Welcome to Our 2014 Season!
Holding and sharing wholeness--that is now the focus at White Rose Farm. The farm now radiates wholeness in the form of beauty, bounty and balance. That experience is available to those who visit--and to those who are touched by the farm's produce and products.
Theologian Thomas Berry said that we are touched by what we touch; we are shaped by what we shape; we are enhanced by what we enhance. Our relationship with nature is our primary experience of the divine. The outer world of nature and the inner world of humans go together.
In our modern world, there are few places that encourage a deep connection with the natural world. At White Rose Farm, we invite people into the gardens to connect and to create with nature. By connecting and creating, we promote wholeness in ourselves and in our world.
We restore our commons--common air, common water, common-unity.
How exciting! Won't you join us?
Posted by Sally Voris :: Sunday, December 14 :: 8:24am
I have received several requests asking me to comment on the proposed food safety modernization act. Rather than responding to any one detail, I will frame a larger question: if we Americans value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, how do we create a food system that supports that vision? My answer: encourage farmers to live fully and love their land and their communities deeply. Then that love will spread throughout our land and our world.
Farmers love life: they revel to see crops growing well, to see animals healthy. The words, healthy, whole, and holy all come from the same root word, as does the word, wholesome. How do we promote wholesome food?
In 1924, Rudolf Steiner, gave a series of eight lectures to farmers. They had asked him to comment on the decline in the quality of their produce. He encouraged farmers to imagine their farms as living whole organisms and to work in rhythm and harmony with the cosmic forces of sun and moon, planets and stars. Working in this way, farms become places where earth and cosmic energies combine to create an environment filled with vitality. That environment then supports food that feeds body, mind and spirit.
“If you look at the needle of a compass,” he said in Lecture One,” you discover that one end always points more or less towards the north,while the other end points south. If you want to explain this, you don't look to the needle, but rather to the whole Earth: you hypothesis that there is a magnetic north pole at one end of the Earth and a magnetic south pole at the other. It would be ridiculous to try to explain the behavior of the compass needle by looking for the cause in the needle itself. The position of the needle cannot be understood unless you know the needle's relationship to the whole Earth.”
Similarly, when we want to promote health in our food system, we need to look at the whole system. Daphne Miller, M.D, in her recent keynote address at the Biodynamic Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, spoke of the benefit of diversity of microorganisms—in our soils and in our guts. Researchers have found that diversity in our guts and in our soils promotes health. The goal is not to eliminate the “bad” microorganisms—a practice that inadvertently kills good ones as well--but to allow the good ones to hold the bad in balance. It is a lesson that we humans could learn. “Let Nature Lead,” was the theme of last year's PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) Conference.
I have spent ten years learning about biodynamic agriculture and implementing its practices on my farm. I have developed lively communities in the soil, in the air and on the farm. People from the region come to the farm to savor it and its premium produce.
The proposed regulations come at a time when increasing fluctuations in extreme weather demand more of my time and intense focus. I am doing more work to respond to the extreme weather, and the time I have to work in my fields without damaging the soil is becoming tighter: the work must be done when it can be done. If a report is due at that time, what do I choose? File the report and meet the reporting requirements or manage and maintain the garden for its health?
The farm operation is small. It would be exempt from many of the requirements. The farm is in a position to expand. I wanted to invite young farmers here. We would consider being part of a regional food hub, a cooperative CSA or some other regional endeavor. However, I may choose to leave the farming business rather than be subject to demanding regulations that take the joy out of my work.
What a loss that would be!