Biodynamics Now Podcast! Episode 012 Jean Giblette and Peg Shafer on The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm

Our collective experience of the past sixty years has revealed long-term damage resulting from the industrialization of three necessities: education, food, and medicine. We are now at an impasse: the food makes us sick, the medicine fails to restore our health, and a fog of propaganda obscures the solutions to our problems.

Jean Giblette

Our interview is with leading Chinese medicine herbalists Jean Giblette and Peg Shafer. Jean, a medicinal plant grower, teacher and investigator, is the founder of High Falls Gardens, Peg Shafer, an accomplished plant worker and teacher, is the author of The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm. With three decades of combined domestic herb-farming experience, Giblette and Schafer believe that sustainable production of East Asian herbs in the U.S. has the potential to benefit both local producers and practitioners.

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Biodynamics Now! Podcast Episode 011 Dr. Paul Jaminet, Author of Perfect Health Diet


Perfect Health Diet Cover
Dr. Paul Jaminet, author of Perfect Health Diet ( Photograph by Seo Jung Sa )

Paul Jaminet, Ph.D., was an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Paul’s experience overcoming a chronic illness led the Jaminets to develop the views of aging and disease presented in Perfect Health Diet.

Suffering from chronic illness and unable to get satisfactory results from doctors, husband and wife scientists Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet took an intensely personal interest in health and nutrition. They embarked on five years of rigorous research. What they found changed their lives— and the lives of thousands of their readers.

In Perfect Health Diet, the Jaminets explain in layman’s terms how anyone can regain health and lose weight by optimizing nutrition, detoxifying the diet, and supporting healthy immune function. They show how toxic, nutrient-poor diets sabotage health, and how on a healthy diet, diseases often spontaneously resolve.

Paul Jaminet tirelessly provides one-to-one support for people who are working through health issues with diet. You can read his archives, get recipes and ask questions at this website

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Perfect Health Diet tells you exactly how to optimize health and make weight loss effortless with a clear, balanced, and scientifically proven plan to change the way you eat—and feel—forever!

The Biodynamics Now! Bookstore

We finally got a start on the Biodynamics Now! bookstore!

The bookstore will be a tool for you to access information about biodynamic food and farming and related strategies for producing quality food as well as books about Spiritual Science.

Your purchases from the Biodynamics Now! bookstore earn small comissions for the Biodynamics Now! podcast project at no cost to you!

In fact, every time you enter through the Biodynamics Now! bookstore, the Biodynamics Now! podcast earns a commission on everything you buy, even if it is not through the Biodynamics Now! shopping cart! (Believe me, we need your support to keep this effort going!)

You can use the link below to visit or shop at the Biodynamic Now! bookstore. If you want to volunteer to help us organize and expand the store, your help would be most welcome. You can contact me, Allan Balliett, at

The Biodynamics Now! Bookstore link

Biodynamics Now! Bookstore

Biodynamics Now Podcast! Episode 010 Craig Siska and the Alan Chadwick On-line Archive

alan chadwick
Alan Chadwick with students in the Covelo Garden, circa 1972

The most obvious quality that separates “organic” farmers and gardeners from chemical farmers and gardeners is an innate respect for the Wisdom of Nature, which is generally arises from a strong sense of the spiritual nature of working with the land and with plants.

Two teachers of note  who arose on these topics in the Seventies were Peter Tomkins and Alan Chadwick.

Tompkins,  and co-author Christopher Byrd, with the publication of The Secret Life of Plants, made Americans aware for the first time that plants were sentient, that if a human being pays attention to them (or plays music to them!), they will respond in positive ways.

Chadwick was already working with these insights and had a unique ability as a teacher to open other people to these new awarenesses in such a way that, in a time when people thought food could only be grown with artificial fertilizers and a lot of pesticide application, individuals were empowered to create gardens without chemicals of such astounding fertility that they out produced conventional farmers by many fold.

There’s more information about Craig and Alan on the next page, but you can download the podcast from iTunes or here  (on a Mac, use your cntl- key to download, on a PC right click. If you simply click, the podcast will play in a new window).

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Biodynamics Now Podcast! Episode 009 Sandor Katz – Master Fermenter


Sandor Katz is a self-described fermentation fetishist. His fermentation explorations developed out of overlapping interests in cooking, nutrition and gardening. He is also an herbalist and an activist and a writer and a builder and a craftsperson and a bicyclist and many other things: a generalist. He is a resident steward of Short Mountain Sanctuary, a queer intentional community deep in the wooded hills of Tennessee. Katz is a native of New York City, a graduate of Brown University, and a former urban planner and policy analyst. He has been living with AIDS for more than a decade and considers fermented foods an important part of his healing. (from Sandor's official biography, circa 2003) Continue reading "Biodynamics Now Podcast! Episode 009 Sandor Katz – Master Fermenter"

Biodynamics Now Podcast! Episode 8: Michael Phillips, Holistic Orchardist

Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way
Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way

Michael Phillips is a farmer, writer, carpenter, orchard consultant, and speaker who lives with his wife, Nancy, and daughter, Grace, on Heartsong Farm in northern new Hampshire, where they grow apples and a variety of medicinal herbs. Michael authored The Apple Grower (Chelsea Green 2005) and teamed up with Nancy to write The Herbalist’s Way(Chelsea Green 2005). His Lost Nation Orchard is part of a diversified mountain farm in northern New Hampshire, and he also leads the community orchard movement at

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Biodynamics Now Podcast: Harvey Ussery, author of "The Small-Scale Poultry Flock"

Harvey Ussery
Harvey Ussery, author of "The Small Scale Poultry Flock"


No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems approach, or discusses producing homegrown feed and breeding in such detail—it is truly an invaluable and groundbreaking guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.– Chelsea Press

Harvey Ussery has been developing his whole-systems poultry husbandry for decades and has been writing about chickens and other fowl for Backyard Poultry since the inception of the magazine in early 2006. He has also written numerous articles for Mother Earth News and Countryside & Small Stock Journal, and has published in American Pastured Poultry Producers Association’s newsletter, Grit!, over the years. Ussery has presented at national and local events on poultry, homesteading, and energy and sustainability issues, and maintains a highly informative website, TheModernHomestead.US. He lives with his wife, Ellen, in Virginia. Continue reading “Biodynamics Now Podcast: Harvey Ussery, author of "The Small-Scale Poultry Flock"”

Biodynamics Now! Podcast Episode 7: Dr Rob Dunn, author of "The Wildlife of Our Bodies"

Dr Rob Dunn, author of "The Wildlife of Our Bodies"
Dr Rob Dunn, evolutionary biologist and author of "The Wildlife of Our Bodies"

We came to Rob Dunn and his astounding book through Dr Al Kapuler’s (See BDNow! Podcast episode 3) enthusiastic recommendations. Dr Dunn makes it pretty clear that our bodies are ‘who we are’ and our minds are ‘who we think we are.’ While our minds have evolved to live in the 21st century, our bodies are pretty much stuck at the point they were in evolution before the neolithic, before civilization. Our mind’s recent requirement for ‘cleanliness’ is denying our old fashion bodies of many of the synergies we co-evolved with. Dr. Kapuler was very impressed by how Dr Dunn explains that our ancestors’ experiences with saber-toothed tigers still colors our psyche and explains much of our current foreign policy. Dr Dunn’s explanations on how a host of modern ailments, such as Chrone’s disease and many allergies, are probably due to the absence of parasites in our bowels. More to the point, he encourages us to “re-Wild” our insides for better health and performance here in the sterilized and monocropped 21st century. Continue reading “Biodynamics Now! Podcast Episode 7: Dr Rob Dunn, author of "The Wildlife of Our Bodies"”

The Biodynamics Now! Podcast Episode 6: An Interview with Filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia, Creator of "Symphony of the Soil"

Deborah Koons Garcia
Filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia, creator of Symphony of the Soil

Healthy Soil  = Healthy Plants = Healthy Animals and Humans

The World Premier of Deborah Koons Garcia’s (The Future of Food) long awaited film, Symphony of the Soil, is 4pm Sunday March 25, 2012 at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Theater. It is being shown as part of the DC Environmental Film Festival. (Find more information here )

If you’re reading this before March 25, and you’re in the DC-area, please make it out to this free event to show Debroah Koons Garcia that DC food community values films like this. A high turn out to this wonderful film will convince the DC Environmental Film Festival that there is a strong interest in films about food and agriculture. (And this is a good one!) Continue reading “The Biodynamics Now! Podcast Episode 6: An Interview with Filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia, Creator of "Symphony of the Soil"”

The Biodynamics Now! Podcast Episode 5: An Interview with Dr. Thomas Cowan, author of The Fourfold Path of Healing

Dr Thomas Cowan
Anthroposophic Physician Dr Thomas Cowan

Dr. Tom Cowan discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read Nutrition and Physical Degenerationby Weston Price, and a fellow volunteer explained the arcane principles of Rudolf Steiner’s™ biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree. Tom graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in Family Practice at Johnson City Hospital in Johnson City, New York, he set up an anthroposophical medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan relocated to San Francisco in 2003. Continue reading “The Biodynamics Now! Podcast Episode 5: An Interview with Dr. Thomas Cowan, author of The Fourfold Path of Healing”