The Biodynamic Agriculture Course

 

THE BIODYNAMIC AGRICULTURE COURSE

Nurturing the Earth, Healing People, Advancing Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development

 

DATES:
17-21 August 2011

TIME:
8AM to 12 Noon. Lunch Break. 2 to 530PM

VENUE:
Vidar Garden 2.0
National Sustainable Agriculture Training Center (NASATCEN)
Gamot Cogon Institute (GCI) Integral Community
Libongcogon, Zarraga, Iloilo

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Humanity has declared a war on Nature. In the end it has also declared war on itself and is harming or killing millions of human beings around the world. In the end, it has also brought the planet to the edge of one of the worst food crisis it has faced in world history.

 

Scientists developed artificial chemical fertilizers to substitute for the natural fertility-making process of the soil.  In the process they weakened the fertility of the soil that, in turn, made plants more vulnerable to pests. They then invented deadly chemical poisons to kill pests and diseases that ate up the crops. But pest grew resistant to the poisons and evolved into super pests. In the end, chemical farming transformed itself from a panacea into a global nightmare.

 

Chemical farming contributes 30% of all greenhouse gases responsible for global warming and the advent of super typhoons and the massive flooding of recent years. Chemical farming also has destroyed tens of millions of hectares of precious soil, massacred thousands of species of beneficial organisms that balance the farm, created super pests, and today poisons more 25 million farmers and consumers yearly while destroying rural economies. The use of toxic chemicals is clearly a destructive and dead-end approach to farming.

 

Fortunately there are many alternatives to chemical farming. They go by the name bio-dynamic agriculture, permaculture, biological agriculture, organic farming, natural farming, indigenous farming systems, ecological agriculture, and so on. They all belong to a massive global movement, the sustainable agriculture movement, which today has healed or is healing tens of millions of hectares around the world. The oldest and most profound of these alternatives to chemical farming is bio-dynamic agriculture.

 

In this course, you will learn about the big picture and philosophical/scientific framework underlying the bio-dynamic approach to sustainable agriculture:

 

  • Global and national challenge to sustainable agriculture
  • Details on why chemical farming is both unsustainable and harmful
  • Hazards of hydroponics
  • Pitfalls of genetic engineering in farming
  • Seven dimensions of sustainable agriculture
  • Different forms of sustainable agriculture
  • Cultural and economic considerations in bio-dynamic farming
  • The essential nature of the plant world
  • Quantum physics and the non-local Influence of star and planetary forces on the natural world including vegetable plants
  • Cutting edge and advanced scientific developments and their implications for sustainable agriculture
  • Connection between the new science, spirituality and bio-dynamic (BD) agriculture including the empirical basis behind the BD sowing calendar and BD Preparations 500-508
  • The central importance of the farmer in sustainable agriculture and bio-dynamic farming
  • Why an inner meditative life and personal mastery is important for bio-dynamic agriculture
  • And other related topics.

 

You will also learn how to:

 

  • Diagnose prevailing farming systems
  • Start a bio-dynamic garden
  • Prevent external and internal soil erosion
  • Build up the fertility of your soil
  • Make green manures and composts
  • Design habitats for beneficial organisms
  • Control pests and diseases without chemicals
  • Appreciate the four-fold nature of the plant world
  • Use the bio-dynamic sowing calendar
  • Apply the unique bio-dynamic preparations
  • Practice crop rotation and intercropping
  • Prepare diets which nourishes the full human being
  • And other bio-dynamic practices

 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This course is relevant to a wide-range of backgrounds: consumers, home-makers, farmers, medical doctors and health practitioners, educators, development workers, agricultural officers and staff of local government units (LGUs), green entrepreneurs, planners, funders, bankers, medical doctors, and others.

What benefits will you get out from the Course? Among others, you will:

As medical doctors and consumers, you will understand why you are promoting the destruction of the earth by buying the products of chemical farming.  And you will be aware of how you are gradually making yourself sick and ultimately poisoning yourself with all the deadly chemicals that you are ingesting in your food. You will learn how to create meal preparations that nurture your body, soul, and spirit.

As educators, entrepreneurs, government planners and agriculture officers and staff, as funders, as bankers, as civil society advocate, you will understand how to advance sustainable agriculture as an option for green businesses, as well as a strategy for holistic education and sustainable rural development including poverty reduction.

As gardeners and farmers, you will benefit from the wide-ranging framework of bio-dynamic agriculture and from the new skills that will enable you to create your own bio-dynamic garden or enterprise.

DEDICATION: The Bio-Dynamic Course is dedicated to MISSION, the Movement of Imaginals for Sustainable Societies Thru Initiatives, Organizing, and Networking, the movement of creative individuals who have the understanding, passion, courage and commitment to create a better world where they are and wherever they may be in the world. Kindly see: www.imaginalmission.net.

PREPARATION:  We are doing this course during the rainy season. Kindly bring the appropriate attire: sturdy clothes, boots, raincoats, umbrella, and other necessities.

COURSE FEE: P5000. This covers the tuition fee alone. Participants are responsible for their own board and lodging during the course as well as their transportation-related expenses. Kindly contact us, or your friends in Iloilo, for board, lodging, and transportation options.

 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE AND PROCEDURE: A lot of people from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, have signified their intention to attend this Course. It is upon their continuous request that we have re-started this Course despite the beginning nature of our training garden. (See below.) There is a limit to the number of participants we can accommodate for logistical as well as pedagogical reasons. We will accept reservations on a first come, first serve basis. Deadline for the payment of the full registration fee is on August 5, 2011. We will only list you as a registered participant of the Course once you have sent your full payment. Hopefully, you will understand why only registered participants will be allowed in the course. Kindly contact the phone number listed below for payment details.

TRAINING GARDEN: In the past and for many years, hundreds have attended our bio-dynamic training courses in a fully developed 3 hectare bio-dynamic garden at the heart of Metro Manila. When our lease expired, we moved our training garden to its current location in Iloilo. We transferred only recently. So this garden and its training facilities are in its beginning stages of development, far from perfect but sufficient enough to enable us to conduct the Course. This has a special advantage. We will see more clearly how to start our home or commercial garden from “scratch”. It is also the most difficult time of the year to start a garden. But if we learn to do bio-dynamic farming at the most difficult time of the year, then it will be much easier to practice it during the most favorable times of the year.

RESOURCE PERSON: Close to 25 years ago, Nicanor Perlas brought and adapted bio-dynamic agriculture to the Philippines and established the first commercial scale organic and bio-dynamic, vegetable farming enterprise in the country. Subsequently, together with partners, Perlas demonstrated the viability of sustainable rice agriculture in hundreds and eventually thousands of hectares.

He graduated with highest honors at Xavier University and was the valedictorian for his class at the College of Agriculture. He has farmed for over 40 years, helped thousands of farmers transition from chemical agriculture to bio-dynamic and/or organic farming in over 25 provinces, as well as in the USA, and trained dozens of bio-dynamic and organic technicians in Benguet, Mindanao, and other parts of the country.

He has advised the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Philippine Department of Agriculture, several donor agencies, green businesses, and dozens of civil society organizations. As Co-Founder and Chairman of the Philippine Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (PhilSAC), a nationwide coalition of over a 100 organizations, he spearheaded the banning of 32 pesticide formulations.

He has written several books and monographs on sustainable agriculture, a term he coined with two others in 1983, and a term that subsequently became the global standard for describing the different but complementary forms of agriculture that nurture the earth, heal people, and build community.

 

Perlas has been invited to speak at numerous global and national agriculture conferences. He has been invited to join the Board of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

 

In recognition of the national and global impact of his work, Perlas was awarded the William F. Masterson S.J. Award as Outstanding Alumnus, The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award, the Global 500 Roll of Honor of the UN Environmental Program, and the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Kindly contact +63 917 538 8630.

 

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