Start an Furrow #43
The Conference on “The Why and How of Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening” was held at the Isle of Thorns, the Conference Centre of Sussex University, from July 12th-14th.
It was designed to help new members and the many enquirers who want to know more about Bio-Dynamics and there were a high proportion of these among the 80-100 people who crowded the conference room. There were, too, many members of longer standing who enjoyed the “refresher” course and contributed from their knowledge and experience to the discussions which followed the lectures. These were: “Farming Today” by David Clement, “The Soil and the B.D. Sprays” by Dr. Koepf, “Compost and the B.D. Prepara- tions” by George Corrin, and “The Plant” by John Soper. There was also a symposium on Animal Husbandry.
On the Saturday afternoon, when the weather graciously cleared after a wet morning, various visits were made. One group went to Tablehurst Farm and then on to Peredur to see the new machine for stirring the preparations. Another group visited two adjacent small gardens on the edge of Ashdown Forest, one the “Duffy” garden belonging to the Allens, and the other to Mrs. Haynes; the latter was outstanding in the quality of its vegetables and shrubs. A third group went to the Pearces’ garden at Nuthurst, where they watched a Sussex beemaster, Mr. George Haffenden, take down two hives. Afterwards he showed how he made straw skeps used to take swarms. All three expeditions created great interest and ques- tions arising from them were discussed on return to the centre.
Between lectures many people were drawn to the library. where Henry Goulden of the Rye Bookshop had a splendid selection of books on Natural History and Ecology, and Edna Williams of the Sunfield Bookshop had a wide range of Anthroposophical literature. The latter was kept until late at night answering questions about Anthroposophy and advising about reading, making a truly valuable contribution to the success of the Conference.