We are looking to fund the redevelopment of the Biodynamic Principles and Practice online training.
The biodynamic online training is a unique project which aims to teach the principles and practice of biodynamics to farmers and growers all around the world as well as home growers, shop owners, consumers, cooks and more.
What is Biodynamics?
Biodynamics is one of the oldest and most developed organic and sustainable farming techniques. It is used world-wide to produce quality food - food that simultaneously nourishes the whole human being and cares for the environment. It is known for being an approach that produces award winning wines and cheeses but also fruit, vegetables, cereals, meat, wool and more. In addition, at its core, biodynamics is a mixed farming system that seeks not only to do no harm to the ecology of a farm but actually to support and improve the soil, ecology and environment of the farm. A biodynamic holding radiates health and vitality to the local environment. You can read more on our partner organisation's website the Biodynamic Association.
The Biodynamic Agricultural College
The Biodynamic Agricultural College is a registered charity (reg. no. 1141825). It was established in 2010. Its objects are to provide education and training in biodynamic and sustainable agriculture. Currently it has an established work-based learning scheme (apprenticeship scheme) and an online training course. The work-based learning scheme provides students from all over Europe to come to the United Kingdom to study biodynamic farming and gain practical experience, working alongside biodynamic practitioners on the land. There is a continuing and heavy demand for places. The development of on-line teaching and learning techniques gives the college the opportunity to widen its teaching activities globally.
The Biodynamic Principles and Practice Course (Online)
This course will be delivered online and structured into 3 sections: a short introduction course, a course on biodynamic world view and a course on biodynamic practice.
The Introduction to Biodynamics is a short and affordable course which can stand on its own or can be used as an entry point for the other units. The course will cover basic concepts and practices in biodynamics. The course is 4 weeks long.
Biodynamic World View will be a longer course. It will comprise a collection of units on phenomenological topics (plants, animals, chemistry, and farm organisms) beginning with a world- wide / cosmological view and then focusing on the farm as a holistic entity. The course will be 10 weeks long.
Biodynamic Practice will be a full course, concerned with the actual unique practices of biodynamics and how the biodynamic world view is put into action. As every farm organism is unique this course will explore the use of preparations, care of animal health, and support of plant resilience in different circumstances on biodynamic farms around the world. 16 weeks long.
Who and How will it benefit?
With the help of this online project, farmers and growers who cannot leave their holding for extended periods will still have access to training, ways to understand and improve the sustainability of their own work, land and products. Students all over the world will be able to learn about the farm as an organism, get a different view of plants and animals, and learn about soil health and fertility, and explore diversity and resilience as sustainable practice. Taking advantage of new techniques in distance learning, farmers from all over the world, including farmers from developing countries, will be able to learn about this advanced, sustainable system of agriculture in an affordable way. As a result they will be able to apply the principles and methods of organic and sustainable farming to their own holdings.
Retailers who are increasingly procuring more biodynamic produce for sale will gain an understanding of what biodynamics stands for and explain it to their costumers.
Anyone who wishes to explore a different meaning to nutrition can learn about what is beyond minerals, proteins and carbohydrates and how vital food can nourish the whole human being.
The teaching material on the course would also be used as teaching aides for Biodynamic trainers who teach on face to face workshops.
Finance and how it will be used
Over the last 4 years we have developed units on various topics in biodynamics. We have taught units to 111 people. During this time we have learned important lessons and gathered an astonishing amount of online resources: documents, discussions, seminars and videos. Now, we wish to restructure and improve the course creating a more effective and efficient training.
The money we are seeking will be used for taking this course to the next stage of its development. The restructuring from individual units (using existing material) to the sections described above will cost:
Introductory course £600
Biodynamic World View £1,500
Biodynamic Practice £2,250
New courses on grape growing and wine making (for which there is increasing demand):
Wine making £6,600
Costs are based on one professional writer to prepare the course and include specialist contributors (£6,000) and an internal cost (£600) to prepare it for the online platform.
Materials for course development:
Digital Camcorder £350
Recording/editing software £400
The second part of the project is to improve the web platform and presentation:
Web platform and website £1,000
The last part of the project is marketing this includes campaigns using social media, writing articles for relevant publications, newsletters and presence in conferences:
The total sum of the funds we are looking to raise is: £31,300 (£15,000 from crowdfunding)
With the help of your donation we will restructure the course, add new units, improve our web platform and our presentation techniques, we will increase our resources and make them more accessible. We will adapt the course so that it speaks to people from all over the world and all walks of life.
We strongly believe that education is an important step in making a change in the world. At the Biodynamic Agricultural College we aim to change one square meter at a time and through education sow seeds for a future.
On behalf of the trustees of the
Biodynamic Agricultural College