Biodynamic Work Based Learning 

This farm and garden based training is a hands-on learning supplemented by guided study and seminars.

The objective of the course is to gain basic agricultural / horticultural skills, understand the principles and practice of biodynamic techniques and create a foundation for developing an independent understanding of the earth, life and human beings from a spiritual perspective. The full time training lasts two years, is structured by the internationally recognised diploma in biodynamic agriculture, creating a portfolio covering a wide range of learning outcomes. The diploma is awarded by the Crossfields Institute and is Pearson Assured. 

The BD training started in the early 1990's and has been certified since 2010. The tutors are professionals in their area of expertise and predominantly experienced BD farmers and gardeners.  

Program Details

unit overview

How to apply

Seminar program

Training Centres


Other training possibilities

MSc Researching Holistic Approaches to Agroecology

Crossfields Institute based in the UK, in partnership with Alanus University in Germany, have pioneered a distance learning course entitled Researching Holistic Approaches to Agroecology that follows a pathway from a postgraduate certificate through to a full Masters.

This course provides an opportunity for deepening research into holistic approaches to agroecology (organics, biodynamics, permaculture, urban agriculture, social dimensions of agriculture etc.).

It is a distance learning course, so can be undertaken anywhere on the planet!

It includes optional intensives where we get together for workshops, lectures, seminars, food, social sessions and all sorts.

Applications are now being accepted for October 2015

If you would be interested to learn more, details can be found at
or contact: Jane Tyler at jane.tylercrossfieldsinstitutecom

Distance Learning Programme

Biodynamic: Principles and Practice
The College Comes to You!

Our distance learning programme is for people who have a real interest in developing their knowledge and understanding of biodynamics in its anthroposophical context. Whether you are a farmer, grower or back yard gardener, if you want to learn about Biodynamics this course is for you!

The course consists of 10 modules which can be taken all at once or one-by-one. Each module costs £365. Every three months a module will be available on line– every module consists of a module reader, live online seminars, recorded short films and online tutorials with one of our teachers.

Students from all over the world can interact with each other through the online forum, forging a new network of biodynamic practitioners.

The Distance Learning course is aimed at people who are working in a land-based profession: farmers, growers, vineyard managers, smallholders, organic and biodynamic accreditation inspectors, as well as home and amateur gardeners.

Biodynamic Agricultural College

short courses

Sustainable Relationship to the Earth

new approach to soil plants, animals and food 

with a holistic and biodynamic approach.

Short Courses and Workshops at Emerson College

Deepen your connection to the living land and the soul within, towards a fruitful future.

To explore mysteries in the living world around us, we need practice to use and trust all our twelve senses and listen to our hearts. This is heightened by sharing experiences. Future can be met by giving space to the present.  

The Biodynamic practice offers new insights to nourish the imaginative and creative role of the human being on earth.

Through our intimate connection to nature we can enrich our culture with wellbeing, meaning and beauty.

Biodynamic and other organic farming and gardening practices will inform our research into soil, plant, animal and social potential so that we can meet our future with optimism, passion and confidence. New methods and skills need to evolve, to grow nourishing food, work collaboratively, act with care and engage more people with the bounty of our land. 

Short Courses -Learning by Heart

all workshops are aimed to further your connection to and understanding of the living world. It can help you as gardener, farmer or even without land connection

all workshops, we will further our understanding through new knowledge, sense experiences and contemplative workshops, using our individual insights and understanding

Workshop leaders:   Kai Lange, Peter Brinch, Martin Large, Briony Young, Lucy Voelcker and others

Sat-Sun 5/6 September 2015 

SEEDS FOR CHANGE - seed production and saving                        

The farming wheel and seeds as hub of food and fodder crops. The biodynamic farm as an integrated organism and individuality. Historical perspective of food crops and where they have originated. From stars to molecules, atoms and genes. Changes in man’s view of what governs life. From reproducible seeds to non-reproducible seeds. Changes in twentieth century agriculture 1938 - 1986. The seed challenge 1986 – 2015. Integrating biodynamic principles into seed saving. Crop by crop seed production of species involving root, leaf and fruiting vegetables. Examples of successful seed initiatives from the UK and the continent. Open pollinated, F1 hybrids, CMS hybrids and GMO seeds. Plant breeding and developing new varieties. Seed laws, seed regulations, DUS, Distinct, Uniform and Stable testing. Crop biodiversity situation worldwide. The IAASTD report and the need for seed growers and re-skilling in seed production.

Mon-Tue 5-6 October 201


The farm has an ecosystem with an internal and external structure, that that supports life, heath and development. Comparing the farm with a human organism helps to understand how substances and forces flow and interrelate. 


Sat-Sun 10/11 October 2015 

Preparations to support life 1- how biodynamic preparations work      

A hands on workshop; making BD preparations, learning how to apply them and how they are working. The Biodynamic preparations have proven effect, plant health, resilience against pests, activating the soil life are just a few of their benefits. Demystifying the strange ingredients and processes and engaging in a new alchemy of life between substance and forces. 

Mon-Tue 16-17 November 2015

ALCHEMY- transformation of matter - substance and spirit.

Science and religion have gone separate ways a few centuries ago. In biodynamics we look at how spirit works within matter. How can substances carry spirit? How can Nitrogen or Oxygen be alive or dead? What inner qualities and potential can substances have? What is the different between mineral and organic fertiliser? What impact has this on the quality of our food?


Sat-Sun 23-24 January 2016 

Agriculture supported Community - ASC - new forms of community   

A workshop to explore new relationships between community and agriculture. Does sustainable agriculture need our support? And/or does our modern society need support, that could be offered by sustainable agriculture? How can our land grow food AND people? Access to land for healthy food, creative culture and a sustainable future.  

Mon-Tue 29 February - 01 March 2016

STAR CALENDAR - theory and practice - plants connection to the cosmos     

Understanding and working with the planting calendar. Understanding the signs and symbols? How can we plan our seasonal and daily garden work in alliance with the cosmic rhythms.? How do plants respond to these rhythms?


Sat-Sun 5-6 March 2016 

Cultivation & Phenomenology - theory & practice in field and garden

Cultivation should be beneficial of the soil. However, often it is making more damage and is the corse of many health-, fertility- and weed problems. We need to learn to read the soil and plants as indicates for the problems. And we need to learn, how to use cultivation as invigorator, supported by biodynamic preparations.

Mon-Tue 7/8 March 2016

Living SOIL - humus for humans - compost potential

How we can encourage healthy and resilient plants, as well as prevent weeds, pests and diseases.

The the role and potential of biodynamic compost and preparations. Soil life as key for growing challenges, like fertility, weeds, pests and deceases. Soil cultivation as craft that need skill and sensitivity. Our future needs LIVING SOIL. 

Mon-Tue 18/19 April 2016                              

Preparations to support life 2- how biodynamic preparations work

A hands on workshop; making BD preparations, learning how to apply them and how they are working.  The Biodynamic preparations have proven effect, plant health, resilience against pests, activating the soil life are just a few of their benefits. Demystifying the strange ingredient and processes and engaging in a new alchemy of life between substance and forces. 


Sat-Sun 23-24 April

What feeds us in our food - substance, quality, preparation and beauty - feeding body, soul, spirit and community. 

What is healthy food? How is it grown and processed? How do we nourish our-selfs? Past, present and future; what are our challenges? What is the different between biodynamic and organic food?


Mon-Tue 25-26 April 2016 

Plants and what they tell - earthly and cosmic forces expressed by plants - starting a conversation with the plant.                                                                                                                                                         

Plant have character. They look different in structure, form and colour. And there is more difference we can discover, when we learn how to use all our twelve senses. Why do grow plans as they do? how can we understand them on a deeper level. Learn to listen to them.

Sat-Sun 11/12 June 2016

Creative Agri-Culture - culture as link between human and land - how to be creative in marking the year cycle  

How can we connect our life to the cycle of the year; Creating festivals based on tradition or present meaning and future potential. Inspirations to invigorate community and individual life through new participation in the cycle of the year. Marking seasonal points in the year through meaningful rituals and creative activities.                                                                

at Emerson College:     www.emerson.org.uk/shortcourses      -   tel: 01342 822238

Sustainable Agricultural Management

Modules in sustainable agricultural management with an emphasis on biodynamic and organic practice

This new training is delivered in modules to make it accessible for farmers and gardeners to develop professional, deepen understanding and gain qualifications.

This sustainable agricultural management training is newly developed in collaboration between Emerson College, the BDA, and Crossfields Institute to offer an alternative to the conventional approach. The future of food, environment and society need new innovative solutions. The traditional materialistic approach is too narrowly minded on quantitative solutions. A qualitative approach to to earth, plants, animals and people will offer new perspectives.

Entry requirements: the modules are open to those with agricultural or horticultural qualifications or previous substantial experiences. Access to Land for land based research.

The first modules are anticipated to start 2015/16 at Emerson College. 



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