BIO–DYNAMIC AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION
Founded on the work of Rudolf Steiner.
Annual Report 1951
It is with great pleasure that I send you the first Annual Report of our newly constituted association. As you know during this your the Councils of the Anthroposophical Agricultural Foundation and the Bio-Dynamic Association have been working together as one and have tried go to form our new Association that there would be no break but a continuity of the work of each. It took some time to find a name to which all Council Members agreed, and some time to draw together the work of the two organisations. But owing to the good will and the Co-operation of everyone and especially the way in which Miss Thornton and Dr Meir (our two Secretaries) have co-operated, I think I can fairly say that we approach the coming Annual General Meeting with a coherent and active body which has the will to carry Rudolf Steiner’s agricultural work with all the power at its disposal.
Naturally the combined Councils make for too big a body for efficient work. A number of Council Members have resigned or do not offer themselves for re-election. I think, mainly because they did not feel their services so necessary any more, having at the same time many other responsibilities, but also in order to give other Members the opportunity of joining the Council. These members are: Mr Dew, Miss Edwards, Miss Fisher, Mr Gardiner, Mr Lambe, Mr Maude, Mrs Meir, Mr Nicolls, Mr Raab, Miss Savary, Mr Thomas. The only member, who left the Council because he did not feel in full agreement with our method of working was Mr Gardiner who has nevertheless shown his good will by continuing his membership. I would like to thank all those members who have one and all helped forward the Bio-Dynanio work in this country by giving their time and counsel over a number of years.
In February, our office roved out of the Guest House at Clent Cottage into the lofts of the stables which had boon nicely prepared. For some months now Dr Meier has been housed more comfortably and the Guest House has had the use of another room which was badly needed. Many friends and visitors have now Visited Dr Meir in his new quarters and I think they all have boon pleasantly surprised at what they have found up the stable stairs.
The only other alteration in our organisation this year had been the passing over of the despatch of tho preparations from Miss Edwards at Swanage who has so faithfully carried out this task since 1947, to Broome Farm. I have there now a most suitable room for making, storing and despatching them. Although there have been some minor crises in getting off some of the reparations, I hope that in the future there will be no hitches and that all Preparations will be properly and speedily despatched. As in the past, orders should still go through the office at Clent Cottage, and should not be sent to me.
Ten visitors from abroad have visited Dr Meir at Clent Cottage, and two or three times that number from this country.
The Experimental Circle has held two conferences, one at Easter at Hawkwood College, one at Michaelmas at Clent. The first was on the subject of water, at which we had no visiting lecturer. At the second, Dr Lievegoed from Holland spoke on the Preparations in their cosmic and earthly setting.
In January, Dr Mier attended the meetings of Bio-Dynamic farmers and gardeners in Germany, visiting also Hamborn, Darmstadt, Stuttgart and Markdorf, ending up at Dornach at the Conference arranged by the Goetheanum. During this journey he made a number of new contacts, renewed old ones and saw some very interesting work which is in progress. He took the opportunity of telling our continental friends of what we are doing in this country. In August, he accompanied my foreman and my self on a short visit to Holland where we visited the Loverendale farms in Brabant and Walcheren, a most exemplary run concern. Mr Pin Clotscher, the manager, was exceedingly kind to us showing us the farms which besides growing wheat, sugar beet and the other crops usually grown here, also have in their rotation such an interesting crop as caraway. The farms are run entirely biodynamically, intensively sprayed, with all manure and compost treated with the Preparations. To be able to see such crops just before harvest is a tremendous encouragement to any bio-dynamic farmer. They also have there a substantial bakery, selling, to the best of my memory, some two thousand loaves a week in the main cities of Holland.
At our last Annual General Meeting the Countess Keyserlingk (the widow of Count Carl von Keyserlingk at whose invitation Rudolf Steiner have the Agriculture Course) gave a beautiful description of her experiences with Rudolf Steiner and in particular the days at Koberwitz while the Agriculture Course was in progress. This was followed by a brief but excellent talk by Dr Mier on ‘The Farmer as Healer’.
In June we held our usual Summer Meeting at Rudolf Steiner House in London. This time it was devoted to herbs. Short talks were given by Mrs Mann, Mr Kaye, Mrs Millett, Mrs Geuter, Mr Greene, Dr Engel, Dr Hauschka and Dr Mier, followed by a discussion. Herbs of many varieties, fresh and dried, were brought by members which added greatly to the value of the meeting. We have found that this method of having a number of speakers bringing different viewpoints to the same subject, has added life and interest to our discussions and meetings. But we would be glad to hear from members if they do not agree or have other suggestions.
In July, at Forest Row, a number of Members came together with Dr Mier and had an intensive afternoon and evening making compost and discussing ways, means and methods, with a view to improving and bringing up to date our little manual of Instructions.
Once again, owing to the energy of Mrs Brocklebank, we have had a most successful Sale Of Produce this autumn. Members were very generous in their support, and as you will see from the Statement of Accounts, it has been a great financial help. I must mention again, as I did last year, that this sale has also proved to be a most useful meeting at which members are able to meet one another informally and discuss their problems in a way that is not possible at a formal meeting.
Dr Mier has sent out this year 3 Secretary’s Letters to keep you informed of what is happening in our movement. He has written an article on Branfield’s ‘ Continuous Creation’ for ‘Lebendige Erde’, tho organ of the BioDynamic movement in Germany. He has given to two lectures. one at the invitation of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain at Rudolf Steiner House on “The Beings of the Earth’, one at Bristol at the invitation of the Bristol Group of the anthroposophical Society, on ‘Observation of the Stars’. He also took the chair for Richard St Barbe Baker at his lecture on Trees at the weekend arranged by the Christian Community at Birmingham. On the same occasion he also translated a lecture by Mr Schauberger jun. Members will remember Mr St Barbe Baker and Mr Schauberger as very keen advocates of the growing of trees and the study of the movement of water.
The work at the office has been greatly increased this year by the uniting of our two organisations and it has taken many months to find out our present actual membership, and to get all our records in order. An up to date List of Members should be ready soon after the annual General meeting.
Dr Mier has this year, at the invitation of the Soil Association, been attending on our behalf a committee which is going into the question of the possibility of registering a Mark for Organic Produce, for the sake of both consumers and producers. It is being considered whether there could be a Mark within the Mark to show the particular organic method used by the grower. There is nothing to be reported as yet but we hope it will not be long before we can send you the findings of the committee.
Mrs Davy, as Editor, has issued two numbers of ‘Notes and Correspondence’ with which we hope you are pleased. Mrs Davy works very hand at its production, but you will appreciate that such a paper can only be kept alive by the interest and literary contributions of the Members. It would also be help if any of you can find other subscribers.
We have hold four Council meetings in the year. Some of these, I am afraid have been a little protracted and must thank all members for giving their support and for the tolerant and helpful way in which they have assited Dr Meir and myself to deal wit the many problems which have necessarily arisen at such a time. Especially I must mention Mrs Brocklebank who carries the onerous duties of Treasurer in tho best possible spirit. Wo owe her all the support we can give her.
I hope very much that you will be able to join us at our meeting on 8th December, but if you cannot come, and have anything you wish to say please, write it as soon as you can.
Yours very sincerely
19th November 1951.
David S. Clement