Stegemann and Steiner talk
Autumn, 1921, meeting of the Kommende Tag. My first memorable conversation with Dr. Steiner. I began work on the farm. My first shock: “No need to use artificials.” Dr. Steiner gave suggestions. My conversations with Dr.Steiner in October and November, 1921. I came to Dornach, waited for a time in the Schreinerei. Dr. S. came out, beckoned, said I could meet him at half past six. As a farmer accustomed to rising early, I said: “In the morning, Herr Doctor?” He replied: “Oh no, in the evening!”…I inquired: “If a man eats and gains health from plants he must understand them. How can one work without nitrates, potash and magnesia, without artificials, Herr Doctor?” He told me how to set about it. We began to work. Then I had a sharp attack of inflammation of the lungs,– just got through, with the help of Rudolf Steiner. Enemies arose, scoffed at us and our work, etc. The State owned my property; it therefore had a voice in the matter. When the time came for the renewal of my lease, my manager, (who wished to have the farm for himself) went to the authorities and complained: “This man is spoiling your land!” They sent/official to make enquiries. “I work without artificials!” In twenty minutes we were in a deep, philosophical discussion. That was in 1927. A few days afterwards I received a document authorising a further lease of eighteen years, signed by a high official,- and underneath his signature, the words, “Ich gratuliere herzlichst.” (I congratulate you most heartily.) The anger against us will continue, and the more successful we are the greater it will be. Our accounts, with their balances, will, however, play a role. The change in the ground is the final proof of the value of the methods. The ground is tested every two years. When we first started, the ground was very poor, very impoverished. Sugar content in the beets grown the first year only 8%. Through our biological-dynamic methods this has risen to 16% on an average. Last year it was over 18%, 18.2%.