Book Review by Rosemary Tayler
Published in 2007, the 155-page book, Sacred Stewardship: Regaining our spiritual partnership with the food we eat, by Charles Hubbard and Malki'el McCamis, presents a balanced approach to biodynamic farming. Threaded throughout the text are not only spiritual principles and values but also practical steps to enhance the seen and unseen forces that can improve food vitality.
The eight chapters, or sections, as they are called in this book, are preceded by a list of stewardship elements covered in each section. For example, the section on Food Vitality, which gives an in depth discussion on biodynamics and vibrational food, covers the following elements:
- Awareness that all things have life force;
- Our very survival depends upon our recognition of the interconnectedness of all living things;
- We are spiritual beings first;
- Vitality is a vibration that can be grown to create spiritual food;
- Life force is transferable at the cellular level;
- Everyone can participate in and experience the privilege of creating sacred stewardship.
In section 2, Hubbard shares his account of how he began his career as a conventional farmer, then moved into organics, and finally ended up applying biodynamic principles and practices to his farming methods. I found this protracted timeline particularly valuable given that many of us are often caught up in the minutia of present time circumstances. Hubbard's reflections on the longer-term process of change was especially insightful. In my opinion, his story allows the reader to appreciate how he or she can slowly but surely incorporate some of the many teachings detailed in this book.
Hubbard admits that his efforts to transition to a biodynamic farm were gradual as no one living nearby held that knowledge. Gradually he set up what he calls a “living classroom,” and over time teachers showed up and shared their wisdom. To quote the author:
“It is extradorinary how often a teacher appears just as you are ready to move on your journey to horizons: new thoughts, new ways of doing things, new parameters. This is the joy if it. There are no single answers. Each day can be an experience.”
Throughout this book, the authors bring a deep sense of respect for not only the economic and political aspects of agriculture and how they can be improved, but they also provide a road map to energy awareness and the shift of perspective that is needed by us all to better value the more spiritual aspects of gardening and farming.