My name is Ben Campbell Jr. I am 59 years old. I got involved with Biodynamic farming through Hugh Courtney from the Josephine Porter Institute (J.P.I.) in Woolwine Virginia USA in the spring of 2007. I attended his spring workshop and after that I decided to devote the rest of my life to the Biodynamic movement. In August I went to Jeff Poppins farm in Tennessee to become an apprentice with him. In October of that year Jeff and I attended the fall workshop at J.P.I. There I met Konomi Onozato from the island of Hokkaido, Japan. Konomi was the first Biodynamic farmer in Hokkaido. She learned from Harold Hoven at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento California in 1994 to1996. She has been trying to make the Biodynamic preps since 1996 while helping to start the first Anthroposophical community in Hokkaido called Hibiki No Mura, Which is still going strong. So she came to J.P.I. to get more detailed information on prep making. After the workshop she was invited to come to Jeff's farm. Konomi and I decided to be partners and heal the earth together. She told me that Japan was less than 1% organic and that Japan needed help to convert to organic and Biodynamic methods. We decided to go to Japan in January 2008.
Now, almost 10 years later, we have the chance to buy 110 ha of good farm land here in Japan and do some real good things for anthroposophy and the Biodynamic movement for future generations. That’s why we are starting a Biodynamic farm community called Sophia Farm Community. We have built a woodfired masonry oven for our bakery, there is cattle that was partly born on the farm and we are producing Biodynamic preparations. We don't sell the preparations but we share them for free with anyone who wants to use them if they would please make a donation. We have been using the International Demeter Standards to explain to the local college how to be a Biodynamic farmer. And now Demeter has introduced a Powerpoint slideshow which we will also use.
We have a 30 to 40 member vegetable CSA garden that feeds ourselves and our apprentices and W.W.O.O.F. Volunteers. And yes we are a W.W.O.O.F. of Japan host and usually host 6 to 8 volunteers every year. We use this garden also for teaching.
We will be hosting 2 Waldorf school summer camps for their farm experience and garden class. Until now it was hosted by Dennis Pillaud and his wife Yoshiko~san at their farm “Pokkowapa farm” on Kyushu Island, but they have suffered heavy earthquake and typhoon damage and cannot continue. They are the only farm in Japan that make all the Biodynamic preparations besides us. We have volunteered to take their place and have the students come to our farm this year and hopefully again every year. We hope all the schools can have a Biodynamic farm near them to feed the schools Biodynamic food and have their garden class there. There are around 10 Waldorf schools in Japan now. We are helping to start one here in our valley too.
There are not many Biodynamic farms in Japan yet, maybe 10 or 15, but there is a big demand for Demeter certified products and Biodynamic farmers. I can name at least 10 places where a Biodynamic farmer can go and start farming today. We want to help train the Japanese (and anyone else who wants to come), to be biodynamic farmers and get Demeter certified and heal the earth. Konomi and I are here to do the work. We have a good network of friends and family to help when we need them. Now we need you to help by sending money for this farm for the future. I have until the end of my life to train someone or introduce someone to take over for us and keep the farm Demeter Certified for many generations to come.
Please support our work and help to buy land and save the woods for Sophia Farm Community and Biodynamic apprentice program.
Donation account Info
Account Name(Name of applicant): SFC4A kyanberu konomi
Bank Name : Shinkin Central Bank International Operations Center
Address: 9-1 Honmura-cho. Ichigaya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan
Swift Code: ZENBJPJT
Beneficiary's name: SFC4A Kyanberu Konomi
Beneficiary 's A/C: 0102103
Beneficiary's bank/branch: Obihiro Shinkin Bank / Honbetsu branch
Sophia Farm Community
Ben & Konomi Campbell