Life goes on at the biodynamic farm and I am still involved in the production of all things to do with milk.  After the chaotic time of summer 2020 after I started in June, I had hoped things would quiet down and ease into a more harmonic work environment. Alas, no such thing. 

Some issues are related to personal dynamics, but these are intertwined with the changes that are happening in the farm as a whole, and especially in the process of making milk products. Changes that I question. The motives behind it are unclear to me, the way they are implemented less than optimal, if you ask me. Then again, it may be hard to be objective when you are part of the process. 

The core of biodynamic farming is about soil and that is why I support it, why I am putting my time and effort in being part of this process. And even though I am convinced all the boxes to be a Demeter certified farm remain ticked, I have the feeling more and more corners are cut to make this farm bigger, more members, demanding more. Call me sentimental but I feel I am just part of a production unit, instead on a soil oriented farm. Soil the source of life on land. Our fundamental base layer. Disappearing fast, because we don’t take care.

As an archaeologist I have been involved in soil a lot. The history of humanity as layered archives in Earth’s outer layer. Smart as we are, we have developed physical, chemical, and biological methods to understand how this palimpsest of signs can be spun into a history of humanity and our home planet. 

As an archaeologist and anthropologist I have been fortunate to work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and learn different ways of interpreting this information, different from my own western oriented scientific background. This has expanded my view and also allowed me to question what I thought were certainties. 

Science to me is like soil. I believe in it. Science as a method to test and refine our fundamental beliefs. Justified true belief, but at its core it is our belief system that generates hypotheses to be tested. So in my learning process something interesting has happened. Novel scientific insights and directions, such as chaos theory, ideas about the bacterial foundation of life, have turned our ideas of superiority of man on its head. Creation stories, which are focused on the soil, and in which human beings are molded from clay of the Earth, appear to me more relevant than the western creation myth for understanding life.  Adam is made from dust, Eve on the other hand is created by taking a rib of Adam. Adam doesn’t suffer long as ribs regenerate quickly. So although dust of the Earth plays a role, our ultimate destination in the story is in heaven, the moon, Mars as intermediate stations maybe. Modern science stems from a western belief system in which Eve is a sidekick of Adam, but It doesn’t have to be that way, the scientific method is neutral and can function in many different worldview and paradigms. 

Sometime in my career I made the paradigm shift. I really enjoy all things science, but my focus and direction is toward soil as fundamental to our being. It is why I chose to also contribute actively to maintaining our world’s soils and hope more of us will start to value the soil’s worth for continuing and adding layers to the story of humanity.