In Memory of Hugh Courtney by Rosemary Tayler
Having travelled twice to Woolwine, Virgina for training in biodynamic preparations, I feel honoured to have been part of the circle of students and mentors led by Hugh Courtney. Hugh crossed over unexpectedly at his home on June 15, 2020, at the age of 87.
According to his obituary, his life spanned three careers: the first as a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy; the second as a librarian in Maryland; and the third as a teacher and mentor in biodynamics. In 1978, Hugh purchased his farm in the rolling hills of Woolwine and for nine years was mentored by Josephine Porter, an American biodynamic prep maker. He also exchanged ideas with Ehrenfried Pfieffer, a German soil scientist and student of Rudolf Steiner.
For over 30 years, Hugh mentored hundreds of students from across North America and around the world, including such countries as Great Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, Japan, Phillipeans, Taiwan, South Africa, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico.
Upon seeing and hearing his dedication to teaching biodynamics, I invited Hugh to write articles and become a mentor for our planting calendar. Gradually he took on more responsibilities and soon the calendar became a platform where he shared his wisdom, deep insights, and experiential learning. One major contribution was his recommendations for sequential spraying, an advanced technique used by biodynamic farmers and gardeners, which we continue to incorporate into the monthly charts.
Now it our turn, as users of this calendar, to follow his teachings. As the community of students and interns continues his efforts to outreach to farmers and gardeners everywhere, may we all carry his passion for the natural world, both seen and unseen.
Note: All the articles Hugh Courtney contributed to this calendar are posted on the Earth Haven Learning Centre website at www.earthhavenlearning.ca #hughcourtney, #biodynamic, #bdprepmaker, #farm, #garden