Offerings for 2022:
We don't yet have a plan for what our 2022 farm season will look like. Our recent land purchase represents a huge change for us here at Dharma's Garden, and we have a lot of planning to do to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the project. To stay up to date with our announcements about the 2022 farm season, be sure to join our email list!
Is it organic?
We never use any kind of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Our ducks are fed certified organic feed, in addition to what they forage around the property.
We make our own compost from material produced right here in the garden.
In the rare instances in which we bring in nutrients from offsite, we only use certified organic products, or manure sourced from responsible local farms.
While we are not certified organic, our standards and practices exceed those required for certification.
What is "biodynamic"?
"Biodynamic" is a trademark owned by the Demeter Association, which certifies farms. We are not certified biodynamic, though we are inspired by biodynamic ideas and methods and incorporate them into the way we run our garden.
Biodynamic agriculture looks at farming and gardening in an entirely different way than conventional (including organic) agriculture. The garden is seen as an interconnected whole. The gardener strives to strike up a sort of harmonic resonance with the rhythms and patterns that permeate the whole. Biodynamics strives to garden with the earth, not just on the earth. Every action and activity is entered into with the intent of drawing upon formative forces and principles. The material world itself is seen as entirely dependent on and a consequence of these deeper and more fundamental formative principles and forces. While, like any methodology, there can be a tendency to get caught up in dogmatic beliefs and behaviors, the essential purpose of biodynamics is to elicit a personal experience of and relationship with the natural world around us, in the deepest and most reverent way possible. It is gardening with a humble devotion to the wondrous miracle that surrounds us.
- Patterns & Rhythms -
A healthy garden is a unified organism, always seeking harmony and interconnectedness between all of its apparent parts. So too is the garden itself only an apparent part of a larger interconnected whole, this pattern of interconnectedness radiating outward to include the whole of the entire cosmos. A myriad of rhythms permeate this cosmic whole, exerting influences each in its own way and in chorus with each other. Biodynamics strives to align its intentions and activities with these rhythms. Each and every one of us does this already, even if we don't think of it in such profound terms. For example, the daily rhythm of our planet's rotation and the annual rhythm of Earth's dance with the sun combine to create what we experience as the seasons, a cosmic rhythm with which every farmer is intimately acquainted. Other rhythms are more subtle. Many human cultures have been planting and harvesting in conjunction with cycles of the moon for countless centuries, and modern studies have shown some remarkable correlations between crop performance and lunar cycles.
- More about Biodynamics -
The following is quoted from the Josephine Porter Institute's website:
Biodynamic (bio: life; dynamic: pertaining to energy, force or power) agricultural methods were introduced by Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925) an Austrian scientist and philosopher. (Steiner is also the founder of Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education.) Through his research he was able to develop an understanding of how the unseen forces of the universe affect the health and growth of plants and animals and, most importantly, the vitality of the soil.
In 1920s Europe, the use of chemicals in agriculture was causing great concern for a number of farmers and soil scientists; especially with regard to its effects on seed viability, deterioration of food quality, and health related problems in both livestock and crops. In 1924, at the request of farmers, Steiner presented a series of eight lectures on these issues, which are now published as Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture. During this lecture series, Steiner gave indications for producing several different preparations to be used in agriculture which are now referred to as Biodynamic Preparations (BD preparations). In addition he gave indications for planting, cultivating and harvesting based on the cycles of the sun, moon, planets and stars. He also taught a practical means of pest control (called “ashing” or “pest peppering”).
A different viewpoint is required when approaching agriculture from the biodynamic perspective. Both in the “conventional chemical” and “organic” approaches to agriculture, we tend to think in terms of substances (or more specifically, chemical requirements that can be met by this or that substance). In chemical-based agriculture, we bring nitrogen to the soil via ammonia or urea, and in organic-based agriculture we bring nitrogen via manure. For phosphorous the substance of choice is super-phosphate or rock phosphate. We are thinking in terms of chemical substances or NPK, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the soil. With biodynamic agriculture and biodynamic preparations, we learn to think in terms of forces in addition to substances. This does not mean discarding all knowledge of soil chemistry; it means we need to go beyond solely the chemical point of view. Just as the effects of the force of gravity or the force of magnetism can be observed without actually being able to see these forces, so too can we recognize the forces that are released though biodynamic preparations.
From the biodynamic perspective, the earth is a living entity which engages in a dynamic relationship with the forces of the cosmos. In order to work effectively in agriculture and gardening, the grower must take these forces into consideration while working with soil, plants and animals. Our ancestors had an innate understanding of the interdependence of all life. They instinctively practiced agricultural methods that biodynamics seeks to bring to conscious understanding and active use in farming and gardening today.
Through the Industrial Age, people have gained greater and greater command of the physical aspects of life and have paid less and less attention to the unseen forces that bring vitality to the natural world. The result in agriculture has been large-scale factory farms and agri-businesses focused on manipulating genes of plants and animals in order to meet goals of increased food production and profits. Biodynamics provides an alternative, sustainable way to bring healing to the earth and vitality to all living things.
This year, we are offering two different ways to show your support and join in the fun at Dharma’s Garden: you can be either a “MEMBER” or an ENTHUSIAST.” Whether you are near or far, becoming an ENTHUSIAST or MEMBER is an expression of support for the garden and a gesture of engagement with community. For both options, all benefits extend to everyone in your family/household.
All that is required to become an ENTHUSIAST or MEMBER is to fill out an online form and make an annual donation at the time of signup. Your annual donation will help sustain this community project, and the amount of the donation is entirely up to you. Donation amounts may vary greatly from one family to another, based on each of our individual means. You decide what you can afford to give, and what it’s worth to you to have this precious community resource. Dharma’s Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit project, and all donations are tax-deductible.
What’s the difference between ENTHUSIAST and MEMBER?
(appropriate for people near or far)
Benefits for Dharma’s Garden ENTHUSIASTS include:
Discounted pricing on garden products and services
Opportunities to participate in activities throughout the year
Invitation to classes, workshops, and special events (Pizza Party, Movie Nights, Harvest Dinner, etc)
There is no maximum cap on the number of Enthusiasts each year.
(appropriate for people living locally)
Benefits for Dharma’s Garden MEMBERS include:
All of the same benefits of Enthusiasts, plus…
Access to our members-only weekly market (Saturdays 9am-12pm, seasonally)
(See below about CSA Farm Shares)
We have a maximum cap on the number of Members to limit the total number of people on any given market day. Membership is first-come-first-served, and is very popular, so fills up quickly.
What About CSA Farm Shares?
We're doing things a little differently here. We are not about producing an agricultural commodity to sell; rather, we are focused on sharing an experience of tending the land with our community. In the spirit of true sharing, at our on-site weekly market, all Dharma's Garden MEMBERS are welcome to take home as many of the fruits and vegetables as will fulfill their needs. We ask only that you use what you take home with you, so that nothing goes to waste.
The model is simple:
TAKE what you NEED, and
GIVE what you CAN.
For this model to work, it is important that those of us who can afford to do so, give generously. In order to cover the significant costs associated with tending the land to produce this shared abundance, we rely on the generous contributions from our community.