‘I never thought growing plants could be a kind of ‘education’ for them.’
‘We are asked to be creative in the most varied ways.’
News 2011 – Creativity in agriculture
The creative life is everywhere in agriculture. The earth creates new things, man gives them shape. He trains plants, intervenes, puts his mark on them. With respect and creativity. In the cycle of life. Thoughts from the perspective of a biodynamic farmer.
Land is the work-field of farmers, creativity at first hand. As a farmer, I live with the seasons round, with coming into being and passing away.
The path that led me to this profession was a long one. Having received the influences of my parents, my ancestors, my environment, many life experiences eventually led me to my husband and our farm. Here, we work with nature so that her gifts can reach human beings. We are asked to be creative in the most varied ways. In response to specific needs, we develop an idea. We implement what is necessary and give it shape our will.
Create something new from the fruit
Formerly, when I had no experience in agriculture, I thought that the plant already knew what it should be. I never thought that growing plants could be a kind of ‘training’ for them. Now, I have accumulated experiences and learned many things. I am able look at a currant bush and think ‘these branches should be pruned so that I can more easily pick the berries at the next harvest.’ I model the bush according to my needs and am therefore at the centre of a creative process.
My journey with this plant began when I decided to grow it and chose a place to plant it. How I see it, how I cared for it, and what I do with its fruit – all this is a creative activity. There are as many possibilities as there are human beings.
Fresh berries, lots of fresh ideas
At the village market I sell fresh berries in trays or baked in pastries with cinnamon and almonds. With the remaining berries, which represents a significant volume, I make jam. The jars need a label not only to inform customers, but to speak to them and to gain their trust.
This artistic activity, hand-in-hand with the earth and the cosmos, reaches its peak at the moment of tasting. Then the client and I discover what my goal has been, and that I was able to achieve it.
The image, the desire, the farm shop
For five years, a magazine photo has been on the notice board in our office. It shows an open door, and behind the threshold a shelf full of food and cosmetic products. Above the door hangs a wooden sign that reads ‘farm shop’.
A few days ago, a friend of ours was visiting to harvest berries. She cast a glance at the hallway of our house, where a few bottles of syrup were stored and came to see me all excited, because in that room she could imagine a stunning farm shop. She had just completed a major move and was still open to the process of metamorphosis. Her enthusiasm won me over.
The desire that lay dormant in me turned into a compelling need to take action. I began to move egg cartons and boxes. I had to get rid of things that had not been needed for a long time. It was interesting to see how the old made way for the new. And how this developed its own momentum. Now, various fruit jars are stored next to the syrup bottles, and the farm shop waits for the next phase from its creative farmer.
The art of farm life
As a farmer, I am a servant. I hearken to the laws of nature and follow their call. At the same time I am a queen. My husband and I have a kingdom whose destiny lies in our hands. Situations regularly present themselves that call for changes aimed at improvement and we often have to make difficult decisions.
For five years, we have been restructuring, building, renovating, experimenting, making mistakes and learning from them. This summer, we decided to simplify one aspect of our business in order to have more for our children, and more time for relaxation, culture, education and friendship.
We need this time, as a new dimension needs to be created on the farm, in order to meet the growing demand for organic and biodynamic vegetables. We plan to do this with our brother. In town, he takes care of refugees who work in market gardening. We want to work with him on our farm. Decisions of this kind are fruitful only if taken with the head as well as with the heart. To want to do what one should do, that is the best motto.
If I work freely, a creative force works through me which brings me to my goal without incident. I work with joy and overcome minor difficulties without loss of strength or energy.
We are at the heart of a living farm organism that we are privileged to shape. I would not want things otherwise and I am filled with gratitude that I am able to work in this way, in a place like this, and with all my life purpose.
Joanna Meyer, Biodynamic farmer