Hawthorne Valley was founded in 1971 by a pioneering group of Waldorf teachers and Biodynamic farmers who were concerned with the future of small and midsize independent farms as well as the need to provide children from urban environments with meaningful opportunities to connect to nature, agriculture, and vocational activities. The initiative was a response to experiencing firsthand the immediate challenges of the loss of small family farms and the threat to childhood development posed by an increasingly materialistic, mechanistic, and technology based prevailing worldview.
Inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, Hawthorne Valley Association seeks to promote social and cultural renewal through the integration of education, agriculture, and the arts by engaging in a unique mix of cultural and economic endeavors. Today, the Association includes:
A 400-acre Biodynamic farm with a 300-member CSA, on-farm bakery, sauerkraut cellar, and dairy, a full-line natural foods store, and a wide array of on-farm education programs for children and adults, summer camps, and vocational training courses for practicing and aspiring farmers. Since 1972, Hawthorne Valley Farm has hosted over 20,000 children through various on-farm education programs and continues to balance production of nutritious food, sensitive land stewardship, and on-farm education.
A nursery through grade 12 Waldorf day school with Boarding and Exchange programs. Cross country Patroon champions in 2010; an impressive academic and college acceptance record; and inspired contributions to the community through art, community service, and other individual pursuits.
A landscape learning initiative facilitating the ecological, historical, and socio-cultural exploration of Columbia County through research and outreach. The program encourages the compassionate, holistic understanding of our landscape and the active consideration of how human and non-human ecology can best be configured to provide healthy, economically viable human sustenance while supporting the other species that share this land with us.
A research and outreach branch investigating the dynamics, jurisdiction, and interdependence of the three primary spheres of social life: culture, rights, and the economy. Includes demonstration projects that apply the principles of freedom and choice in cultural life, equality and democracy in political life, and associative cooperation and concern for others in economic life.
Offering Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy, Waldorf Teacher Training for Early Childhood through Grade 8, and visual arts courses and various workshops through the year. Grounded in the path of inner development outlined by Rudolf Steiner, these offerings strive to awaken the individual to the working of the spirit in the human being, nature, and society.
A publisher and distributor of books on phenomenological science while also offering poetry, essays, and a large selection of translated works by Swiss poet Albert Steffen.
Offers a free, full time, nine month art course based on the fundamentals of the art of painting as they come to life through anthroposophy. Participants seek out the colors and their relationships, the living laws of composition, light and darkness and the spring of imagination where all pictures have their source. In addition to painting and drawing the course will also include study of the basic elements of anthroposophy, history of art as an image of evolution, philosophy of aesthetics, social questions in relation to art and economics, as well as other themes using a wide variety of media including watercolor, oil, egg tempera, charcoal, surface collage, block printing and pastel. Free Columbia also hosts lectures, workshops, and conferences throughout the year.