Biodynamics Now! Investigative Farming and Restorative Nutrition Podcast










January 2014
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BD Now! Podcast Episode 024 Deirdre Keekin, Vinter, Biodynamic Viticulturist, Author of "An Unlikely Vineyard"

Deirdre Heekin is the author of An Unlikely Vineyard. She is the proprietor and wine director of Osteria Pane e Salute, an acclaimed restaurant and wine bar in Woodstock, Vermont. Heekin and her husband and head chef, Caleb Barber, are the authors of In Late Winter We Ate Pears (Chelsea Green, 2009), and she is also the author of Libation: A Bitter Alchemy (Chelsea Green, 2009) and Pane e Salute (Invisible Cities Press, 2002). Heekin and her husband live on a small farm in Barnard, Vermont, where they grow both the vegetables for their restaurant and natural wines and ciders for their la garagista label.

An Unlikely Vineyard
The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir

Is it possible to capture landscape in a bottle? To express the essence of place—its geology, geography, climate, and soil—as well as the skill of the winegrower?

That’s what Deirdre Heekin and her husband have set out to accomplish on their tiny, eight-acre hillside farm in Vermont—in their quest for terroir.

“Terroir is about mud and stones, but it is also about the varietal nature of the plants or animals that grow in or on this land, the microclimate of a hillside or plain, and the personality of those who do the tending. It represents the six sides of the honeycomb: geology, variety, geography, climate, social culture, and the human hand,” writes Heekin in
An Unlikely Vineyard. “Another winegrower I know says that what is poured into the glass is a liquid landscape painting of the 365 days of a certain year. This is my hope on our farm: to capture the four seasons of each year in the bottle, a liquid portrait of our landscape and its history. This is my quest.”
An Unlikely Vineyard tells the story of their farm and its evolution, from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. But the book is much more than that. It also presents, through the example of their farming journey and winegrowing endeavors, an impressive amount of information on
how to think about almost every aspect of gardening: from composting to trellising; from cider and perry making to old garden roses; from pruning (or not) to dealing naturally with pests and diseases.


Challenged by cold winters, wet summers, and other factors, they set about to grow not only a vineyard, but an orchard of heirloom apples, pears, and plums, as well as gardens filled with vegetables, herbs, roses, and wildflowers destined for their own table and for the kitchen of their small restaurant. They wanted to create, or rediscover, a sense of place,
and to grow food naturally using the philosophy and techniques of organics, permaculture, and biodynamic farming.

This book is proof of their success, writes Alice Feiring in the book’s Foreword: “In a state so committed to organic and unprocessed food, Deirdre is currently the sole voice for the same kind of wine. But in writing this book, she proves to all who endeavor to make true wine in climates where grapes struggle for ripeness that it is indeed possible. Others will follow. How could they not when the results are so stellar?”
Accompanied throughout by lush photos, this gentle narrative will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living

Direct download: BDNOW024_Deirdre_Heekin._AnUnlikelyVineyard.mp3
Category:Conversation -- posted at: 11:12pm EST

Kaayla T. Daniel PhD, CCN


Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN is Vice President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, on the Board of Directors of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food. Dr. Daniel has been a guest on The Dr. Oz Show, PBS Healing Quest, NPR's People's Pharmacy, and many other shows, and shared the stage with Dr. Mark Hyman, J.J. Virgin, Gary Taubes, Charles Poliquin, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Sally Fallon Morell, Joel Salatin, David Wolfe, and other prominent health experts. She is known as The Naughty Nutritionist® because of her ability to outrageously and humorously debunk nutritional myths.


Nourishing Broth An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World

Written bySally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN


The follow-up book to the hugely best-selling Nourishing Traditions, which has sold over 500,000 copies, this time focusing on the immense health benefits of bone broth by the founder of the popular Weston A Price Foundation.


Nourishing Traditions examines where the modern food industry has hurt our nutrition and health through over-processed foods and fears of animal fats. NOURISHING BROTH will continue the look at the culinary practices of our ancestors, and it will explain the immense health benefits of homemade bone broth due to the gelatin and collagen that is present in real bone broth (vs. broth made from powders).


NOURISHING BROTH will explore the science behind broth's unique combination of amino acids, minerals and cartilage compounds. Some of the benefits of such broth are: quick recovery from illness and surgery, the healing of pain and inflammation, increased energy from better digestion, lessening of allergies, recovery from Crohn's disease and a lessening of eating disorders because the fully balanced nutritional program lessens the cravings which make most diets fail. Diseases that bone broth can help heal are: Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Psoriasis, Infectious Disease, digestive disorders, even Cancer, and it can help our skin and bones stay young.


In addition, the book will serve as a handbook for various techniques for making broths-from simple chicken broth to rich, clear consommé, to shrimp shell stock. A variety of interesting stock-based recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner from throughout the world will complete the collection and help everyone get more nutrition in their diet.


Direct download: BDNOW023.Kaayla_Daniel._Nourishing_Broth_Cookbook.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 8:48pm EST

The Heal Your Gut Cookbook interview with Hillary Boynton and Mary G. Brackett

Simple, delicious, family-friendly recipes for those following the GAPS Diet.


With more than two hundred straightforward, nutrient-dense, and appealing recipes, The Heal Your Gut Cookbook was created by GAPS Diet experts Hilary Boynton and Mary G. Brackett to help heal your gut and to manage the illnesses that stem from it.


Developed by pioneering British MD Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who provides the book’s Foreword, Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) refers to disorders, including ADD/ADHD, autism, addictions, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, stemming from or exacerbated by leaky gut and dysbiosis. GAPS also refers to chronic gut-related physical conditions, including celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes type one, and Crohn’s disease, as well as asthma, eczema, allergies, thyroid disorders, and more. An evolution of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, the GAPS Diet will appeal to followers of the Paleo Diet, who are still struggling for optimum health, as well as anyone interested in the health benefits of fermentation or the Weston A. Price approach to nutrition.




Links and show notes at



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In The Heal Your Gut Cookbook, readers will learn about the key cooking techniques and ingredients that form the backbone of the GAPS Diet: working with stocks and broths, soaking nuts and seeds, using coconut, and culturing raw dairy. The authors offer encouraging, real-life perspectives on the life-changing improvements to the health of their families by following this challenging, but powerful, diet.


The GAPS Diet is designed to restore the balance between beneficial and pathogenic intestinal bacteria and seal the gut through the elimination of grains, processed foods, and refined sugars and the carefully sequenced reintroduction of nutrient-dense foods, including bone broths, raw cultured dairy, certain fermented vegetables, organic pastured eggs, organ meats, and more.


The Heal Your Gut Cookbook is a must-have if you are following the GAPS Diet, considering the GAPS Diet, or simply looking to improve your digestive health and—by extension—your physical and mental well-being.


Direct download: BDNOW022.MaryBrackett_and_HilaryBoynton.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:47am EST

Lovel is a master gardener who understands that we live not on the earth but in it, with miles of life above and below us in an interdependent and interconnected matrix of life. I met him just as he was beginning his life in biodynamic agriculture, and know the passion he brought to a subject that is part metaphysics and part science. You will experience it in this book. It is a path that must be both mastered intellectually and experienced personally to be comprehended.

The thing about a properly functioning biodynamic system, whether it is a private garden or a commercial activity, is that even if you don't understand the world view, you cannot argue with the best fresh ear of corn you have ever eaten, or a tomato so good you just have to go, “Oh my.” The proof is in the pudding, as the cliché has it. My wife is a biodynamic gardener. Her garden produces enough produce, fruit, and berries for us to eat all year, and share generously. I had been eating organic, but not biodynamic, food for 40 years. When Ronlyn and I married and this garden was created, about 18 months after we began eating her biodynamic produce, I began to realize I felt different. The food I was eating was more alive. It had more vitality, and so did I.

I cannot say that I understand the radionics part. I have followed this field for many years, going back to Wilhelm Reich’s research as well as something known as the Abrams instrument. But I could not tell you whether it was a ritual for expressing nonlocal intention, rather like healing, or whether the apparatus objectively manipulated something. It is an important distinction. One thing we know It cannot be electromagnetic. The argument that, like homeopathy, it transfers information beyond the molecular cannot be refuted. It certainly seems to be the case in homeopathy. But what I can say is that using the system produces higher quality agricultural outcomes. Farmers are compelled to be pragmatic. They use what works, and some of them are adopting radionics. It is my hope that properly designed double blind studies will be done. There is at least one replication underway, as I write this, validating Cleve Backster’s plant consciousness research, and very mainstream work now supports the biodynamic system conception of an area having its own ecosystem, as one coordinated living being. Science is moving towards the matrix of life model.

Lovel’s book will be very helpful for those interested in producing the highest possible quality food. Food more nutritious than most people have ever previously eaten. He very meticulously provides the guidance that will allow a person to create a biodynamic system, and he explains it in a way that applies at any scale. It is a compassionate life-affirming path to food production whose explicit purpose is wellness at every level, from the individual, to the family, the community, the nation, and the vast living system that is the Earth herself. Lovel offers readers two gifts: first, detailed instructions in how to create and work with a biodynamic system; and, second, a different way of looking at the world. Once you read Quantum Agriculture, the next step is yours.

Stephan A. Schwartz

Whidbey Island, Washington

Direct download: Hugh_Lovel.3.a.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 6:22pm EST

Stephen Harrod Buhner



Stephen Harrod Buhner

Stephen Harrod Buhner is an Earth poet and the award-winning author of ten books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine. He comes from a long line of healers including Leroy Burney, Surgeon General of the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and Elizabeth Lusterheide, a midwife and herbalist who worked in rural Indiana in the early nineteenth century. The greatest influence on his work, however,has been his great-grandfather C.G. Harrod who primarily used botanical medicines, also in rural Indiana, when he began his work as a physician in 1911.


Stephen's work has appeared or been profiled in publications throughout North America and Europe including Common Boundary, Apotheosis, Shaman's Drum, The New York Times, CNN, and Good Morning America. Stephen lectures yearly throughout the United States on herbal medicine, the sacredness of plants, the intelligence of Nature, and the states of mind necessary for successful habitation of Earth. He is a tireless advocate for the reincorporation of the exploratory artist, independent scholar, amateur naturalist, and citizen scientist in American society - especially as a counterweight to the influence of corporate science and technology.


"One of my favorite authors. A truly revolutionary writer." Susun S. Weed,

author of Healing Wise. <Source: >

Direct download: BD_Now_Podcast_020_Stephen_Buhner_herbalist.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:06am EST

Glen Atkinson , Astrologer, Biodynamic Gardener, Homeopath and Philosopher. His endevours have been focused on developing the agricultural and medical work of the turn of the 20th century German philosopher, Dr Rudolf Steiner.

Glen began working with Dr Steiner's indications in 1976 and has since made developments in several fields.  His innovation and understanding of Dr Steiner's suggestions have come firstly from recognising the fundamental similiarity, between the traditional Astrological world view and Steiner's suggestions. Then from experimentation and observation. A simple yet innovative theory of manifestation - The Atkinson Conjecture - has become the basis for his many practical activities.

Glen accepts that, all the forces and activities talked of in Dr Steiner's Agriculture Course exist within the electro magnetic spectrum, and that the physical Universe is big enough to be 'God' . Hence, what can be known and proven, forms the basics of his observation, reference and practice.   There are several free books  outlining the basis of this world view available on Glen's webpage. 

Dr Steiner's agricultural indications are contained within a series of 8 lectures known as the 'Agriculture Course'. To aid in their understanding and appreciation, we have provided these often difficult lectures with a commentary, that seeks to harmonise them into a cohesive comphrehensible whole. More recently Glen has reorganised and lightly edited the theoretical parts of the original text, to enable an easier appreciation of the message contained with in.


"Garuda" is Glen's brand. On his website he shares why he picked this name:


Garuda is a Hindu god, who as an incarnated EAGLE manifestation of the primary god Vishnu. He performs several essential functions in life.


In India he is represented as a protector of the godly and all that is good for life.


In Indonesia he is represented as the Eagle who carries Vishnu to the Earth, thus he is "Bringing Spirit to Earth".


The Eagle also represents the ability to fly high and gain a far seeing vision , or large overview perspective of Life, while being able to also see the specific details of the environment.


This last quality I see mirrored in a suggestion by Rudolf Steiner (RS)


"... when we want to understand the plant, we must bring into question not only plant animal and human life, but the whole universe. For life comes from the whole universe not only the Earth. Nature is a unity and her forces are at work from all sides. He who can keep his mind open to the manifest workings of these forces will understand her. " R.S. Pg 70 1938 Agriculture. (1)


'This statement has long been a 'guiding thought' for me in my working with his indications, which so beautifully brings Spirit to Earth and help life processes function at their optimum.' (GA)"

Episode 018 of the Biodynamics Now! Podcast: Stephen Crimi, Publisher and the Alan Chadwick Archive

Steve Crimi is the publisher of Logosophia Books in Asheville, NC, and one of the keepers of the Alan Chadwick Archive. He and his wife Krys ran Philosophy Farm, an biodynamic/permaculture farm in the mountain of Western NC for over a decade. He has given talks internationally on Biodynamics, Sacred Geometry and the Sacred Origins of Western Civilization, and can be reached through A blog containing some of his writings is found at 

The English born Alan Chadwick came into the world on July 27, 1909. Born into the upper class of Edwardian society, Alan was exposed at a young age to a variety of aesthetic pursuits, gardening being chief among them. As a youth the mystic Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner heavily influenced him. Steiner's theories, though largely disregarded by the wider academic community, found a stronghold in the mind of young Alan. Later in his life Chadwick would combine what he learned from Steiner with French gardening techniques to develop his own brand of biodynamic horticulture. Chadwick's passion for the arts led him to the Shakespearean theater where he performed professionally for thirty two years. However his life pursuit of beauty was violently interrupted by the Second World War, which he described as having "capsized my attitude to civilization." After the war he moved to South Africa where he continued to act and to garden. In 1967, Chadwick was persuaded by his friend Countess Freye von Moltke to take a position at the burgeoning UC Santa Cruz. During his time at the University, Chadwick labored to construct a showcase garden employing his biodynamic techniques. While working the soil, he taught the students his philosophy based on a clear understanding of the rhythms of nature in creating a thriving botanical environment, as well as about the role of the garden in human culture. Chadwick was an extremely magnetic individual who attracted a large following to his lectures and a large number of devoted volunteers, whom he worked hard in the garden. Though a charming person, Chadwick was also quick to anger and notoriously difficult to get along with at times. This aspect of his personality, along with disputes over the direction of his ambitious farm project, led to his leaving the University in 1973. In the final seven years of his life, Alan continued to work in his signature style helping to create several gardens around America. He died on May 25, 1980.

Alan Chadwick remains highly regarded by the agricultural community and is seen as the forerunner to the Center for Agro-ecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) that exists today at UC Santa Cruz. The original garden remains an island of peace within the bustling University and is now named in his honor.

from :UCSC OAC Unit

The University Library

Special Collections and Archives

University Library

University of California, Santa Cru

What if you created a system of agriculture that solved many of today's problems around nutrition and farming and it was being destroyed by the very same degenerated food system it was seeking to replace?

Community supported agriculture is a social movement that arose in the US in the late 1980s because people recognized a need to produce healthy, clean, safe, ecologically sound and spiritually energized - foods while caring appropriately for  the environment. It was clear then as it is today that agriculture within the pressures of the  current economic system is subject to so many degrading economic forces that it is incapable of producing foods that provided the nutrients necessary for proper human health and development. While there are larger issues at stake when children (and adults)  are developing with only a fraction of the nutrition required to reach their full potential,  we can see these nutritional short comings in increasing rates of cancers, allergies and intestinal problems. In addition,  the environmental impact of extractive agriculture is seen everywhere. 

The ecological movement and the biodynamic movement in particular sought to find models of farming that would allow small and medium sized farmers to produce the highest quality foods with traditional "unbusinesslike" methods of farming  without the fear of bankruptcy. In other words a successful socio-economic mode. around food and farming. In the beginning, CSAs were without question organic and, usually, biodynamic, contributing substantially to the health of their members through minimizing toxicity and maximizing nutrition of the foods provided.

CSA was a simple but profound model in which cooperation between a farmer and the people who would eat what he produced assured clean, nutritious foods for the consumers, a guaranteed, if small, income for the artisan farmer, appropriate husbandry of soil, plants and livestock, as well as the peripheral benefits of providing  access to the land for the children of member families, habitat that promoted and supported biodiversity as well as , in the early years, providing an example that farming without chemicals could actually work. In other words, CSA provided much more than 'a bag of produce every week for the growing season.

Steven McFadden has pointed out that CSA farms in the USA are so popular that they have grown from 2 in 1988 to 8500 in 2013. Unfortunately, not many of the CSAs in the 2013 figure even try to address the values that made CSA so important to the future of local food and  farming in the beginning. 

One of the great short comings of the CSA nationally was the failure for its leaders to provide at least a minimal definition of CSA, instead promoting the open minded foolishness that "the wonderful thing about CSA is there is no definition." Really? Nothing as simple as 'A group of consumers coming around a farmer and a piece of land to tend to the land in every way appropriate while producing the highest quality food for the community and a dependable living wage for the farmer"? 

A whole raft of 'produce delivery' schemes have arisen, all of them using the term "CSA" to market under, which, apparently, was defined as 'a box or bag of produce once a week." There's a farm outside of Baltimore that sells 800 CSA shares off from 2 acres of land and, then, if you can believe it, wholesales shares to a retailer in Rockville who, with no farm and nor farmer, has posed as a "CSA" in for many years. (This really became distasteful two years ago when the source farm dropped 'organic' from its description (because the produce was coming from a general commercial produce auction) but the reseller in Rockville continued to offer that same commercial produce as "organic" "CSA" shares.) 

Even more insidious are the aggregators, the ones that have pulled many farms together to compete against the many family farms that until recently have been making a reliable living with traditional CSAs. A major reason that the CSA arrangement is necessary for keeping  small organic farms viable is that small farms cannot produce enough 'product' to qualify as suppliers for commercial retail organic food stores. They are too small to enter the marketplace (never mind how the wholesale returns for doing so would most likely degrade their ability or willingness to properly care for their land). Now we have 'co-operatives' of dozens of organic farms that were assembled by corporate organic specialists for the noble task of  providing the wholesale markets with local food but instead have turned onto the CSA marketplace since their return price-per-pound is much higher if the get "CSA retail" rather than wholesale.  So, keep in mind that these cooperatives have access to markets but have chosen to compete with small farmers in a system that was initially designed to support small local biological farming. To me, this has all the ethics of upper class bullies stealing the lunch money of younger students simply because they are able to do it. Worse in this case, because these co-ops are profitable, the very sustainable ag organizations that should be pulling them out of inappropriate competition with small farmers aid and abet them in their efforts. 

Another really sad thing has happened. If you want to enter the CSA marketplace for no more reason than to make money, you can call yourself a CSA, source your produce from anywhere, and use any of the web-based CSA advertising platforms - - that the CSA movement either developed or the brilliant intentions of the original CSA movement inspired others to create- -to advertise your fake CSA without fear of restriction.

Jean-Paul has told me in private conversation that the original CSA movement need not fear these commercialized intruders in the CSA movement because 'we will beat them on price and, more importantly, we will beat them on flavor.' Jean-Paul is right but Jean-Paul's farm has deep pockets and can suffer a season or two of reduced income. Most of the small farms in the original CSA movement have never been able to look more than a season ahead, unfortunately. 

It is true, two of the biggest commercial aggregators in the DC area have folded. Unfortunately, so have a number of small CSAs that have been established for years. On the national level, great CSAs like Angelic Organics are selling to the whole sale market for the first time ever, their CSA share sales reduced some 30% by so-called competition

Which reminds me: it certainly can be said that there weren't lots of farmers markets back in 1988 when CSA started and now they are everywhere on almost every day. That's true but, at least in this area, few of the market stands are organic and even fewer offer as many benefits, short and long term, as CSA offers for dollars spent on food. For those who cannot be motivated by principle, only by dollars-and-cents, most CSA's provide a season of organic produce and appropriate land management for much less than the same food, perhaps not organic, perhaps not grown in a deeply sustainable fashion, will cost at farmers markets.

Here's a pretty standard definition of CSA (from the now defunct Wilson College CSA center):

CSA is a relationship of mutual support and commitment between local farmers and community members who pay the farmer an annual membership fee to cover the production costs of the farm. In turn, members receive a weekly share of the harvest during the local growing season. The arrangement guarantees the farmer financial support and enables many small- to moderate-scale organic and/or bio-intensive family farms to remain in business. Ultimately, CSA programs create "agriculture-supported communities" where members receive a wide variety of foods harvested at their peak of freshness, ripeness, flavor, vitamin and mineral content. 

The goals of Community Supported Agriculture support a sustainable agriculture system which . . .provides farmers with direct outlets for farm products and ensures fair compensation.

• encourages proper land stewardship by supporting farmers in transition toward low or no chemical inputs and utilization of energy saving technologies.

•  strengthens local economies by keeping food dollars in local communities.

•  directly links farmers with the community- allowing people to have a personal connection with their food and the land on which it was produced.

• makes nutritious, affordable, wholesome foods accessible and widely available to community members.

•  creates an atmosphere for learning about non-conventional agricultural, animal husbandry, and alternative energy systems not only to the farmers and their apprentices, but also to members of the community, to educators from many fields of study, and to students of all ages.

One fact also to consider, organic food produced within local communities is not the same as organic food transported over long distances. When members obtain food from local farmers, environmental costs associated with the transport, processing and distribution of organic food and the consumption of fossil fuels are significantly reduced. Considering that the organic food available to members was produced locally rather than transported over long distances, the cost to the environment is significantly less.

Today's program, "The Future of CSA," addresses many of these issues.

Direct download: BD_Now_Podcast_017_The_Future_of_CSA_S.McFadden_J-P.Courtens.mp3
Category:Conversation -- posted at: 5:29pm EST