BDA Conference

B.D.A.A. CONFERENCE, 15-17th JUNE, 1984

Once again the Association held its summer conference at the White House, Chelwood Gate, in parklike surroundings in the heart of what is left of the once extensive Ashdown Forest in Sussex. It is not easy for farmers to attend a conference full in the summer season, and the 30 residents and some 50 people attending the lectures were perhaps mostly gardeners and enquirers. The meeting was shadowed by the illness of our chairman, David Clement, and of John Davy, who was to have spoken to us about “The will to heal the Earth”, and by the recent sudden death of Erna Rickard, who was to have led our morning eurythmy as she did so memorably and enjoyably last year. Despite these shadows, it was an occasion of happy renewals of old friendships and making of new acquaintances, and of enrichment through talks, dis- cussions and guided visits to Emerson College farm and garden. Charles Griffin of Emerson College, standing in for John Davy, opened the meeting, describing to us some of the ways in which bio- dynamic work can counteract the increasing “rigidity” of the earth
that shows itself for example in the narrowing of the gene pool of plants, in the fertility problems encountered in farm animals and in the uniformity of our crops. One way of counteracting this ten- dency is by strengthening the earth’s, and with it the plant’s, responsiveness to cosmic influences. Forces of will are acting in our digestive processes when we break down and digest formed sub- stances. Likewise strength is needed by plants to build up their forms, and this strength is lacking if they acquire their nutrients too easily through mineral fertilisers. A great amount of “raw” will exists among young people in their delight in nature and their enthusiasm for healing the earth, but this “raw” will needs to be directed and ideas need to be strengthened, so that right thoughts can become a beacon, also in such areas as financing and training.
Other talks, reported by Rhoda Mainstone below, were given by George Corrin, the Association’s consultant, Irene Bruntsch, working in nutrition at Emerson College, and Dr. Ralph Twenty- man, a retired homoeopathic consultant. Short reports on hedge- row browsing (Barbara Saunders-Davies, see later in this issue) and on work in New Zealand (Chris Hull) were among contributions from individual conference participants.