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At the intersection of food, soil, climate, farming and water.

Fellowship of Preparation Makers Gathering

We are getting excited to host the Fellowship of Preparation Makers Gathering 2020 at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute on January 30th – February 2nd. The theme is BD 501 and 508: Tools to bring the cosmic light into the earth. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about BD 501 and 508 and get your biodynamic questions answered. The gathering will kickoff with a Chromatogram Intensive. All levels are welcome and invited to the gathering!

January 30th  – February 2nd, 2020 

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, N8030 Townline Rd, East Troy, WI

The mission of the Fellowship of Preparation Makers is to ensure that good quality biodynamic preparations are available now and into the future throughout North America.


Thursday, January 30th

10—10:30 am   Registration for Chromatogram Intensive

10:30am   Chromatogram Intensive – All levels welcome. Presenter: Ryan Herring

12 —1pm  Lunch on your own

1-3pm  Chromatogram Intensive

3—5pm  Registration and Social Time

5-6:30pm  Supper

7-8:30pm   Welcome from Perry Brown, and Candlemas Festival with Hazel Archer Ginsberg

Friday, January 31st

7:30-8:30am   Registration, Breakfast and Social Time

8:30– 10 am   History of Fellowship of Prep Makers, and Introductions.

10-10:30am  Morning Break

10:30–12:30pm  Why Biodynamics? Presenter: Mac Mead

12:30-1:45pm Lunch

2-3:30pm  How the cosmic works in the earth? Presenter: Hugh Courtney

3:30-4pm Afternoon Break

4-6pm  Different ways to make and use BD501 & BD508. Practical hands on session with Marjory House and Lloyd Nelson

6-7:30 pm Supper

7:30-9pm  The Journey of a Prep Maker,  A history circle, Facilitator: Brian Wickert

Saturday, February 1st

7:30-8:30 Registration, Breakfast and Social Time

8:30-10am  History of Silica on Man’s Evolution (Lamuria to today) Presenter: Mac Mead

10-10:30am  Morning break

10:30– 12pm  Silica and the Human Presenter: Dr. Mark Kamsler

12-1:30pm Lunch

1:30-3pm  Interpretation of Chromatograms  Presenter: Ryan Herring

3-3:30pm  Afternoon Break

3:30-5pm  Kolisko Institute  Presenter: Dr. Mark Kamsler

5-7pm  Supper

7-8:30pm  Quality Comparison of BD501 & 508  Show and tell how you make and use the preps. Facilitator: Wali Via

8:30 pm  Evening Social/Brew City Drifters


Sunday, February 2nd

7:30-8:30 am  Breakfast & Social Time

8:30-10am  Round Table Discussion: Peppering for Pests and Weeds Panel: Mac Mead and Hugh Courtney

10-1-:30  Morning Break

10:30– Noon  Fellowship presentations, evaluations and closing circle.

Noon  Lunch

2-4 pm  Field Trip to Mandaamin Institute, Lake Geneva, WI

Registration and Lodging

Full Conference Fee $250

Single Day $125

Single Talk $25

Single Meal $15

Chromatogram Intensive $25

Homestays Available

Airport pickup from MKE available

REGISTER ONLINE HERE  or mail a check to Petra Zinniker, N7399 Bowers Rd, Elkhorn, WI 53121

***Please contact us with any dietary restrictions.***

Allison Pratt-Szeliga

Home stay  and airport transportation arrangements will be handled by:
Petra Zinniker

We will work to provide home stays for everyone who requests one. Some homes will be free and others may have a cost. Please contact Petra with your requests. Home stays will be reserved on a first come first served basis.

Local accommodations are also listed below:
Quality Inn & Suites (1.8 miles away)
2921 O’Leary Ln, East Troy, WI 53120•(262) 684-2183

Alpine Valley Resort (1.6 miles away)
W2501 Co Rd D, Elkhorn, WI 53121•(262) 642-7374

BD 501 and 508 preps for quality comparison:
If you have them, please bring or send BD 501 and BD 508 preps for quality comparison and closing ceremony.
Preps can be mailed to Petra Zinniker, N 7399 Bowers Rd, Elkhorn, WI 53121


Presenter Bios:

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, and the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society. Founder of Reverse Ritual, Understanding Anthroposophy Through the Rhythms of the Year, Presenter, Poet, and Trans-denominational Minister.

Mac Mead
has been practicing biodynamics for over 40 years, primarily in therapeutic communities dedicated to both biodynamic agriculture and medicine. Over the years, he has gardened and farmed on every scale, from handwork to field-scale vegetables, tended an orchard, and managed dairy cows. Mac was the resident farmer at the Fellowship Community’s Duryea Farm from 1997 until 2005. He is presently the program director of the Pfeiffer Center for biodynamics.

Hugh Courtney is the first to say that he is not a farmer, and he didn’t even enter the biodynamic arena until he was in his 40s. But in 1976 he responded to the offer by Josephine Porter – a board member of what is now the Biodynamic Association (BDA) – to teach anyone who would come to her farm how to make the biodynamic preparations according to the indications given by Rudolf Steiner in the Agriculture Lectures. Hugh has never looked back. After this fateful meeting, followed by eight years of mentoring by then-elder Josephine Porter, he took up the preparations work at the request of a member of the BDA Board of Directors when Josephine died in May 1984. Hugh subsequently founded the Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Bio-Dynamics (JPI) in October 1985 to honor her many years of service to biodynamics and to fulfill a personal commitment to her to create a permanent “home” for the biodynamic preparations. That “home” was created on the farm in Woolwine, Virginia owned by the Courtney family. After the founding of JPI, making and distribution of the preparations, plus training others in the making and use of the preparations, became the mission of the new organization.

In the years since the founding of JPI, Hugh has consistently and faithfully made preparations every year and has taught, cajoled, encouraged, admonished, and guided the rest of us as we endeavored to do the same. Not afraid of plain talk or controversy, he has been a tireless advocate of the large-scale use of the biodynamic preparations on the North American continent and has conducted research regarding their characteristics and efficacy while encouraging others in their own research efforts. One example of this commitment has been the “Recommendations for Working with Crops, Sequential Spraying, and Ashing,” which he has offered to the biodynamic community for many years.

Recently the Josephine Porter Institute has moved from the Courtney farm, and Hugh – now in his early 80s – is working with his grandson Jeremiah Proctor to establish a new initiative called Earth Legacy Agriculture(link is external) (ELA). ELA is a natural next step for Hugh in carrying Josephine Porter’s vision forward and a w;ay for him to move fully and deeply into a more individually focused, mentoring, and guiding role, much as Josephine Porter did with him decades before. Earth Legacy Agriculture provides “consultation and support services for the grower,” including biodynamic preparations and training regarding their use. Ideally, these products and services are provided on an ongoing basis over a multi-year period, including in-person and phone consultation.

As part of Earth Legacy’s work, Hugh is focusing strongly on animal, insect, and weed “pest” peppers and is also developing unique products based on his knowledge and experience. The first of these that will become available is the Biodynamic Field and Farm Energizer kit. Seminars, workshops, and “work weekends” at Earth Legacy also offer opportunities to work intensively in small groups in learning about and experiencing preparation work under Hugh’s guidance.

There is no doubt that Hugh’s commitment to Josephine Porter’s legacy – and to biodynamic agriculture – has made an incalculable quantitative and qualitative contribution to the future. In addition to the thousands of gallons of preparations he has made and used with hundreds of individuals and groups over the years, he has set the standard for preparations training and has conducted or substantively contributed to countless research projects and efforts. Perhaps most importantly, many of the next generation who are now taking their places as the leaders of the biodynamic movement started their careers under Hugh’s tutelage.

Hugh’s mission and vision for the application of biodynamic preparations on this continent has carried him – and us – into the future of our work together. The “golden thread” throughout these years, and the years ahead, was well articulated in the last paragraph of the introduction he wrote to the collection of lectures entitled What is Biodynamics? (SteinerBooks 2005):

“Our task at this time, during the descent and ascent of the etheric Christ, is to work via the force of the life ether, by always remaining in the realm of the living. We have no other tools to do that except the nine biodynamic preparations…. It matters not whether we use them on the acreage of a huge farm or on a small backyard garden. What matters most is that all nine are used. Implant the sword of Micha-el in the earth through the preparations. Use them to summon the elementals to serve the Christ. Take up our human task of spiritualizing the Earth.”

Marjory House has been gardening and farming in the Willamette valley of Oregon for over twenty years. She received a certificate in permaculture design in 2007 from Jude Hobbs and Toby Hemenway of the Cascadia Permaculture institute. She currently owns and operates a seven-acre, certified Biodynamic farm with over 450 apple trees and over an acre of vegetables grown for restaurants, farmers’ markets, and Sero Biodynamic Seeds. She has maintained a fruit tree pruning business for 15 years and a biodynamic consulting business for the last 7 years. She has been a preparation maker with the Oregon Biodynamic Group since 2006. She can be reached through her website www.gobiodynamic.com(link is external).

Lloyd Nelson. Biodynamic Preparation Maker, Consultant, Farmer, and Educator.  Lloyd Nelson has been practicing the art of Biodynamics for twenty years. He is co-founder of Biodynamic Source, a Demeter certified prep making and distribution non-profit and owns and operates a BD spray service, and assists in converting farms to Biodynamic management.

Dr Kamsler, a Board Certified pediatrician has been taking care of his patients over 18 years. He specializes in holistic and natural medicine, treating, whenever possible, chronic and acute illnesses with natural supplements, homeopathic medicines, and other disease specific topical ointments. He enjoys a broad reputation with both in and out of state patients that are consulting him on their health problems. He is well experienced in comprehensive medical evaluations, complete pediatric care, advanced nutritional testing and nutritional advice, life style coaching, a new form of energetic and spiritual exercise called eurythmy, etc. Dr. Kamsler is well known and sought after for his management of children with complex medical problems. He emphasizes a comprehensive body & mind approach best summarized under the term anthroposophical medicine, the most complete form of complementary/alternative medicine available. Dr. Kamsler graduated from the prestigious University of Michigan School of Medicine, and after his residency at Mott Children’s Hospital he spent several years studying anthroposophical/complementary medicine in the US and Europe while working with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. He is a Board member of the American College for Anthroposophic Medicine. His additional activities include lectures, training seminars and workshops to professional and lay groups. He has worked extensively as a consulting pediatrician to several Waldorf Schools and has been a sought after speaker by groups ranging from Birthing Centers and La Leche League to Grand Rounds at several hospitals. He is recognized by his peers as a leader in the emerging field of complementary medicine. Following a long standing interest in researching ways for creating new pharmaceutical quality natural remedies Dr. Kamsler founded, together with Ross Rentea, MD and Andrea Rentea MD, the True Botanica company. Their goal is to create the most safe and effective full spectrum products possible that work harmoniously on body, mind and spirit. The formulas are designed by uniting the best in emerging modern nutritional technology with insights given by the scientist Rudolf Steiner, as well as by paying attention to today’s patient needs. He is also Co-Founder, Vice President and Treasurer of the True Botanica Foundation, a nonprofit organization for education, research and social help in the anthroposophical health care field.

Ryan Herring is a mechanical/plumbing piping designer for L&S Engineering. He and his family of 6 live in Spokane Valley, Washington. He worked for an indoor hydroponic cannabis farm, where he diagnosed plant health and made nutrients and specialty microbial teas and ferments for about 9 months. He graduated the Spokane Master Composter program in 2013 and graduated from the Spokane County WSU Master Gardener program in 2014. In 2015 he continued on his journey and obtained Permaculture Design Certificate from Skeeter Pilarski and the Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild, where he continues to be an active member. Ryan has also been teaching Soils and regenerative agriculture and gardening to the local community. Ryan has been active member in the regional Inland Northwest Biodynamic Group since the fall of 2014. Since then he has practiced/consulted on biodynamic farming and gardening in the Inland Northwest. Most recently, Ryan joined the Fellowship of Preparation Makers and the Evaluation Group that is part of the Fellowship.

Wali Via has farmed at Winter Green Farm in western Oregon since 1985. Winter Green has a 500-member community supported agriculture program (CSA); grows crops for five farmers’ markets, as well as wholesale accounts; and has a cow/calf beef herd. He is on the board of the Biodynamic Association, an active member and past president of the Oregon Biodynamic Group, and a member of the Fellowship of Preparation Makers. Wali has lectured on biodynamics, compost, and sustainable agriculture internationally and has been making and using the biodynamic preparations since 1976. Wali’s passions include spending time in the wilderness, nature photography, and composting.



Michael Fields Agricultural Institute


Biodynamic Association