively talent show entertainedthe crowd, with a big bonfire for the background. Then the barn danced the restof the night away.
On Sunday we read and discussed the beginning of lecture IIof the Agriculture Course. As wetried to understand the difference between influences and forces, lectures weregiven in German, a much different language than English. They put wordstogether more than we do, and we really don’t have adequate phrases to explainwhat they mean.
A final farm tour rounded out Sunday, and I was ready for anearly bed time. But a consultation kept me interested and up for an extra fewhours. Monday morning arrived and soon the van was full of vegetables and Iheaded to Nashville.
It was there while at a meeting at Vanderbilt that I heard that our grant was accepted. It means a lot of work for me. I’m humbled and grateful for all the support this community has given for what we do.
After a full day of consulting on Tuesday, I came home toget the place ready for 18 third graders who stayed with us for three days.That was a huge amount of fun, noise and cooking, campfires and creek time wereenjoyed, and a bit of farm work happened, too.
The opportunities for small farmers have never been so good.Nashville wants local food. I was surprised to learn Red Boiling Springs hasanother threat of chicken houses again. A visit to Hermitage Springs will letyou know what this would smell like.
A big thank you to all of the cooks, dishwashers, vendorsand speakers who inspired the conference. And an even bigger thank you toeveryone supporting good smelling agriculture.