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6 8 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t I FIRST ENCOUNTERED THE JOSEPHINE Porter Institute and its biodynamic preparations when working at a winery with biodynamically cultivated vineyards in Napa Valley. I found that the list of farms, vineyards and orchards that use the JPI "preps" is as long as it is illustri- ous. Although biodynamic farming is not a new concept/practice—developed in 1924 from the ideas of Austrian philosopher, social reformer and esotericist Rudolph Steiner—it is just now finding a toe-hold in mainstream conscious- ness, particularly as people become increasingly attentive to where their food comes from and as restrictions on organic farming become more lax, prompting consumers to seek out even more conscious and strict forms of farming and agriculture. Biodynamics, at its core, is the idea that a farm is— in and of itself—self-sustaining. However, the core ten- ants of Steiner's biodynamics can be difficult to stick to if you don't have, say, the bladder of a red deer that lives on your property. The Josephine Porter Institute is able to meet the need of farmers and vignerons who desire to practice biodynamics but are unable to make all of the biodynamic preparations themselves. Paving the Way for Biodynamic Preps in the United States Josephine Porter grew up on a dairy farm in north- eastern Pennsylvania and started making biodynamic preparations in 1947 after attending her first biody- namic conference in Spring Valley, New York, and being inspired by Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, a leading advocate of biodynamic agriculture. Although Porter had aspirations to become an osteopathic physician, she realized after hearing Dr. Pfeiffer speak that good health was dependent on healthy soil and food, and the course of her life changed. She devoted the rest of her life to the basis of health—soil life and fertility—by making and providing the biodynamic prepa- rations and educating others on their use. In 1956, Josephine started making the preparations on a larger scale, under the guidance of Dr. Pfeiffer and under the auspices of the Biodynamic Association, of which she was also Secretary/Treasurer until 1973. She continued providing preparations to farmers and gardeners across the country, and the biodynamic community took notice. Over the years, many came to Porter, based in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, to learn about biody- namic agriculture. She was affectionately known as "Josie" to students, friends and neighbors until her passing on May 3, 1984. Today, part of the farm remains The Josie Porter Farm. In 1985, one of Porter's dedicated students, Hugh Courtney (a celebrated biodynamic educator in his own right), established the Josephine Porter Institute For BACK TO OUR ROOTS THE JOSEPHINE PORTER INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED BIODYNAMICS SEEKS TO HEAL THE EARTH THROUGH BIODYNAMIC PREPARATIONS by Karen Moneymaker PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE JOSEPHINE PORTER INSTITUTE The Josephine Porter Institute farm in Floyd, Virginia. PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE JOSEPHINE PORTER INSTITUTE PHOTO: THINKSTOCK PHOTO: COURTESY OF JPI PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE JOSEPHINE PORTER INSTITUTE BD# 504 BD# 502 BD# 507 BD# 503 BIODYNAMICS

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