First, some great news! We can start our flower arrangement classes, "Art of Ikebana - Ichiyo Style" on Friday, September 11, 10 am – 12 pm, and every Friday after that. The classes will be held in the lounge room of our main studio building. To ensure the safety of students and the staff, we will limit the number of students to four per class. Three spots are already taken for the first day, so if you are interested, please register today. No experience necessary. We will add more classes as the demands grow. You can read more about the course here.
During this month, you can find me waist-deep in nature working at a farm on the North Fork of Long Island, KK's The Farm, an organic farm in Southold employing the method of Biodynamic Farming.
COVID-19 and social distancing put a damper on my business of providing flowers and "Ikebana" flower arrangement classes. We are not a florist, so my service has to depend on flower farms. My favorite one is in Holland. During the last three months, I used them twice to provide sympathy flowers and to fill orders on Mother's Day. It was not enough to keep the business going, but I had to do something. You see, I am not someone who can sit around doing nothing.
I volunteered to work at the farm, which I knew about from an old friend of mine, Sonomi, who manages the farm along with the owner, Ira Haspel. The weather is beautiful now, and I had itchy feet to be outside.
They were kind enough to teach the method they use. The principles of Biodynamic farming serve to connect more deeply to the world around us, which is for what momoglobalflowers strives to accomplish. I am an eager student and having a ball.
So, what is Biodynamic farming? Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) introduced its principles by encouraging farmers to view their farmland as a living organism and to plant and harvest crops based on the lunar and astrological cycles. I am spiritually driven by nature, so the idea of following the moon and the sun fascinates me. I am learning more specific details about biodynamic farming.
One of the critical factors that distinguish biodynamic farming from others is that the method relies heavily on composting. Biodynamic compost usually consists of recycled animal manures, organic wastes, and stabilized nitrogen, all of which enhance the quality and health of the soil. Some other elements that help make biodynamic compost more effective include chamomile, dandelion, oak bark, nettle, and yarrow.
The movement is controversial because, at its core, it is a philosophy, not a science. Some people even consider the method witchcraft, but from what I experienced, I only see the positives.
Working on the farm is hard work, but it feels terrific, and I feel alive. And I get a daily treat of salad made with fresh crops from the farm such as edible pansies, soft lettuce, rainbow kale, and spicy greens. And I must tell you; I have never tasted food with so many flavors!
I also help sell flowers along with vegetables at their farm stand and farmers market. They feature Cornflowers, Chamomiles, Poppies, purple Lacy Phacelias.
There is no doubt that Biodynamic farming is an approach that's better for the environment, the community, and the soil, which ultimately means that it's better for us and the future.
Now, I am starting to dream about my very own Biodynamic farm that I can share with the community. If it also includes a flower garden, I will use the flowers for my lessons! Stay tuned!