Biodynamics was started in 1924 by farmers and soil scientists who chose not to follow the world into the widely promoted “chemical future”. Even in 1924, there was noticeable degradation in quality of soil, seed, plant and animal. In the time of Aristotle...it was
recognized that relationships exist between certain cosmic constellations and the various plant species. Life processes are possible only between terrestrial forces streaming towards the periphery and cosmic forces raying from the periphery towards the earth. According to Steiner one has only to penetrate this material world to discover that it is indeed the spiritual world. The farmer, mediating between the realms of nature (mineral, plant, animal) and human, is creating a new agriculture which supports more developed forms of life. We are inspired by the belief that True Food nourishes the body and the human spirit. “Every idea that does not become an ideal for you kills a force in your soul, but every idea that
becomes an ideal for you creates forces of life within you.” Rudolf Steiner
We want our bodies to function and thrive at a high vibration, and in order to do that we need to be consuming foods that are of a higher vibration. There is a vibrational heart connection with the soil and the sun. When we combine the two by growing (vegetables) in soil and then allowing them to green up with the sun, it raises the vibration... To maintain optimum health and support the healing process, the mind and body need the life force energy that is present in foods that are filled with life and light. Filling your body with foods filled with light will feed your cells and raise your body's vibration.
-- Dr. Christopher
As never before, the earth as a living being is calling out to us for recognition, for healing, for sacred and sustainable ways of tending her soil, plants, animals, and landscapes.
Biodynamics is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and
Biodynamics is thus not just a holistic agricultural system but also a potent movement for new thinking and practices in all aspects of life connected to food and agriculture.
It Tastes Better!
We encourage our members to have blind taste tests of biodynamic vs conventional food. Here is the response by one of our members: "I don't need to do a blindfold test! I've recently eaten watermelon from a conventional farm. It was redder but definitely not as tasty. This week's [biodynamic] watermelon was the best I've ever tasted. It was delicious down to and including some of the non red/pink part. Last week's was wonderful too!" ~Margaret
At Three Springs Farm we work to ensure that our produce is full of the nutrients and vitality our bodies need, and may currently be lacking due to eating industrially produced organic or conventional produce. Our practices include using the Biodynamic compost preparations and field sprays, as well as adding amendments to the soil and using foliar sprays to increase the nutritive value of our produce. Why are we concerned with nutrient density? Justus von Liebig (1803-1873)
established the “Law of the Minimum” which showed that plant growth and yield is limited by the scarcest necessary mineral nutrient available to the plant. Conventional farming focuses on these macronutrients necessary for plant growth (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium). While plants may grow and look fine with sufficient quantities of these macronutrients, the true nutritive value will not be optimum if any of the trace minerals plants use in their growth process are lacking. Many nutrient elements have been depleted from soils worldwide due to weathering, leaching, and depletion from decades of continuous chemical agricultural production. For this reason, it is not enough to simply conserve our soils through good farming practices. To grow truly nutritive food we must evaluate our particular soil
and add minerals that may have been leached or are deficient within our particular geographical context. In Lecture 5 of the Agriculture Course (1924), Steiner explained it thus: What, after all, do they amount to — the customary modern methods of improving [farming]? No doubt their first superficial effects are sometimes surprising, but the result will soon be that the alleged “excellent agricultural products” which you obtain thereby become mere stomach-filling for the human being. They will no longer have the proper nutritive power. You should not be deceived by the swollen size of any product. The point is that
it should be inwardly consistent, with really nutritive intensity. Yet, healthy food doesn’t only contain nutritive matter, it also contains vital
life energy or forces (called Chi in traditional Chinese medicine). biodynamic practices infuse the soil and crops with healthy forces from the earth and cosmos. The shallow view of food, that if it looks good, it is good, is simply that—shallow. If we wish to grow healthy bodies and strong will forces, we need to ensure our farming practices yield crops full of both vital forces and substances. Sherry Wildfeur describes this well in her article, “What is Biodyanamics” (Stella Natura, 1995): We gain our strength from the process of breaking down the food we eat. The more alive the food, the more it stimulates digestive activity, and the more that energy can be derived from it. It is perhaps a strange thought for most people to consider that vegetables, grain, or fruit grown biodynamically may contain more life-forces than the same produce grown by conventional methods. Ye a method of testing has been developed through the work of biodynamic pioneer Ehrenfried Pfeiffer that can demonstrate this fact. Chromatography actually makes the life-forces, which are otherwise rather ineffable, visible through the pictures formed when juices are dissolved in a
solution of sodium hydroxide and allowed to rise up on simple filter paper that has been soaked in a solution of silver nitrate. But in truth, we have a pretty reliable scientific laboratory within our own organism, if we will cultivate it—composed of our own senses of taste, smell, and sight. Are we not able to discern by now that when a tasteless, pale and watery fruit is offered us something is missing?
Three Springs Community Farm is located on a secluded historic dairy ranch between the tiny towns of Freestone and Bodega in West Sonoma County. The ranch has a 20 acre bowl of sunny pastures, fields and creeks, sheltered on three sides by 60 acres of hills forested with firs, oaks, bay laurels and redwoods. We began development of the land in 2017, and began vegetable production and our Farm Membership Program in 2020. When the farm is fully developed it will consist of three acres of annual vegetable fields; five acres
of fruit orchards; one acre of berries; a perennial food forest garden; herb gardens with medicinal, culinary and Biodynamic herbs; and pollinator habitat and animal fodder borders throughout the planted fields. Seven acres of pasture, as well as back-country grazing will provide for two milk cows, a herd of dairy goats, and a herd of pigs, and, of course, bees. We are one of only three Biodynamic Farms in Sonoma County, and one of only five that are producing in Northern California
The farm community is formed of many members, including active farmers— those working the land—and those who choose to support that work. Lew & Willow Summer, the founding farmers, hope to create a livelihood to bring on another farmer or farming family to be partners in the business as soon as possible. The diversity of the farm requires partnership to manage vegetable fields, orchards and animals. Bringing on new partners who are a generation younger is a part of our succession plan for the longevity of the farm organism.
Three Springs Community Farm Foundation provides a way for the farm to serve as a training ground for aspiring Biodynamic farmers by providing year-long Farm Apprenticeships. Apprentices participate in a foundational study of Biodynamic and Anthroposophical principals through reading, discussion, experimentation and artistic activity, while practicing hands on skills as part of day-to-day farm operations. Living and working in community in an intentional way brings the possibility for fun and laughter, self-growth and forging connections with new friends, while building the skills for a new vocation in farming
By working out of Steiner’s Social Threefolding principles to organize our Farm, we have the opportunity to transform a competitive relationship between producer and consumer into a collaborative and cooperative one. A community farm is not a market relationship but a community of people working to meet each other’s needs.
Our farm was named after the life-giving waters on our farm, and the “three wellsprings” within human society of freedom, equality and interdependence -- Liberté, égalité, fraternité! For any collective endeavor to truly meet the needs of the community it must provide all three at the right time and place
Everyone must eat, in this we should have equality. Because we all eat we must all be involved in farming, whether we farm ourselves or not. In order to meet the community’s needs, the farmer’s basic needs for livelihood should be met—here we have interdependence—meeting the farmer’s needs and meeting the community’s needs. By meeting the farm budget, the community frees up the farmer’s time to devote their energy to do creative work with the land through their own artistry.
The nourishment community members receive as a free gift of the land, and as a result of the farmer’s work, provide the vitality each person needs to freely and creatively do their work in the world (freedom).
Following the call of Steiner’s “Fundamental Social Law” and “Three Fold Social Order”, the Three Springs Community Farm Membership Program offers farm subscriptions based on financial capacity and need for food, rather than a set subscription fee and weekly allotment. Within certain limits, members are able to receive a share of produce based on what their family needs and pay what they are able from their family budget. In this economic structure we emphasize interdependence (fraternité). Some need more, some need less; some have more finances, some have less. We ask Farm Members to commit to an honest self-evaluation to determine their financial contribution, as well as the quantity of food they need. Produce is delivered through weekly, members-only farm stands, as opposed to the “one size fits all” weekly box selection common to many CSA programs This increases member happiness and reduces waste at the household level, since members are able to take what they prefer and need based on their household size and cooking habits. In this area we emphasize freedom (liberté). The farm can only produce so much, and only that which grows in season, which limits our freedom. At our farm stands, we indicate how much of any product each member can take so that everyone will have a fair chance to take each type of produce offered (égalité). Each family’s Membership fees are pledged during a yearly community process. The farm budget is presented for discussion and suggestion to the Membership. Each Member then makes a pledge to help meet that budget. After all the pledges are tallied, if the budget is not met, each family may consider raising their pledge amount until the budget is met. Members are not paying a price per pound for food, which sets up a competition where the consumer looks for the lowest price and the farmer grows only what can bring a high price, rather than a broad offering of all the foods that people need (examples are growing wine grapes or cannabis instead of apples or vegetables). When farmers’ and agricultural workers’ needs are not met, as is often currently the case, the workers themselves and society as a whole eventually pay for the shortfall through individual suffering and greater costs to society at large. Additionally, the community suffers from the results of consuming poor quality food that was grown as cheaply as possible. In recent years, the original impulse for the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) has been shrouded as market forces have bent many CSA programs back to fit the prevailing market-driven ways of thinking. New “fake” CSAs are simply marketing tools within the conventional economic model. Through our Community Farm Membership Program we hope to reelevate the CSA as a viable model and solution to many of the problems within our food system and society. The goal for the Farm Members (CSA members) is to cover the annual operating budget of the farm, which includes labor needs and the cost of annual production, annual lease rent and startup loan payments. Capital costs for major equipment, buildings, etc. are not included in the annual operating budget.
We are currently accepting new members for our 2023 Season.
We offer products from our farm as well as farm events, visits and camping. Produce and deliveries are available for 36-40 weeks from late March to early December with some limited U-pick available December-March.
Free choice Farm Stands:
Berkeley Rose Waldorf School
Golden Bridges School Garden (Excelsior, SF)
Three Springs Community Farm (Bodega)
Pre Packed Box Delivery
Dinsmore Home near 19th Avenue & GG Park in SF
Blossom preschool near MWS in Terra Linda
Wildcat Canyon Community School in El Sobrante
Sebastopol in Sonoma county (Location TDB)
Email Farmer Willow:
One of the most important parts of our work at Three Springs Community Biodynamic Farm is welcoming School Groups for immersive nature and farming experiences. Through day and overnight trips tailored to their age and developmental stage, students practice manual skills, work with the materials of nature, and experience being a part of a larger organism, each with a part to play.
These experiences are important in so many ways! Manual work is linked with healthy brain development; being responsible for feeding hungry livestock teaches care of the community; immersion in nature's beauty helps students develop into ecological stewards; students immediately grasp the tangible importance of teamwork towards our basic need for food; those who learn to grow their own food are truly empowered for their whole lifetime!