Green River Farms 2017

for biodynamic apple orchard project in Williamstown, $15/hour

 Please email Lucy Gardner Carson (Williams ’85) at Green River Farms at lucygardnercarson [at] or call 413-884-6021.

This winter Green River Farms is pioneering a biodynamic* orchard management program. We are looking for individuals to help create a supportive environment in which plants can fully express their genetic potential. This will result in a nutrient-dense product derived from the life force taken up from the soil.

Phase one of this program is the application of a tree paste coating to the bark of a section of the tree trunk. This tree paste accomplishes several things:

  • The paste itself is a clay compound that seals the bark of the tree trunk over the winter and thereby suffocates any insects burrowed into the bark as well as preventing any new burrowing.
  • The paste forms a shell that protects the tree from freeze/thaw frost damage in early spring by slowing down any premature blooming.
  • And finally, the clay shell contains the biodynamic preparations which work into the tree itself when the sun begins to shine warm enough after the sap runs and the buds open into leaves.

Tree paste is applied by hand to each individual tree to make sure a complete seal is achieved. Paste is water soluble and diluted to be applied as a liquid with a brush. The paste itself is a clay compound of bentonite potters’ clay, vegetable oil, and probiotic soil microorganisms. Safe enough to eat (but it tastes like chalk)!

An orientation will be given in which the principles of biodynamic farming will be discussed further. This is outdoor winter work; participants should be prepared and dress accordingly.

* Biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition. Biodynamic agriculture has been practiced for nearly a century, on every continent on Earth. Biodynamic principles and practices are based on the spiritual insights and practical suggestions of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, and have been developed through the collaboration of many farmers and researchers since the early 1920s. Today, the biodynamic movement encompasses thousands of regenerative gardens, farms, ranches, orchards, and vineyards, in a wide variety of climates, ecological contexts, and economic settings. []