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News from the Goetheanum

Goetheanum Gardens: First sheep twins born

Created by Sebastian Jüngel, translated by Bettina Hindes |
The cows and sheep living on the Goetheanum grounds are beloved by the public. They revitalise the Goetheanum Park and complement each other in their strengths and weaknesses in grazing the fields. Now the sheep have given birth to twins for the first time.

This year, we had first five cows, then seven sheep. Both herds complement one another. Benno Otter from the Goetheanum Nursery describes it as follows: "The cows wrap their tongues around the grass and tear it off. In contrast, the sheep bite off the grass with their teeth." To put it another way, the sheep do the fine-tuning. This also applies to the soil: Whilst the cows disturb the ground with their hooves, the sheep balance it out again. They also eat blackberry tendrils and young tree shoots, which makes the work of gardeners easier. However, sheep also like the bark of trees and shrubs. Paul Pieterse, one of the animal caretakers, has therefore protected them with wire and sheep manure. 

For the Goetheanum Park, the cows have another purpose also: they supply cow patties and horns for the production of biodynamic preparations. Besides, everyone loves animals, whether cows, sheep or the two donkeys that are sometimes guests on the meadows.

The Engadine mountain sheep came to the Goetheanum site for the first time in 2016. In 2017, they gave birth to three lambs. This year there were twins for the first time. With the four twins and a single lamb, the flock of sheep has expanded to 16 animals. Meanwhile, the adult sheep were shorn; the wool was given away to those interested in it.

Animal husbandry also means a change in the vegetation, for example through the manure. "It is important that the sheep never stay too long on a meadow plot", Benno Otter adds, "otherwise they eat the meadow vegetation so low that the plants suffer". The usage of the sheep is monitored by the Goetheanum nursery over a three-year period and then evaluated.

This week at the Goetheanum

Goetheanum –
School of
Spiritual Science

The Goetheanum is the headquarters for the School of Spiritual Science and the General Anthroposophical Society. The School of Spiritual Science with its eleven sections is active worldwide in research, development, teaching, and the practical implementation of its research findings and is supported by the Anthroposophical Society.

Events range from lectures on special themes, to large, international conferences, to performances by  ensembles and guest performances in Eurythmy, theater, puppetry and music. 

Situated in the Jura landscape, 10 Kilometers South of Basel, the Goetheanum sits grand on the Dornach hill, with its expressive architecture and picturesque garden park, café and a bookstore.