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Finding the Spirit

in Agriculture

5th to 8th February 2020

Annual International Conference of the Biodynamic Movement

Introduction

Finding the Spirit in Agriculture There is a growing desire to find ways which expand the purely material approach to the world. The spiritual orientation of biodynamic agriculture arouses the interest of increasing numbers of people. At a first glance there seems to be little in common between a quest for the spiritual dimension and practical agriculture. However, when we are dealing with the real experience of the spiritual in the world, this always requires the whole human being. The conference will show how integrating the spiritual aspect is helpful in understanding our current situation and how it can assist us in our practical work. This spiritual approach can be particularly beneficial for the major challenges of our time. For instance, in understanding and getting to grips with the environmental changes (climate crises, loss of biodiversity, etc.), for the encounter with the virtual and digital world, and also for the difficulties in working together in the social setting. Biodynamic agriculture has developed into a global movement, bringing it into contact with different spiritual movements. The Agricultural Conference 2020 offers an opportunity to become receptive to others and develop a mutual understanding. Inspiring impulses and diverse spiritual exercise paths help us in a very practical way to act independently and responsibly in agriculture. The presentations will deal with different facets of a modern approach to spirituality in agriculture. The 3-day workshops offer the opportunity to discover new approaches and exercise paths and to deepen our knowledge of current topics. Music, artistic workshops, guided tours in and around the Goetheanum and an exhibition all help to bring the spiritual aspect alive. We invite all friends of the biodynamic movement to join us in “Finding the spirit in agriculture” and creating a special conference together!

Jean-Michel Florin & Ueli Hurter

Wednesday, 5. February, 3 p.m.

Welcome "Rudolf Steiner – 100 years ahead of the science of his time"

André Leu (English)

The biodynamic movement was the first of the formal organic agricultural movements. It has met with criticism from mainstream science and agriculture that calls it ‘muck and magic’ pseudoscience. However while mainstream agriculture has lost hundreds of millions of farmers in the last century and still continues to lose millions farmers to farm failures - an ongoing farming catastrophe - the number of biodynamic farms continues to grow, along with consumer demand for biodynamic products, showing that it is an evidence based, resilient, agricultural system. This presentation will explore how Rudolf Steiner’s lectures in the Agriculture Course in 1924 described a dynamic energy based cosmology that is now being validated by the cutting edges of the latest 21st century science. Steiner’s Anthroposophical assertion that humans can learn to use their minds to develop a higher consciousness to perceive, understand and influence the spiritual and ‘unseen’ realms of the universe is backed by evidence based science. Most importantly, because he knew that the agriculture lectures were amongst his last lectures before the end of his life, Steiner clearly stated that these lectures were the starting point for a truly holistic and evolving agriculture, not an end point, and he wanted us to use our minds combined with evidence based practices to continuously improve and expand agricultural systems.

Lecture "How can I find what is significant?"

Ute Kirchgaesser (German)

 

Wednesday, 5. February, 5.30 p.m.

Lecutre "How biodynamics changed my life"

Nasari Chavhan (English)

Lecture "Farm individuality – new spiritual quality of time and work"

Henri Murto (English)

Henri Murto will describe through own experiences and studies how understanding the biodynamic farm individuality concept can be a possibility of transforming the old wisdom of time and work, into a modern, active and practical spiritual impulse. As our world becomes even more mobile and materialistic, our relationship towards natural cycles and rhythms must become more conscious. Experiencing the biodynamic farm individuality through daily work and landscape perception can bring new understanding of the communal task we share as a humankind: How young people can connect to the living natural processes in our materialistic time? How we develop new and healthy rhythms between the old and young generations?

 

Wednesday, 5. February, 8.00 p.m.

Lecture "Living and knowing: aspects of being spiritually effective"

Constanza Kaliks (German)

 

Thursday, 6. February, 8.30 a.m.

Michael-letter

Jean-Michel Florin (French)

This year we will read the Michael letter “Historic Cataclysms at the Dawn of the Spiritual Soul”, Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts 180 to 182, Volume 26. The Michael letters are a collection of short texts with very concentrated content which Steiner wrote in the last year of his work.

Keynote speech "The sun and its significance for the being of the earth"

Anna Cecilia Grünn (German)

In periods of climate change the earth comes under more and more pressure. We humans experience the sun's heat as the cause of increasing droughts and heat waves. But for the being of the earth the sun is an important source of energy and a point of orientation, providing it with stability. This lecture aims to examine the relationship between the sun and the earth from a new point of view.

 

Thursday, 6. February, 5.00 p.m.

Lecture "From the sensory to the spiritual – experiences from formative forces research"

Uli Johannes König, Dorian Schmidt, Christina Henatsch (German)

 

Thursday, 6. February, 8.00 p.m.

Eurythmy Performance «Leuchtfäden»

Goetheanum-Eurythmy-Ensemble

The new programme from the Goetheanum Eurythmy Ensemble explores the subject of change, the in-between and transition from various angles. In honour of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, the music of this programme is dedicated to one of Beethoven's late quartets, Opus 132. With its central slow movement entitled "Holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian mode", this work is a composition which follows the theme of transition and development very expressively and in this programme is brought into a dialogue with excerpts from "Das Wasser unserer Träume" (the water of our dreams) by Marica Bodrožic. Exploring the theme of transformation and metamorphosis, the vivid dramatic scenes from "El cántaro roto" by Octavio Paz are interwoven in a further dialogue of contrasts with pieces from "Je sens un deuxième coeur" by Kaija Saariaho. Goetheanum Eurythmy Ensemble.

 

Friday, 7. February, 8.30 a.m.

Michael-letter

Jean-Michel Florin (German)

This year we will read the Michael letter “Historic Cataclysms at the Dawn of the Spiritual Soul”, Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts 180 to 182, Volume 26. The Michael letters are a collection of short texts with very concentrated content which Steiner wrote in the last year of his work.

Keynote speech "Nature knowledge and self-knowledge as an element in the farmer‘s life"

Christof Klemmer (German)

As farm manager of the Hof Sophienlust, Christof Klemmer will talk about the efforts he has made to increase his knowledge of both nature and of himself. This topic is approached primarily via the practical needs that are associated with a farm of this kind. His presentation is based on the anthroposophical path of knowledge.

 

Friday, 7. February, 5.00 p.m.

Life sketches

Spiritualities in traditional Andean and Amazonian agriculture

Patricia Roth (Spanish)

The presentation will be based on a reflection on the cultural differences and similarities of agriculture practiced by Andean and Amazonian native peoples. The Andeans see Earth as a living mother, who interacts with the cosmos, especially the stars, the moon and the sun, their agriculture being based on the lunar calendar cycles with respect for the rest times after (re) production. The animals are treated as part of the family for their great help in providing wool, milk, meat, fertilizer and sacred rituals. Agriculture and animal husbandry in the Andes are fundamental to human survival, given the predominantly arid and cold climate, and the altitude of the mountain range. It is essential to store food (maize, potatoes, meat and fish) and wood to maintain body and the houses. While Amazonian peoples live in great abundance of natural biodiversity, there is no need to do many crops in order to obtain the food they necessary to live, nor to store food for the future. Traditionally the Amazonian Indians are carnivores, needing hunting and fishing skills, so they grow only small plantations, predominantly native tubers, and eventhough always have a rich table with abundant garnishes and native fruits. In all indigenous cultures spirituality is very present, especially in the sense of thanking and asking permission from spiritual entities and their gods to perform agricultural activities and wildlife management, performing sacred rituals and ceremonies with songs, dances and power plants, for hunting, planting and harvesting as well as for culinary preparations. Just as Andean peoples are closely connected with water and the stars, so Amazonian Indians are very much related to plants and animals, as well as mythological beings from the forest and water in the cultivation of Mother Earth.

Universal Spirituality

Rachel Pomeroy (English)

Colonisation of India and New Zealand, in each case, virtually destroyed a complete, intact indigenous knowledge system.  A knowledge system which determined their practical life, from cultivating food, collecting healing plants, to navigating the mighty Pacific Ocean.  My experience of biodynamic practice in both countries has helped me see a universal world spirituality, existing in differing contexts of location, culture and religion. 

 

Friday, 7. February, 8.00 p.m.

Lecture "Heaven on earth – the sensory-supersensory constitution of our reality"

Hans-Christian Zehnter (German)

Reality is the meeting of sense perceptions and thinking in individual human beings – and not a given real object in itself. Reality in itself has a sensible and supersensible nature. This brings consequences for the view of our earthly reality, and for our understanding and how we treat the living earthly world.

 

Saturday, 8. February, 8.30 a.m.

Michael letter

Jean-Michel Florin & Claudy Jongstra (Englisch)

This year we will read the Michael letter “Historic Cataclysms at the Dawn of the Spiritual Soul”, Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts 180 to 182, Volume 26. The Michael letters are a collection of short texts with very concentrated content which Steiner wrote in the last year of his work.

Keynote speech "Awakening the heart in agriculture"

Thea Maria Carlson (English)

 

Saturday, 8. February,   3.15 p.m.

Lecture "Biodynamics and its partners: Building bridges in troubled times"

Dan McKanan (English)

The biodynamic movement is one of the most vital organisms within the social ecology of organic agriculture and environmental activism. For nearly a century, biodynamic farmers have partnered with practitioners of organics, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, and other farming techniques. And people following Christian, Buddhist, pagan, New Age, Jewish, Hindu, and Muslim spiritual paths have found rich meaning in the biodynamic practices. Yet other people, equally committed to a spiritual practice, wonder whether biodynamics, with its deep European roots, can fully connect to the struggles of indigenous, African diasporic, and postcolonial communities, all of whose connection to the land has been disrupted by European imperialism. At least in North America, many people (including some who are themselves of European heritage) choose not to engage with biodynamics because they assume it either disregards the spiritual contributions of non-European cultures or appropriates those contributions without acknowledgments. Without making judgments about the truth or fairness of these perceptions, this presentation will reflect on what biodynamics can learn from them, and what new strategies might open new possibilities for mutual learning among all who are committed to a diverse, sustainable, and spiritually connected world.

afterwards: Together into the future. Ceremonial act for the foundation of the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International

Thursday – Saturday 10.45 – 12.15

3-day workshops to deepen understanding and share experiences. The workshops are mainly multilingual. There are two different workshop formats:
Seminaristic (s): The workshop consists of a lecture, which is supplemented during or afterwards by discussion rounds.
Interactive (i) : Dialogue should be promoted. Through interaction everyone has their say.

¹ Should you be in a position to pay an additional amount, this would help to cover the costs of the conference and support the work of the section.
² Concessions apply for OAPs, the unemployed, those in military or civil service and people with disabilities who receive benefits. Proof of status has to be submitted with your booking form.
³ Concessions apply for students, schoolchildren, those in training. Proof of status has to be submitted with your booking form.
³ When registering, your first choice is no longer open, is cancelled or will be cancelled, your second and third choice will be taken into account. If your first, second or third choice is full, we will try to contact you. Please look for updated information at the start of the conference.
The group accommodation is fully booked! However there is a contingent at the Youth Hostel Basel with 4-bed rooms. Booking code „Goetheanum“, of course rooms can be also requested for single or double occupancy. More Informations under: https://www.youthhostel.ch/de/hostels/basel/



Cancellation:Bookings may be cancelled free of charge up to 14 days prior to the beginning of the conference (date of posting). After that, 50% of the conference fee will be charged. Meals, breakfast, parking permit and group accommodation may be cancelled free of charge up to 1 day prior to the begin of the conference. Cancellation on the day when the conference begins or failure to attend are subject to a 100% invoice total. Substitutes will be accepted at no extra cost.

Cancellation insurance: Subject to a payment of 5% of total costs (CHF 10 minimum) full cancellation insurance can be taken out to cover illness (including dependent children and partner), job loss and force majeure.

Terms of insurance.

General Standard Terms and Conditions (GTC)

Finding the Spirit in Agriculture

A conference of the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum

from Wednesday, 5. to Saturday, 8. February 2020

Application requested prior to: Wednesday, 22. January 2020

Conference fees:

with sponsorship¹: CHF 520 with meals: CHF 670

regular price:  CHF 320 with meals: CHF 470

concessions²: CHF 220 with meals: CHF 370

students³:       CHF 120 with meals: CHF 270

Conference meals

Conference meals (vegetarian) include 3x lunch and 3x evening meal at CHF 150 in total. Breakfast (3x) can be booked separately at CHF 45. The other meals cannot be booked separately. Lactose-free and gluten-free dishes can be provided. We regret that any other food intolerances cannot be catered for.

Group accommodation
Accommodation with mattresses on the floor: 3 nights for CHF 30 from 5.2.20 in the evening to 8.2.20 in the morning or 4 nights for CHF 40 from 5.2.20 in the evening to 9.2.20 in the morning. Please bring a sleeping bag, a pillow and a sheet; limited spaces.

In addition, there is a contingent at the Youth Hostel Basel with 4-bed rooms. Booking code „Goetheanum“, of course rooms can be also requested for single or double occupancy. More Informations under: www.youthhostel.ch/de/hostels/basel/

Parking permit

For the period of the conference: CHF 25 (not right next to the Goetheanum building).
If you have a disability, please display your disability badge in your car.

Methods of payment/confirmation
On receipt of a group application, the respective institution will receive the account for the group. Subsequent bookings can only be applied for and paid on an individual basis.

Credit cards (all countries): The full amount will be charged to your credit card as soon as your booking has been processed. You will receive postal or email confirmation of your booking and payment.

Invoice Switzerland: Confirmation of booking and an invoice will be sent to you once your booking has been processed. Please note that we only send out invoices up until 10 days before the beginning of an event. After that, payment is only possible by credit card or on arrival.

Invoice Eurozone: Confirmation of booking and an invoice will be sent to you once your booking has been processed (Euro account). Please note that we only send out invoices up until 14 days before the beginning of an event. After that, payment is only possible by credit card or on arrival.

Other countries: Once your booking has been processed you will receive a confirmation by post or email. The amount due will either be charged to your credit card or you can pay on arrival. Bank transfers are not possible.

Please note that the conference fee must be paid before the conference starts.

Conference tickets: Tickets can be collected at the Reception until half an hour before the conference starts, also if you pay on arrival. We accept cash (Euro and CHF), VISA, MasterCard, ec-direct and Postcard-Schweiz.

Cancellation: Bookings may be cancelled free of charge up to 14 days prior to the beginning of the conference (22.1.20, date of posting). After that, 50% of the conference fee will be charged. Meals, breakfast, parking permit and group accommodation may be cancelled free of charge up to 1 day prior to the begin of the conference (4.2.20). Cancellation on the day when the conference begins or failure to attend are subject to a 100% invoice total. Substitutes will be accepted at no extra cost.

Cancellation insurance: Subject to a payment of 5% of total costs (CHF 10 minimum) full cancellation insurance can be taken out to cover illness (including dependent children and partner), job loss and force majeure.

¹ Should you be in a position to pay an additional amount, this would help to cover the costs of the conference and support the work of the section.
² Concessions apply for OAPs, the unemployed, those in military or civil service and people with disabilities who receive benefits. Proof of status has to be submitted with your booking form.
³ Concessions apply for students, schoolchildren, those in training. Proof of status has to be submitted with your book ing form.

Directions to the Goetheanum

By train
From Basel Swiss Station (SBB) take train S3 (destination Laufen) to Dornach-Arlesheim, then take local bus no. 66 from the train station to the bus stop "Goetheanum"

By tram
From Basel Swiss Station (SBB) take line 10 to Dornach-Arlesheim station, then take local bus no. 66 to the bus stop "Goetheanum"

By car
Leave the motorway Basel-Délémont at junction Reinach-Süd and follow a signs to Dornach. Parking at the Goetheanum is subject to a charge (including evenings and weekends)

On foot
15-minute walk from Dornach-Arlesheim train station

Haus Friedwart
Lärchenweg 11, 4143 Dornach
Number of rooms: 20
Shower rooms on each floor
singles from 70 CHF bed & breakfast
doubles from 110 CHF bed & breakfast
5 mins walk to the Goetheanum 

Begegnungszentrum
Sonnhaldeweg 1, 4143 Dornach
single room from 55 CHF
double room from 90 CHF
10 mins walk to the Goetheanum

Contact

friedwartnoSpam@goetheanum.ch 
www.friedwart.ch
Tel. +41 61 706 42 82

Some hotels offer special conditions on demand and special offers for Goetheanum conference visitors.

Stiftung Kloster Dornach
Amtshausstrasse 7, 4143 Dornach
Tel. +41 61 701 12 72
Fax +41 61 701 12 49
www.klosterdornach.ch

Number of Rooms: 32
Single from 75 CHF, fair price from 115 CHF
Double from 120 CHF, fair price from 160 CHF
Showers on each floor, for 1 floor: wheelchairs (stair lift , bathroom and toilets)
15 min walk to the Goetheanum

Engeli-Garni
Bruno Ritter
Unterdorfstrasse 29, 4143 Dornach
Tel +41 61 631 00 00
Fax. +41 61 701 13 01
www.engeli-garni.ch

Number of Rooms: 8
Standard room single use with breakfast 95 CHF
Large room single use with breakfast 125 CHF
each additional person in the room + 55 CHF
Garage parking nearby (free of charge)
15 min walk to the Goetheanum

Hotel Jura
Bruggweg 61, 4143 Dornach
Tel : + 41 61 706 98 00
Fax + 41 61 701 98 19
www.hoteljura.ch

Number of rooms: 11
Single from 80 CHF
Double from 150 CHF
5–10 % group discount
15 min walk to the Goetheanum

Hotel Gasthof zum Ochsen ****
Ermitagestrasse 16, 4144 Arlesheim
Tel +41 61 706 52 00
www.ochsen.ch

4 stars
Number of rooms: 35
Single from 129 CHF
Double from 149 CHF
15 min walk to the Goetheanum

Hotel Ermitage Arlesheim
Ermitagestrasse 2, 4144 Arlesheim
Tel +41 61 701 54 20
Fax +41 61 701 37 20
www.eremitage.ch

Number of rooms: 27
Single from 115 CHF
Double from 180 CHF
20 min walk to the Goetheanum

Gasthaus zum Stärne
Ermitagestrasse 1, 4144 Arlesheim
Tel +41 61 701 99 52
www.werkstar.ch

Number of Rooms: 5
Single from 55 CHF
Double room from 90 CHF
Breakfast: 10 CHF
Stärne offers jobs for mentally disabled and unemployed people .
15 min walk to the Goetheanum

Gasthof zur Sonne ***
Untere Kirchgasse 1, 4147 Aesch
Tel +41 61 751 17 72
Fax +41 61 751 23 13
www.sonneaesch.ch<cite class="vurls">
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3 stars
Number of rooms: 19
Single from 130 CHF
Double from 180 CHF
10 min by car to the Goetheanum

Bad Schauenburg ****
Schauenburgerstrasse 76, 4410 Liestal
Tel +41 61 906 27 27
Fax +41 61 906 27 00
www.badschauenburg.ch

4 stars
Number of rooms: 33
Single from 145 CHF incl breakfast
Double room including breakfast from 200 CHF

Hotel Reinacherhof ***
In Reinacherhof 177, 4163 Reinach
Tel +41 61 716 94 16
Fax +41 61 416 94 10
www.hotel-reinacherhof.ch

3 stars
Number of rooms: 14
Single from 135 CHF, weekend rate from 115 CHF
Double room from CHF 200, weekend rate from 175 CHF
10 min by car to the Goetheanum

Hotel Hofmatt
Basel Strasse 88, 4142 Münchenstein
Tel +41 61 416 08 48
Fax +41 61 416 08 49
www.hotelhofmatt.ch

Number of rooms: 15
Single from 115 CHF
Double from 175 CHF
20 min to the Goetheanum by public transport

Hotel Teufelhof
Leonhardsgraben 49, 4051 Basel
Tel +41 61 261 10 10
www.teufelhof.com

Number of rooms: 33
Single from 135 CHF
Double from 155 CHF
+ tax per person / night including Mobility Ticket
40 min to the Goetheanum by public transport

Hotel bildungszentrum 21
Missionsstrasse 21, Basel 4003
Tel +41 61 260 21 21
www.bildungszentrum-21.ch

Number of rooms: 74
Single from 140 CHF
Double from 160 CHF
including Mobility Ticket
40 min to the Goetheanum by public transport

Rooms-Dornach.ch arranges rooms and apartments in Dornach and Arlesheim from private hosts.
The rooms and apartments are within walking distance to the Goetheanum.

  • Single room from 55.- CHF per night
  • Double room from 90.- CHF per night
  • Appartements from 110.- CHF per night

Basel Back Pack
Dornacherstrasse 192, 4053 Basel
Tel. +41 61 333 00 37
Fax +41 61 333 00 39
www.baselbackpack.com 

Anzahl Betten: 81
MBZ ab 32 CHF, inkl. Mobility-Ticket
40 Min. zum Goetheanum mit öffentl. Nahverkehr

Jugendherberge Basel St. Alban
St. Alban-Kirchrain 10, 4052 Basel
Tel. +41 61 272 05 72
Fax +41 61 272 08 33
www.youthhostel.ch 

Anzahl Betten: 234
MBZ ab 41.80 CHF (Mitgliederpreis), 47.80 CHF (ohne Mitgliedsausweis)
inkl. Frühstück & Mobility-Ticket
Informationen zu Familien-, Jahres- und Gruppenmitgliedschaft unter www.youthhostel.ch 
45 Min. zum Goetheanum mit öffentl. Nahverkehr

YMCA Hostel Basel
Gempenstrasse 64, 4008 Basel
Tel. +41 61 361 73 09
Fax +41 61 363 93 35
www.ymcahostelbasel.ch 

Anzahl Betten: 150
MBZ ab 36 CHF, Frühstück ab 5 CHF
inkl. Mobility-Ticket
40 Min. zum Goetheanum mit öffentl. Nahverkehr

Camping Waldhort
Heideweg 16, 4153 Reinach
Tel. +41 61 711 64 29
Fax +41 61 713 98 35
infonoSpam@camping-waldhort.ch
www.camping-waldhort.ch  

geöffnet: März bis Oktober
Stellplatz inkl. Strom für Wohnwagen: 20 CHF, für Zelt: 12 CHF
Erwachsener: 9 CHF, Kinder: 5 CHF, Hund 3 CHF
10 Min. mit dem Auto zum Goetheanum

Camping „Uf der Hollen“
In Hochwald
Büro in Reinach
jeweils Donnerstag von 18.00 bis 20.00 Uhr
Tel. +41 61 712 02 40
Fax +41 61 599 34 18
Platzkommission, verantwortl. G. D’Agosta: Tel. +41 79 645 85 24
campingplatznoSpam@tcscampingbasel.ch 
www.tcscampingbasel.ch 

 

Organizer:

Section for Agriculture​​​​​​​