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September/October 2009 News from Spikenard Farm and Friends
Issue No. 3

Demeter

"Beehives have accompanied human development since the earliest time. It's construction from the community, the relation to the light and their nutrition from the blossoms excite reverence and admiration at all time. Bee colonies are however, more dependent on human care today than ever before." (Demeter standards, July 2008)


Holistic beekeeping is, thankfully, becoming more known in environmental and agricultural sustainability circles.  Some might wonder what is different about Spikenard's approach?  Spikenard works in accord with the principles laid out in bio-dynamic agriculture, the guidelines of which were presented by Rudolf Steiner in the early part of the 20th century.  Demeter is an international certification agency that works to uphold the standards in bio-dynamic agriculture.  Their beekeeping guidelines were updated last year and can be found here at the bottom of the page.

The standards reflect the highest care for these special creatures. The management of breeding and maintenance of bio-diversity is a particular concern.  Natural development of the comb, including in the brood area, strict guidelines about feeding for overwintering and in emergencies are also part of the Spikenard and bio-dynamic approach. 

For Spikenard, bees are so much more than pollinators or honey producers.  They are part of the complex living organism of the earth and are integral to our development as human beings. Bees and honey are part of the most
ancient folklore and medicine. One hundred years ago, when Steiner spoke of the problems we would see from the industrial and mechanical approach to beekeeping that was taking hold, we took a long time to really listen.  Now,
with the problems so evident in weakened wild bee populations and in human-kept colonies, Spikenard is called more strongly than ever to be a beacon for saving the honeybee.  Demeter certification is an important step
in that process. 

-Lauren Johnson
 
Michaelmas Celebration
Michaelmas Celebration
image via wikipedia/Michaelmas

On September 27th, Spikenard Farm will be having a small Michaelmas celebration amont the staff and voluteers. 
 
The onset of the Michaelmas season falls shortly after the fall  equinox, the balance between day and night, between light and  darkness.  For the farmer/gardener there is also a balance between the heat of the summer and the frostiness of the winter, between the gifts  of the summer sun, harvested and stored in barns and bins, and  the  sowing of new crops that will come to bear fruit next year.
Michael is often depicted with a stern glance holding a golden scale, upon which our good and bad deeds are weighed.  Of course we all hope that the good ones outweigh the bad ones!  Hope alone, however, won't  do. This glance has to be internalized, and in our own heart we can  weigh, with the help of our conscience, our deeds --even before they are put into outer reality.  We can foresee, feel the consequences of our intended deeds and this "weighing" will help us in making  decisions, choosing that will offer a brighter future.  Thus all year long the light that we can become, will shine and help overcome the  forces of darkness in favor of our intended future evolution.  

 
-Gunther Hauk
Immunity and Local Honey
Honey
 
Most of us have heard about the benefits of including local honey in one's diet to help fortify our immune systems.  Click here to learn more about how this works as well as when to start a local honey regimen in order to combat seasonal allergies.
 
Courtesy of Stefanie at http://focusorganic.com

In This Issue

Demeter

Michaelmas Celebration Meaning & History

Local Honey and Immunity
What You Can Do
Help support our continuing efforts for the Honeybee.  Or consider volunteering at Spikenard Farm!
 
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About Spikenard

Established a non-profit organization in 2006, Spikenard Farm and Apiary is creating a biodynamic farm with a bee sanctuary at its
heart, cultivating an environment that promotes life and health.  We choose to do this in the heartland of the USA, where damages to the soil, the water, to the social structure of the farming communities are,
perhaps, more severe than in other regions of the country.

We offer training in beekeeping and biodynamic farming and gardening and provide educational programs for children. We aim to enable future farmers, beekeepers and educators to develop faculties and practices needed to allow agriculture to be the foundation for a sustainable and thriving culture.

While we continue to pioneer this effort, we depend on volunteers,
grants and individual donations to support our core operations and capital improvements.

Contributions to Spikenard Farm and Apiary are fully tax deductible.
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