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A short trailer from Zev Robinson’s new documentary about local food production in the San Juan Islands, Washington.

A short interview with Henning Sehmsdorf on the Homestead


Trauma and Blessings Autobiography of a Prussian Immigrant, By Henning K. Sehmsdorf. S&S Homestead Press, 2023.

Pentimento of Narcissus (Poem and Commentary), By Henning K. Sehmsdorf. S&S Homestead Press, 2023.

Fifty Years of Biodynamic Farming: Essays From the Field. By Henning K. Sehmsdorf. S&S Homestead Press, 2023.

Eating Locally and Seasonally: A Community Food Book For Lopez Island (and All Those Who Want to Eat Well). By Elizabeth Simpson & Henning Sehmsdorf. S&S Homestead Press, 2021. 

Myth and Tradition in Norwegian Literature and Folklife. By Henning K. Sehmsdorf. S&S Homestead Press, 2020.

Continuity of Norwegian Tradition in the Pacific Northwest. By Henning K. Sehmsdorf. S&S Homestead Press, 2020.

Last Trip to Germany: Reflections on Art, Culture, Economics, History, Family and Travel in the Age of Climate Change 2018. By Elizabeth Simpson & Henning Sehmsdorf. S&S Homestead Press, 2019.

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century. National Academies Press, 2010.
By the National Research Council of the National Academies, Committee on Twenty-First Systems Agriculture (J.Kornegay, R.Harwood, S.Batie, D.Bucks, C.Butler-Flora, J.Hanson, D.Jackson-Smith, W.Jury, D.Meyer, J.Reganold, A.Schumacher, Henning Sehmsdorf, C.Shennan, L-A.Thrupp, P.Willis). The book updates the National Research Council report, Alternative Agriculture (1989), and assesses the weaknesses and strengths of various production, marketing and policy options to achieve agricultural sustainability in the 21st century. The members of the study committee included experts in agribusiness, crop, soil and horticultural sciences, water science, agroecology, economics, social science and policy administration, as well as two farmers. Published by National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2010.

The S&S Homestead Food Book, 2009
By Elizabeth Simpson and Henning Sehmsdorf
The Foodbook contains a number of essays on various topics related to food, as well as recipes, information about nutrition, methods of food preservation, and culinary tips. This book is guided by the philosophy that communities can feed themselves, that foods grown organically and locally, and eaten seasonally, are best for health, for the environment, and for community economy. The book is a work in progress, and essays, recipes, an index and bibliography will be added as they are completed. Some of the essays have been written by former interns as part of their on-farm projects. The illustrations were done by Kelley Palmer-McCarty who participated in the on-farm high school class in 2007 and was an intern on the farm in summer 2009.

Introduction and Table of Contents

Chapter One: Essays

Chapter Two: Vegetables

Chapter Three: Fruit

Chapter Four: Meat

Chapter Five: Dairy

Chapter Six: Chicken and Egg

Chapter Seven: Bread

Chapter Eight: Keeping the Harvest


“About Biodynamics,” Dr. Henning Sehmsdorf, 2013

“What is Biodynamic Farming?” San Juan Islands Conservation District, 2013

“On Fermentation,” Dr. Henning Sehmsdorf, 2013

“Building Fertile Soil,” Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz, 2013

“Geisteswissenschaft” What does Rudolf Steiner mean when he employs the term Geisteswissenschaft? Where in his writings or in secondary sources about Steiner, can I find a discussion of the term? Dr. Henning Sehmsdorf, 2013 


Small-Scale, Self-Sufficient Farming For Health
By Henning K. Sehmsdorf. S&S Homestead Press, 2021.

Retiring on the Commons
By Henning Sehmsdorf, S&S Homestead 2017
The essay discusses the concept of the commons as it applies to the question of how to provide security in retirement to a farmer who passes his the farm to succeeding generations.

The Economics of Food Self-Sufficiency
By Henning Sehmsdorf, S&S Homestead 2004
The essay explores the frequently asked question of how a self-sufficient, small-scale farmer makes a living.

Gratia Plena
By Tanya Marcovna Barnett, Earth Ministry, Seattle, WA, 2003
An essay about the author’s visit to S&S Homestead Farm and Loveday, the farm’s Jersey cow. Essay published with permission of Earth Letter/Earth Ministry and the author.

“Marketing a Philosophy on S&S Homestead Farm”
By A.S. Agenbroad, et al, 2005, published by Rural Roots and the University of Idaho
One of a series of Northwest Direct Farmer Case Studies funded through an Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems grant by the USDA.

S & S Homestead Farm Biodynamic Farming Study – Sheep Flock Status
By Michael Hackett, Washington State University Professor Emeritus; Sheep Specialist & Sustainable Agriculture Instructor

“Sustainability on the S & S Homestead”
By Steven M. Garrett, Washington State University Cooperative Extension, August 2002
Supported by WSU CSANR through a Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Professional Development grant

“The Viable Family Farm”
By Elizabeth Simpson, S & S Homestead Farm

“Biodynamic Farming and Goethe’s Concept of Plant Morphology: A Report of an Internship on S & S Homestead Farm”
By Kelly Palmer-McCarty, S & S Homestead Farm Intern, 2009

Journal Articles

“Living the Holistic High-Life: Self-Sufficiency on S&S Homestead Farm (Part I)” and “A Holistic Future for Farming: Self-Sufficiency on a Small Family Farm (Part Two)”
By Henning Sehmsdorf, Summer and Autumn 2005 (Biodynamics, nos. 253, 254; published here with permission of Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association)

Real Food on the Farm: A Workshop Presenting Nutritionally Vital Foods That Promote Health and Healing”
By Katarina Prime and Stephen Bramwell, Autumn 2005 (Biodynamics, no. 254; published here with permission of Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association).

“Farm-to-School and Farm-to Cafeteria in the Making: Community-Based Education on a Small Biodynamic Farm”
By Henning Sehmsdorf, 2006 (Biodynamics, no. 258; published here with permission of Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association).

“Making Biodynamic Preparations on S&S Homestead Farm: Regional Community Building” By Barry Lia, 2007 (Biodynamics, no. 259, published here with permission of Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association).

“S&S Homestead Farm: The 2004, 2005, and 2006 Summer Workshops: Photos”
By Barry Lia and Henning Sehmsdorf, 2007 (Biodynamics, no. 260, published here with permission of Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association).

On-Farm Research: Biodynamic Forage Production on S&S Homestead Farm
By Henning Sehmsdorf, Summer 2008 (Biodynamics, no.265; published here with permission of Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association).

Sustainable Agriculture, a case study of a small Lopez Island Farm.
By J.R. Reeve, L Carpenter-Boggs, and H. Sehmsdorf. (For the published version of the article see Agricultural Systems 104 (2011), 572-579.)

Transforming U.S. Agriculture.
By J.P. Reganold, D.Jackson-Smith, S.S.Batie, R.R.Harwood. J.L.Kornegay, D.Bucks, C.B.Flora, J.C.Hanson, W.A.Jury, D.Meyer, A.Schumacher, H. Sehmsdorf, C.Shennan, L.A.Thrupp, P.Willis, Science (6 May 2011), Vol.332, 670-1.

The Economics of the Small-Scale, Self-Sufficient Farm” Dr. Henning Sehmsdorf,  Stella Natura, 2013

“The Staff of Life? The Culture of Gluten Intolerance as Seen Through the Eyes of a Homestead Baker.” By Henning Sehmsdorf, Biodynamics (Fall 2014).



The Economics of Sacred Agriculture

A Land Trust, A Small Farm, & Our Agricultural Heritage

Demonstration Farm Sign

Farm Economic Data
By Andrew Haden and Henning Sehmsdorf

Farm Emergy Yield Ratios
By Andrew Haden

Farm Environmental Loading
By Andrew Haden

Farm Sustainability Index
By Andrew Haden

Farm-to-School Project
By Carol Miles and Henning Sehmsdorf

Fermentation Workshop

Home, Food, Family, Community

It’s All About Food
By Katy Prime

Small-Scale Sustainable Farm

Presentations, Lectures and Workshops

“Spirituality of the Soil: The Idea of Teleology from Aristotle to Rudolf Steiner.” Paper given at Harvard Divinity School Conference, “The Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture,” March 31-April 1, 2016.

IN PART I, the presentation explores the philosophical foundations from Aristotle and Spinoza to Goethe and others, of Steiner’s seminal speculations regarding the continuity of Spirit & Matter in the etheric forces enlivening the soil. PART II describes how Steiner’s thinking has informed agronomic practice on this biodynamic farm, and how farm-based research has corroborated that spiritual forces are at work in the way soil is managed, resulting in marked increases of soil organic matter. Part III (conclusion) considers the agronomic practice effecting human transformation, leading the practitioner from “the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe.”

Bee Colony Collapse and Biodynamic Strategies to Restore Bee Health.” Lecture presented to students of Huxley College of the Environment by Dr. Henning Sehmsdorf. 16 May, 2015

The lecture explores some of the possible causes of world-wide bee colony collapse and how to restore bee health from a biodynamic perspective.

Aristotelian and Mendeleevian “Elements” in the Context of Alchemy and Biodynamics” Lecture presented to students of Huxley College of the Environment by Dr. Henning Sehmsdorf. 2 August 2013

Salt, Mercury, Sulphur in the Alchemical Language of Rudolf Steiner” Lecture presented to students of Huxley College of the Environment by Dr. Henning Sehmsdorf. 3 August 2013

Basic Concepts of Biodynamics” Lecture presented to students of Huxley College of the Environment by Dr. Henning Sehmsdorf. 4 August 2013

Bread Commotion: A Look at Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease through the Eyes of a Homestead Baker.” Presented: Kneading Conference West, Mt. Vernon, WA
Dr. Henning Sehmsdorf, 13 September 2013

Goethean Color Theory on the Farm
Text of a 2008 workshop by Henning Sehmsdorf and Barry Lia
Goethean Color Theory on the Farm Presentation Slides

How to Form a Healthy Farm Organism: The Biodynamic Perspective on Economics
Presentation Text of a 2008-09 workshop by Henning Sehmsdorf
Presentation Slides, Part I and Part II

Ecological Livestock Raising
Presentation Text of a workshop by Henning Sehmsdorf
Presentation Slides, Part I and Part II

Nutrition – Body and Soul

A keynote speech by Elizabeth Simpson and Henning Sehmsdorf at the opening of the “First National Conference on Farm-to-Cafeteria,” Seattle 2002. (Published in “Community Food Security News,” Spring 2003, and “Kids Can Make a Difference,” Spring 2003, Volume 8, Number 2.)

Seasonal Foods on S&S Homestead Farm
A Workshop in Nutrient Content, Propagation, and Culinary Preparation, May 2005
Research and compilation by Katrina Prime, Farm Intern, in collaboration with Henning Sehmsdorf

Long Term Sustainability of a Low-Input Organic Farm


Reeve, J.R., L. Carpenter-Boggs, S. Fransen, H. Sehmsdorf. 2010. Biodynamic spray preparations may improve soil pH and forage quality. 2010. International Conference of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability 3-7thJanuary, Cuenca, Ecuador.

Project Reports

“A Strawbale Bunkhouse for a Sustainable Farm,” published in The Last Straw, The International Journal of Straw Bale and Natural Building, No. 34 (Summer 2001), 33-34.
By Jan Scilipoti
The Strawbale Bunkhouse is included in an international registry of strawbale structures.

Biodynamic Farming and Goethe’s Concept of Plant MorphologyA Report of an Internship on S&S Homestead Farm,” June through September 2009
By Kelley Palmer-McCarty

“Class on a Lopez Island Farm”
Western SARE Report outlining S&S Homestead Farm grants that support farm as a classroom for sustainable agriculture, published by Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education.

Compost Management Plan,” S&S Homestead Farm, Summer 2003 Internship
By Jessica Gigot 

Emergy Analysis of Food Production at S&S Homestead Farm,” October 2002 internship
By Andrew C. Haden, M.S.

Medicinal Plants on S & S Homestead Farm” and Appendix with list of herbs, Summer 2002 Internship
By Johanna Hoek

The First Year in the Development of Lopez Community Farm C.S.A.,” Fall 2007
By Lisa Murgatroyd and Jesse Pizzitola

Reading Intensives

Reading Intensive 2014

Reading Intensive 2015