About Bruno Follador

Bruno Rodrigues Follador was born in São Paulo, Brazil. From an early age he felt a deep connection to nature. Having been brought up in one of the largest and most populated cities in the planet — a city with one of the highest income disparities in the world — he developed an acute interest in, and concern for, not only the environment but also social and cultural life.

He studied Geography at the University of São Paulo with a special focus on agrarian geography and theory of landscape. His undergraduate dissertation was on “The General Theory of System and Biodynamic Agriculture: New Perspectives for Agriculture.”

Throughout his studies he lived (and still lives) with questions such as:

  • “What is the relationship between soil erosion and social conflicts?”
  • “What is the connection between a healthy agriculture and a healthy cultural realm?”
  • “What are the cultural consequences of our current industrial agriculture?”
  • “How does our way of seeing, thinking and speaking create our agricultural reality?”

These questions led him to take a year off from school and to participate in a biodynamic gardening and bee-keeping training at the Pfeiffer Center in New York. While there, he had his first contact with Roland Ulrich and with farm-scale composting and the chromatography method developed by Ehrenfried Pfeiffer. Returning to Brazil from the Pfeiffer Center, he worked for two years with banana growers in a poor community in the Atlantic Forest of São Paulo, where he helped small family farmers convert to biodynamic agriculture.

In 2010, he moved to Germany where he became one of the researchers and consultants of Ludolf-Andreas, a non-profit lab, which is connected to a biodynamic farm, Andreashof. For three years he worked alongside Roland Ulrich, deepening his work with chromatography and farm-scale composting. Together they implemented a pioneering biodynamic farm-scale project at the Hofgut Rengoldshausen farm. Bruno and Roland led workshops and consulted in places such as Weleda (France and Switzerland), Agribio (Italy), and farms around the Lake Constance region of Germany.

Since then he has developed further an approach to composting and soil fertility that strives to go beyond the notion that composting is just a form of waste management and a means to increase yields. Beside practical applications and innovations, his endeavor is to foster and develop a personal relationship to composting and to the farm as a whole living individuality. This Goethean phenomenological approach seeks not only a shift in agricultural practices, but primarily a shift in human consciousness out of which new ways of interacting with nature in agriculture can develop.

Since 2012, Bruno has consulted and given workshops in places such as University of São Carlos (Brazil), Angelic Organics, Pfeiffer Center, Hawthorne Valley Farm, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Camphill Kimberton Hills.

In the fall of 2014 Bruno joined The Nature Institute, where he is the director of the Living Soils initiative.

See also this list of Bruno’s past talks and workshops

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