Lynette West

From Star and Furrow

In early September this year I received a phone call from Lynette West’s eldest son, Cheyne, telling me that Lynette had passed over. She died on 7th Sept 2009. I felt a great feeling of sadness and grief that we had lost her, but, also, a sense of relief that her suffering had ended.

I met Lynette when I attended her first UK Founda- tionCourseatDuchyHomeFarm.Asanyonewhowentonone of her courses will, I’m sure, agree her warmth, humour, ability to communicate and passion for biodynamics had a profound ef- fect on us all. The clarity of her teaching, her intimate knowledge of biodynamics and her deep spirituality made us aware of the truth of the information she was giving us.

At that time, I was producing the DVD ‘Biodynamic Gardening’ and Lynette stepped in as a last minute replacement to show the gardeners at Garden Organic Ryton the techniques needed for biodynamic gardening. She had never been in front of the camera before, but was a natural. The only problem we had was to stop her talking quite so much! We filmed with her over the next two years and I feel very lucky to have had the chance to work so closely with her.

Lynette first became ill during the summer of 2008 and during her illness we spoke every few days. Her optimism, enthusiasm and plans for the future never wavered. She still had so much she wanted to achieve, including the development of land trusts running as productive biodynamic farms in conjunction with educational and research programmes. She was also focused on training trainers to teach her biodynamic courses, as well as assessors for the Distance Education Certificate Programme. This course is now being run by Peter van Vliet at Botton.

Although Lynette had always had an interest in Rudolf Steiner’s work, it was after the death of her baby son Michael that her life’s purpose was revealed to her. She attended a series of workshops with Alex Podolinksy (founder of the Demeter Association in Australia) and then worked with Terry Foreman, National Field Advisor to Australia organising many biodynamic workshops and seminars. During the following 12 years she wrote the Biodynamic Foundation Course. She then became biodynamic consultant to Tony Coote at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms, accompanying Tony on her first visit to the UK in 2006. At the same time she developed, over five years, the Distance Education Programme. During this time Lynette came to understand what Steiner meant when he stated that the farmer is a great meditator as, whilst ploughing fields and planting crops, he reflects on the deeper aspects of nature and gains true knowledge.

Lynette had been a member of the Baha’i faith for fifteen years and in this faith the farmer has the most important role. Work in the realm of agriculture is considered the highest service to the world and Lynette always felt that to serve humanity in the realm of agriculture was the most wonderful gift to her life.

I feel so sad that I will never hear Lynette’s cheery voice at the end of the phone again, but, at the same tine, very fortunate to have had the wonderful experience of knowing and working with her. She was an inspiration to us all and her three children Cheyne, Daniel and Tara. I’m sure that her spirit is urging us on to honour her life by spreading the knowledge and use of biodynamics all over the world.