By Hamish Mackay
The first thing that struck me when I was introduced to biodynamics in 1972 was the potential of increasing the humus level in the top few centimetres of topsoil and making Australia drought resilient if not drought free. The journey has been long but I remain certain that Australian agriculture will be very different by 2024, witness the readiness for increasing numbers of farmers to discuss and consider the potential of regenerative agriculture, in whatever form. Biodynamics is the only western scientific agricultural practice that draws on both Earthly and Cosmic – non material – forces and substances, a combination I have observed gives confidence that we can feed the growing world population without destroying the planet and ourselves.
In almost every biodynamic workshop I have participated on over the last 40 years the question arises about using Australian native plants and animals for making “Australian” biodynamic preparations.
Water has become a victim of some of the worst and most shameful shenanigans our political class can manifest. We must take responsibility ourselves for the future of our water and landscape.
Readers of this post are among the leading thinkers and, more importantly, practitioners, of biodynamic and regenerative agriculture in Australia and I invite and encourage you to come and participate in Water Yarnings to widen your knowledge of the Earthly and Cosmic story of Australian indigenous cultures and, significantly, broaden your capacities to contribute to the positive future of water as part of AgiCulture in this country. It is time for the European school of agriculture to sit down and listen to the stories of our original peoples and forge a future respectful of all. Australian soils were very different when “settled” by Europeans. Treating water with respect will lead us to creating new, living generative soils.
The website is a cultural experience in itself, please check it out and join us.
Heartwood, Siteworks for Transformative Arts, Culture, Science
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WATER YARNING – TIDINGS, FLOWS AND SORROWS
SEPTEMBER 19 – 22, 2019
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Water Yarning’s – Tidings, Flows and Sorrows focuses on WATER, not water as a commodity we have a right to buy, “license”, dam and pollute – an object solely for our use and gain – but water as a carrier of spirit, culture, story, memory, a sustainer of life in all forms. We will focus on water as sovereign being with its own identities and rights. First Nation Elders have agreed to come together to share their knowledge. Selected non-indigenous people will also respectfully hold yarning circles to the theme. All participants are invited to add their questions and experiences in accord with yarning circle protocols.
Water connects us all. Join us on a journey that will bring us together. The aim: a shift away from a materialistic, greed-driven ‘take’ towards a deeper understanding, a living respect, a uniting will to protect all bodies of water. The ecological crisis we face today is a crisis of spirit; whatever pollution we find in the environment is a reflection of the pollution within our souls, a manifestation of cynicism, ignorance, hatred and fear.
In preparation for the yarning circles, all participants will be asked to please consider the following: As conscientious human beings we speak of ‘natural resources’ and we believe that as long as our use of these is sustainable we are doing the right thing. Imagine a radical shift, and ask: how can my existence, my relationship to water benefit the cloud, the rain, the river, the sea, the tears, the water of the womb.
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This is an event of Heartwood, Site for Transformative Arts, Culture, Science. The event is, by choice, without any government funding. Apart from any out-of-pocket operational expenses all residual proceeds will be distributed to the Elders present.
Early registrations will assist greatly in preparing travel arrangements
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This water yarning is based on experiences gathered in two previous events: Listening to Country; Understanding Sovereignty of Indigenous Knowledge, Mullumbimby from the 4 – 6 October 2018 and Creative Spirit, Healing the Land, Healing the People, Canberra 25th – 28th January this year. At the end of Listening to Country, Iris Curteis, the carrier of this Heartwood project, was asked by the Elders present to hold the second yarning circles, Creative Spirit, Healing the Land, Healing the People, in Canberra around Survival/Sovereignty Day.
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Hamish Mackay is a Director of Heartwood and Biodynamics2024