For my biodynamic trainee project, I want to design and construct a place for stirring the biodynamic preparations in the valley. Currently, there is not a static location for this in the valley. It will be used by the valley landscape, and fish farm teams for the stirring of 500, 501, the compost preparations, and the three kings preparation.
Furthermore, it will be a place to store the preparations, including the cowpat pit. The project will also seek to add vitality and help rejuvenate this section of the valley.
Proposed Location & Inicial Ideas
The photograph above shows the potential location for the preparation stirring area, which Mattias recommended. I believe this is an ideal location to stir the preparations, and I am excited by the potential of this location.
The rising bank gives me the opportunity to cut slightly into it, this would create a slight enclave, allowing me to construct a drystone wall against the bank.
If the opportunity arises (depending on the incline of the bank) I would like to create a cubbyhole where a small preparation storage box would be kept.
Above the stone wall on the bank, I would like to create six small garden beds to grow each of the plants required for the compost preparations, each plant species circled with Cotswold stone and corresponding to a clay tile. (see next paragraph)
I would also like to commission staff in the pottery workshop to design and create six tiles, one for each of the compost preparations. The tiles would be evenly spaced out and attached to the wall, with the tops of each plant visible when facing the area.
The ground will be covered in white pebbles, with slabs placed throughout.
Another idea would be to inscribe an esoteric biodynamic preparation calendar somewhere in the location. Perhaps engraved on a concrete slab, or forged. I need to consider this further.
I will need to source an oak barrel and design a frame to hold the stirring stick.
Due to the location of the bank, it may be worth looking at ways to capture some of the rainwater that would normally run down the bank. This water could be used in the stirring.
The Seven Fields Of Practice
Genius Loci: I will spend some time observing the area before starting my project. I am taking down a pre-existing structure, and compost furnace. I intend to incorporate many of the materials back into the project.
Practical Skills: My project will involve excavating into the clay bank, removing materials away, and constructing a stone wall and foundation. A host of practical skills will be involved to actualise this project.
Biodynamic Ecology: The biodynamic preparations are central to biodynamic agriculture. By creating a designated area for the stirring of the preparations, it’s likely that the frequency of spraying them in the valley will increase.
Therapeutic Education: Students will be involved during the construction of the stirring area. I hope my finished stirring area will be beautiful. If so it may rejuvenate more neglected parts of the valley, thus creating a more therapeutic environment where students are working.
Holistic Support and Care: The biodynamic preparation provide holistic support for the land and plants. In turn, the nutritional dense vegetables grown in the valley will contribute to the well-being of the staff and students.
Holistic Medicine: The biodynamic preparations that will be stirred together by practitioners in the valley, are holistic medicines for the soil, and the plants.
Transformative Leadership: I will have to hold myself accountable for designing and creating this preparation stirring area. I will need to manage my time and solve problems that will arise throughout the project.
How Will This Project Grow The Land, and Grow People?
I believe that this project will grow the land and add vitality to the landscape. I want to build it with the intention that it will be used frequently and consistently for the stirring of the biodynamic preparations in the valley for years to come.
I am still learning about the biodynamic preparations, and have yet to understand their effects through any personal experiences, aside from the act of making them, which I believe establishes a relationship with the land through the intention held within each of the preparations.
I believe that I will understand the biodynamics preparations in greater depth as I continue to prepare, and use them.
Regardless, a location for the stirring of the biodynamic preparations would be great for the valley. The preparations stirred here will improve the vitality of the soil, and help keep the plants healthy.
My project will also help to grow people. During our weekend seminar on biodynamic preparations, the instructor reflected on the nature of the conversations that are had while stirring the preparations. It is also key that a single biodynamic stirring area, will bring staff from different areas of the valley together with great purpose and intent.
In my original project proposal I positioned the biodynamic stirring location in a sanctuary high on the valley bank, but following on from conversations. It is clear to me that the location shouldn’t be hidden from the public, staff, or students. It should be located next to the permissive public footpath. Although the biodynamics preparations are not included as part of the student’s curriculum for understandable reasons, they may still have questions and be interested in the process.
As I am in Valley Landscape three days a week, I would like to include students where possible to help me create this preparation area.
I also want to make the area beautiful and respect the genius loci, so it is pleasing to the eyes of those that walk through the valley.
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