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Our Leadership travels west to the Biodynamic Conference & La Plazita

Welcome Back, Tom Spaulding & Neddy Astudillo! Our Learning Center co-founders travelled to the Biodynamic Association's National Biodynamic Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico November 16-20, 2016, connecting with changemakers from within & beyond the biodynamic community. Neddy, an Eco-Theologian and pastor at Parroquia San José, presented at the workshop, Connecting the Sacred in Agriculture to a Moral Economy. The conference was the single largest Biodynamic conference ever held in the U.S.A. with more than 700 participants from more than 20 nations. Tom & Neddy also travelled to La Plazita Institute & urban farm in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Check out their amazing trip, impact and the connections made throughout the southwest and beyond!

Albino Garcia, founder of La Plazita Institute, hosts AOLC’s Thomas Spaulding at a community meeting in Albuquerque, NM, on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.  The Institute runs an urban organic farm among many services for Latino, Chicago and indigenous youth and adults under the philosophy “La Cultura Cura” - culture cures. 

 Jose Luis Ortiz (and daughter), farmer and leader at La Plazita Institute in Albuquerque, provides a tour of the urban organic farm and hoop houses to AOLC’s Neddy Astudillo.  The farm is a venue for youth and adults, many who are ex-offenders or formerly drug addicted, to heal and develop life and job skills.  The farm sells produce to youth and adult detention centers, local schools, and 50 CSA households.  

AOLC co-founder and eco-theologian Neddy Astudillo addresses the participants in the all-day session “Connecting the Sacred in Agriculture to a Moral Economy” at the Biodynamic Farming Conference in Santa Fe, NM on Wednesdat November 16, 2016.   Also pictured are panelists Appachanda Thimmaiah (Maharishi University), Beata Tsosie-Peña (Tewa Women United), Rachel Schneider (Hawthorne Valley Association), and Michael Joshin Thiele (Gaia Bees). 


Steffen Schneider of the Institute for Mindful Agriculture (Hawthorne Valley Association) and President of the Board of the Biodynamic Association introduces the panelists for the all-day session  “Connecting the Sacred in Agriculture to a Moral Economy” at the Biodynamic Farming Conference in Santa Fe, NM, on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. 


Participants take part in the closing ceremony of “Biodynamics Bridging the Americas” at the Biodynamic Farming Conference in Santa Fe, NM, on Thursday, November 17, 2016.   AOLC’s Thomas Spaulding and Neddy Astudillo served as co-facilitators for the all-day session with representatives from farms and gardens in Mexico, Brazil, Belize, Costa Rica, Argentina, Venezuela, and first nations and Latino farming communities from the United States. 


AOLC’s Tom Spaulding and Neddy Astudillo share a meal with colleagues at the Biodynamic Farming Conference in Santa Fe, NM.  Convened around the theme of "Tierra Viva" (Living Earth) and how Biodynamic agriculture can help heal Earth, community and self, the conference had strong representation from indigenous people, including farmers from the Pueblo communities who have lived and farmed here for more than a thousand years.