2017 Fellowship of Preparation Makers Conference in Ontario

March 2 - 5, 2017

The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Society of Ontario

will host the 2017 Fellowship of Preparation Makers Conference

The theme will be “quality evaluation of Horn Manure preparation, BD#500”



Farm of Uli and Martha Hack

1017 Concession 7
Kincardine, Ontario Canada

Phone: 519-426-9021


The Fellowship of Preparation 2017 conference seeks to explore the practical use of BD#500, Horn Manure from experienced farmer’s perspectives. The wisdom and experience of farmers from differing regions of the continent will be presented regarding the use of BD#500 Horn Manure and the results on their farms. Similarly, we will explore the various methods of making the preparation from selection of sites and horns to differing quality of cow manure based on seasonal variations of collection, to thoughts on burial at different calendar influences – the stories behind the preparations. To develop organs of perception when experiencing the preparation BD#500, we will practice this skill in a facilitated exercise, and share insights into the feeling state of quality relative to the BD preparations.

This year we return to Canada and the community of Kincardine, home of the Hack family farm. We are grateful to our hosts in Canada for the opportunity to continue the development of our fellowship as preparation makers across the North American Continent.

Hugh Courtney: In 1975, Hugh began an apprenticeship in the making of the biodynamic preparations under the tutelage of the premier preparation maker in the United States, Josephine Porter. Upon her death in 1984, Hugh took over her work in making and distributing the biodynamic preparations, founding in 1985 the Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics, Inc. In 2012, Hugh retired from JPI and founded Earth Legacy Agriculture with his grandson Jeremiah Proctor.
Lloyd Nelson is a Biodynamic Preparation Maker, Consultant, Farmer, and Educator who has been practicing the art of Biodynamics for twenty years. He is co-founder of Biodynamic Source, a Demeter certified prep making and distribution non-profit and owns and operates a BD spray service, and assists in converting farms to Biodynamic management.
Rev. Jonah Evans grew up in Sacramento, California and attended the Sacramento Waldorf School. Later, he received a bachelor's degree in Psychology from California State University in Sacramento. He then attended the Seminary of The Christian Community in Chicago. It was there that he found his true calling. In 2008 he was consecrated as a priest. He has worked as a community priest in Johannesburg, South Africa, Spring Valley, NY and currently in Toronto. Jonah was also recently chosen by his colleagues to be a future director of The Christian Community Seminary in North America. He is married and has three lovely daughters. 
Chris Boettcher and his family cultivate and nurture about 500 acres in mid-western Ontario.  He started out as a conventional cash cropper.  For the last 25 years, he has been practising Biodynamic Agriculture.  Today he and his family grow over 20 plant species including 14 acres of vegetables.  Their livestock portfolio comprises 200 milking goats and 350 breeding sheep.
Jeff Poppen, also known as the Barefoot Farmer, is the owner and operator of one of the oldest and largest organic farms in Tennessee. For the past 15 years Poppen has appeared on Nashville PBS television program Volunteer Gardener, for over 20 years he has written a gardening column for the Macon County Chronicle, and he is the author of two books, The Best of the Barefoot Farmer Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. Poppen runs a 150-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with the food he grows using about eight acres of his farmland and about 40 head of cattle.
Ulrich Hack’s parents converted their farm in Germany to biodynamics when he was seven years old. In 1982 the family moved to a farm in Kincardine, Ontario. In 1992 he took over the production of the preparations for the family farm and for the Ontario BD Society. He was a founding member of the Canadian Biodynamic Alliance, and later Demeter Canada, the holder of the Demeter trademark. In Partnership with his brother Martin, they operate a 900-acre Demeter certified farm.
Robert Karp is a writer, educator and social activist whose work is informed by the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner. Currently Robert serves as co-director of the Biodynamic Association in North America.

7:30-9:00     Breakfast and registration
9:00-12:30    Hugh Courtney & Lloyd Nelson, "Hands on Introduction to the Biodynamic Preparations"
12:30-2:00    Lunch
2:00-4:00   "Hands on Introduction to the Biodynamic Preparations" (continued)
4:00-5:00    Registration, check in 500 samples
5:00-6:30    Dinner
6:30-9:00      Welcome and Opening Ceremony Reverend Jonah Evans, Christian Community -- The Christ Impulse in Agriculture
7:30-8:30       Breakfast, check in 500 samples
8:30-9:00     Singing           
9:00-10:00      Chris Boettcher, Horn Manure, a Canadian farmer’s perspective
10:00-11:00    Jeff Poppen, Tennessee Horn Stuffing
11:00-11:30    Break
11:30-12:30    Practicing Perceiving: Exercises in Observing Etheric Forces
12:30-1:30     Lunch
2:00-3:30       Sensory Evaluation/Discussion of preparations at the Hack Farm, including examining preparations, burial places, and cow horns
3:30-4:00      Break (meet back at hall)
4:00-5:30      Sharing the Stories Behind the Preparations
6:00-7:30      Dinner
7:30-?           Slide show of prep pit photos; dancing and music
7:30-8:30    Breakfast
8:30-9:00     Robert Karp, Opening exercise and talk
9:00-10:30     Wali Via, Reflections on Quality andsensory evaluation results
10:30-11:00    Break
11:00-12:30   “Conference Plenary”
                     Facilitators:  Pat Frazier, Brian Wickert
12:30-1:00      Closing Ceremony
                      Facilitator: Wali Via
1:00              Lunch and departures

Location: The conference will take place at the Armow Hall in the Hamlet of Armow at 810 concession 7. (The municipality is Kincardine, and Armow is about 10 km NE of Kincardine.)
Beginning of March is usually the time before the big snowmelt, so bring appropriate wardrobe for the season.
Directions will be sent with confirmation.
Transportation: Passport required coming from USA.
It is a 3-hour drive from Toronto International Airport (YYZ). A bus service is available to Kincardine.
 Individuals should make their own travel arrangements. Car pooling from YYZ can be organized.
Details will follow with confirmation.
Lodging: Individuals should make their own arrangements. There are many lodging options available in nearby Kincardine. There are some spaces available in private homes. For more information on those spaces, please contact Elke Hack 519 396 8099
Meals: All meals are included in conference fee.  All food is as organic and as local as we can get.
Costs: Conference including meals: $200.00 CDN for Friday-Sunday; $175 for Saturday-Sunday only. Discounts are available for additional family members or workers. Make checks payable to: Society for Biodynamic Farming and Gardening in Ontario. Send payment and registration to: Laurie McGregor, 14 Simcoe Blvd., Simcoe, ON N3Y3L5 Canada. For conference questions, call Laurie at bdsocietyon@gmail.com (link sends e-mail).519-426-9021



Fellowship of Preparation makers Annual Conference

Frey Vineyards and Biodynamic Association of Northern California (BDANC) Hosted

February 18-21, 2016


Click to view the schedule of events

Click to view the schedule of events

The Fellowship of Preparation Makers (FOPM) is an informal, vital, and growing group that has emerged in the cultural/spiritual sphere of biodynamic agriculture. The Fellowship began its work with a conference in Copake, New York in 2002, and has held annual conferences in various locations around North America since then. These conferences have focused on the intensive study and discussion of the biodynamic preparations and have strengthened the preparation making community.

The mission of FOPM is: To help ensure there are enough high quality biodynamic preparations available in North America into the future.

The theme of this year’s conference emerged from a growing interest in the questions:

  • “What is quality?”
  • “How is quality evaluated in the context of the Biodynamic Preparations?”

Invited Speakers:

  • Matias Baker, BD Consulant, Fair Oaks, CA

  • Deborah Beniacar Castro Herminio- BD Consulant Brazil

  • Bruno Follador, The Nature Institute, Ghent, NY

  • Barry Lia, PhD, Lia BD Consulting, Seattle, WA

  • Robert Karp, Co-Director Biodynamic Association USA

  • Jim Fullmer, Co-Director Demeter USA

  • Lloyd Nelson, BD Consultant, Paonia, CO

Utilizing BD#500- Biodynamic Cow Horn Manure as a basis for our study, conference participants, lead by a variety of speakers in the Biodynamic Community, will examine these questions in a series of lectures, hands on demonstrations, and collegial discussions. The event, hosted by Frey Vineyards and the Biodynamic Association of Northern California (BDANC), is co sponsored by Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics, Inc. and the Biodynamic Association.

Over 40 individuals, experienced and interested in biodynamic preparation making, came together at Yokayo Roots Ranch in Ukiah CA last weekend to study and research a long-held question: "How can the quality of biodynamic preparations be evaluated?" 

Thank You to all those that participated this year!


WINTER meeting:

Saturday and Sunday January 7 and 8, 2017.

Yokayo Roots Ranch | Ukiah


800 Hensley Creek Rd

SPRING meeting:

Saturday and Sunday April 22 and 23 , 2017.

Fulcrum Farm | Grass Valley


14995 Clear Creek Pl.

Summer meeting:

Saturday and Sunday June 24 and 25, 2017.

Summerfield Farm | Santa Rosa


Fall Meeting:

Saturday and Sunday September 23 and 24, 2017.

Openfield Farm | Petaluma




Can’t afford to go to these events? Apply for scholarships! Please contact, Carin Fortin, carinfortin@mac.com


Newsletter and Calendar Submissions

Help us help each other. If you have land available, equipment to sell, an event to announce, need apprentices, would like to farm or share your experience and knowledge in an article or photos, please send us your contribution for the quarterly print newsletter and the  monthly e-newsletter.

Items need to be submitted electronically.

Deadlines for the quarterly print newsletter are:

  • Spring : Feb 22nd
  • Summer: May 9th
  • Fall : August 8th (extended to September 12th)
  • Winter : Nov 7th

Submission for the monthly e-newsletter are welcome anytime. 

Please email our editor, Carin Fortin, carinfortin@mac.com


Upcoming Meetings →