An Experience of Biodynamic Agriculture for kids and youths was developed in the headquarters of the House of Light on the Hill, affiliated to the Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation, on the weekend between June 10 and 12, with the participation of fifteen minors from Carmo da Cachoeira, São Bento Abade and Boa Esperança, towns of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
The activity is a part of a joint Project of the host entity and the Espaço Recanto da Folha (Space Corner of the Leaf), from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. This meeting was the first of several that will take place on a monthly basis. In this occasion, the group started to build a vegetable garden in the form of a mandala with the cultivation of vegetables, medicinal herbs and companion flowers, in an integrated system. Also concepts about the importance of healthy food were introduced, together with sustainable solutions inside a vegetable garden system.
The event, called ‘Sowing and planting love with kids and youths on the Earth’, began with the projection of the comedy Inside Out, by the North-American Pete Docter, Friday night, and continued with the practical tasks on Saturday (morning and afternoon) and Sunday (morning). It was directed by Aly Baptista, an environmental technician, ecoeducator and advisor on permaculture, from the city of Porto Alegre. He explained that this work ‘aims at integrating children and youths from poor communities to a more fraternal and humane reality, through the didactics of doing, where the apprenticeships arise from the activities that the students conduct, in a direct response to the needs of their environment, and not of abstract concepts’. The experience is already being developed in public schools of the state of Rio Grande do Sul and in the Associação Comunitária Monte Azul (Communitarian Association of Blue Hill), of São Paulo.
According to the technician, biodynamic agriculture is understood as the agricultural work developed in consonance with the energies that create and maintain life. It is an ecological method based on the theories of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. It utilizes organic fertilizers made in a way that respects the health of the soil and of the plants, securing a healthy nutrition for the animals and the human being.
The experience developed in the House of Light on the Hill includes the use of several sustainable techniques, such as the co-existence of cultures in the cultivations of winter; practices of permaculture in the elaboration of seedbeds with plant cover and multi-level seedbeds; planning of the vegetable garden to radiate beauty in the moment of producing food, to expand the imagination of the kid and to generate a great variety of important food. In the forthcoming meetings, the participants will also learn how to prepare receipes of biofertilizers; make fermented compost and dynamize the basic preparations of biodynamics.