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29 juillet 2011 5 29 /07 /juillet /2011 22:30

 

Maurice meet Wendy at Swellendam

from Eric for la Terre et les Hommes, 18 mars 2011

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28 juillet 2011 4 28 /07 /juillet /2011 11:33

Swellendam 4469Wendy is at the foot of the mountains, in a vast expanse where everything has to be created. Wendy is a pioneer, she makes me think of the conquest of the West; she is brimming with energy and determination.
Together with her boyfriend, she has undertaken a full biodynamic project, with gardens and livestock farming. Today the main part of the work consists in structuring the parcels of land, creating terraces, and optimizing the irrigation systems.

 

 

 

Swellendam 4425When Maurice mentions the Man and the Earth project and the idea that farmers throughout the world can cultivate together a field of consciousness, capable of better taking into account the future, she immediately responds by suggesting that other people, too, can cultivate this. Not only farmers. She receives inspiration from many people she is in contact with, for example, artists and musicians. As for herself, through her work with the Earth, she would like to be an inspiration for other people. This is why she is so happy to be doing this work, not only for the Earth, but in order to create connections and share with other people.


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from Bernard for la Terre et les Hommes, 8 mars 2011

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25 juillet 2011 1 25 /07 /juillet /2011 16:22

 

 

Meeting Angus McIntosh, Spier BD Farm, Stellenbosch, SA

from Eric for la Terre et les Hommes, 14 mars 2011

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24 juillet 2011 7 24 /07 /juillet /2011 11:27

Lynedoch 4375Angus was not born a farmer; he’s a former London finance professional who today farms an enormous property of 600 hectares.
What is immediately captivating with him is the very congenial and direct contact, and his determination.
We meet him on an immense tableland bordered by hills and mountains. On the one hand, you’d think you were in Beaujolais country, on the other, in Montana. He presents us his stock of cattle grazing on a tiny plot and depositing natural fertilizer, before they will move on to a different area in a few days. Then a concept of mobile poultry houses that also serve the role of fertilizers. Followed by a magnificent organic vegetable garden that supplies a neighboring restaurant, before visiting living spaces with different areas dedicated to all kinds of activities. Everything has been carefully thought-out and implemented with a highly-developed aesthetic sense.

Lynedoch 4280For Angus, the most important thing is experience, his own or other people’s. And the essential thing is to make it accessible, to share it. To create a living database from which everyone can draw, according to his goals and convictions. Then the idea of connecting farmers of the world and sharing their practices, viewpoints, and understandings seems self-evident to him.
Angus has the opportunity of perceiving the agricultural reality of Man and the Earth, oriented towards the future; with substantial material means, he offers us the opportunity of seeing how they can be used, not as a goal in themselves, but as a tool in order to create something beautiful, good, and true for everyone.

Lynedoch 4335If a reconciliation is possible between the signs of outward success and a much more responsible approach to cultivating the Earth and to the life of Man, one can only hope that the example that Angus lives will not be an exception…

 

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from Bernard for la Terre et les Hommes, 7 mars 2011

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21 juillet 2011 4 21 /07 /juillet /2011 19:25

 

Maurice rencontre Eric Swarts à Stellenbosch

de Eric pour la Terre et les Hommes, 16 mars 2011

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20 juillet 2011 3 20 /07 /juillet /2011 11:20

Namase 4189Eric receives us in the fields. A wooden shed, stark green slopes that delineate his parcels of land, a vegetable garden in which the bunches of red and yellow tomatoes climb up their poles and shelter a flock of nimble little birds, chirping away between the rays of light.
Everything is simple. He shows Maurice a system that houses geese in order to fertilize a parcel of land. Eric travelled to India and learned something essential there: to work using the minimum of external resources, and it is clearly visible that this is the philosophy guiding his entire work.
How is it possible that people continue using more and more chemicals in the farms where he previously worked, without the causes of the problems being addressed? How is it possible that other people were obtaining results without having to use synthetic chemicals? These reflections are what led Eric to call things into question and to opt for biodynamic farming.

Namase 4207With a combination of surprise and mischievousness, he explains how the other farmers gradually grew interested in his work, and how, little by little, he is contributing, even in a modest way, to opening people’ minds with the introduction of such techniques as organic and biodynamic agriculture.

And this is precisely the reason for Man and the Earth: cultivating the land on the visible level, and cultivating an opening of minds on the immaterial level.

 

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from Bernard for la Terre et les Hommes, le 6 mars 2011

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17 juillet 2011 7 17 /07 /juillet /2011 16:17

 

Meeting François Malan at Stellenbosch

from Eric for la Terre et les Hommes, 14 mars 2011

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16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 11:11

Spier 4075In order to meet with François Malan, we arrive at Stellenbosch and first set out in search of a golf course. Our goal is not for our van to get lost among the driveways reserved for small cars, but to cross through a closed park reserved for golfers or for wealthy people anxious to live in a guarded space, since this is the only way for us to access the destination we are interested in.
Our host invites us into his pickup truck and begins the visit with a field of ground cherries, then plantations of lemon trees, before moving on to the vineyards and gardens, including sweet potatoes that I had never seen before outside of supermarket aisles.

 

 

 

Spier 4058In the album devoted to this visit, you can see a magnificent cowpie. The moment François took this cowpie into his hand, I started understanding one of the important issues. So I went ahead and took the cowpie as well – a photograph of it. To each his profession… The compost, the increasing of organic life in the soil – this is what everyone is trying to potentialize. This is why they encourage the presence of animals on their farms!
How can conditions for life be created for the future? This is the role of the mediator between Man and the Earth, with the collaboration of the animal and plant kingdoms.
The project is moving forward and gradually yielding its fruits.

 

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from Bernard for la Terre et les Hommes, Spier, Stellenbosch, SA, 3 mars 2011

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14 juillet 2011 4 14 /07 /juillet /2011 09:00

 

 

Maurice meet Aletta à Wolseley, SA

from Eric for la Terre et les Hommes, 3 mars 2011

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13 juillet 2011 3 13 /07 /juillet /2011 10:52

Wolseley 3740Aletta long worked in conventional farming. She had up to 45 milk cows. Today, Aletta has five cows. Because she had a vision: of a form of farming – biodynamic – in which the farm becomes again a place of exchange between the Earth, Animals, Plants, and Man.
She travelled far in order to seek out different ways of thinking and doings things, all the way to New Zealand. She discovered biodynamic farming and returned to Woseley, transforming her farm into a place where plants, animals, and people can cooperate, in a living relationship with Mother Earth, for the well-being of them all.

 

 

Wolseley 3771The five cows are gathered together around a heap of peppers, which they are savoring like a pepperoni pizza. Aletta explains that time will still be needed before we witness the fruit of all her work, but that playing this role of mediator is very important, to maintain a living relationship with other people, and to maintain a connection between the energies of the earth and the energies of the cosmos.

 

I was touched by this free woman, who radiates a peaceful force, who does not try to convince, but to go all the way with her convictions, and devotes her life to this. She offers us a glass of passion fruit syrup, and I tell myself that this fresh, regenerating drink is an image of what she is working to create – fruits of passion.

 

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from Bernard for la Terre et les Hommes, 2 mars 2011

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