In the beginning of September 2018, Sonja visited the biodynamic farm “Juchowo”. The estate lies approximately 150 km Southeast of Stettin, surrounded by a beautiful nature preserve. It has been farmed biodynamically since the early 2000s. Over the last few years, the 10 hectar farm with a 900-strong herd of beef and dairy cows has become a popular spot for Waldorf schools from Northeastern Germany, who come there for their agriculture and surveying projects. A beautiful refurbished redbrick building serves as accommodation, with 4-6 bed dormitories and bathroom. The delicious meals are prepared from vegetables, fruits and herbs, honey and baked goods – all out of Juchowo’s own production.
During the last five years, first steps have been made to include persons with disabilities from the region into the work processes on the farm. Even though the area is very rural, there are a number of day care centers for individuals with disabilities. Supported living and residential services are still not very common in Poland, as families still often function as stable multi-generational entities – not least as a result of the strong presence of the Catholic church. At harvest time, 10 people with support needs come to help out in Juchowo every day, especially in the herb garden.
In addition, six adults with disabilities are permanently employed in other work areas, for example in housekeeping and on the farm. Sonja had a number of conversations with Juchowo’s leadership on collaboration with the Anthroposophic Council for Inclusive Social Development. She invited the team as guests to the October meeting of the Council’s delegates, and also to join the Social Therapy Working Group (STAG) at its upcoming meeting in Berlin. In addition, they discussed a connection with “Profarm” and the Social Farming movement.
As Sonja was at Juchowo to accompany her class from the Emil Molt Akademie, the vocational school in Berlin where she teaches, she was able to spend a whole week there, help in the barn and also offer 45 minutes of eurythmy each morning with the administrative staff. All of this made for an experience that strengthened internal and international work and brought about a direct encounter between Juchowo and Dornach!
Sonja Zausch, September 2018