At this point I understand Paul and Maureen are knowledgeable, tireless and dedicated agricultural visionaries, guided by their intuition and love for the land.
"In 1999, I started following a list serve on biodynamics, which I found fascinating," explains Maureen. "The results people were getting were amazing. I realized that the practices were more time intensive than we could afford to devote in our operation, so we set the intention to try to find aspects of biodynamic techniques that would fit." They became familiar with Hugh Lovel's work, and invited him to the farm in 2003. "He told us about things to start looking for and it really opened our eyes," Paul says. They learned about useful wild plants on the farm that they hadn't even noticed before. "The other thing we got out of his visit is that the signs are there if you look for them," Paul says. "The plants growing in the fields, the structure of the roots, even the weeds that we have--there's information to be had from everything that grows on the farm." Lovel and his colleague Lorraine Cahill also worked with Paul and Maureen to install a "field broadcaster," a pipe that is placed in a strategic part of the farm that amplifies their greater intentions for the farm as a whole.
Since their farm became tuned "radionically," the Knapps report two straight years of the best crops they've ever had. "The vitality of the whole farm is huge," Maureen says. Some of their recent forage samples were deemed among the best in the area. The high-quality forage directly translates to better herd health, milk production, and fertility.
Today, the Knapps organically steward 10 acres of U-Pick strawberries, a huge and lovely kitchen garden, 80 acres of pastures, 80 organic milking Holsteins, 150 hens, turkeys, broilers, and pigs, with the help of their three talented children.
Help, yes, along with great entertainment. Casey plays the sax, Evan the baritone, and while I was there, Blaise brought out his electric guitar and played a Red Hot Chili Peppers tune for the hens.
"If I'd use one word to describe what we're doing, it would be prayer,'" Maureen says. "It's quite simply the power of positive thinking. If you have a picture of something good in your mind, you'll put energies forth to make that happen."