Biographical notes, Thomas J. Linders
I was born in 1963 in a small village on the shores of the lake of Zurich, Switzerland.
My parents ran a residence for people in need of special care (mentally/physically challenged), so I was involved or should I say enveloped in those social circumstances from day one.
In this community I grew up with many siblings.
My father had a big biodynamic vegetable garden and orchard that supplied the home all year round with vegetables, stone- and soft fruit. I helped in this environment from an early age and had my own garden from age 8.
My schooling took me for twelve years to the Rudolf Steiner School in Zurich, which I completed with a school leaving certificate.
The wish to become a farmer after school was re-directed by a father wanting his first-born to carry on the work he pioneered. So I landed in 1982 in Hermanus, Western Cape at the Camphill School for children in need of special care, where for 9 months I did my required practical before starting my career in curative education (near Basle, Switzerland).
Four years of study and practical work with people in need of special care showed me how important the work on the land, with the soil and the rhythm of the year's seasons is for the healing and the coping with their challenges. Nature is verbally non-judgmental and takes every person at face value, acknowledges, that our spirit is always whole and only gets distorted by an imperfect physicality and/or soul.
The curative work took me - or rather us, for we were a family by now, - back to South Africa in 1987.
At Camphill Cresset House in Midrand I deepened my organic/biodynamic farming knowledge and developed the love for the element of water, especially the appropriate handling and cleansing of polluted waters. We built a large wetland to clean, recycle the sewage of 90 people.
When we left the community in 1996 - we were now 6 in the family - my interests and passion took me to live at Wildrocke Farm in 1997, where I met Avice Hindmarch and Permaculture. I did the intensive design course and have been giving design courses with Avice together and alone ever since. Permaculture I saw ideal as a tool of design for the organic/biodynamic agricultural work I do.
At first within my own company LIVING WATERS and later within LINDROS, I have been consulting and building constructed wetlands for water purification since 1996. My love for water has brought me to the work of John Wilkes and his Flowforms, specially formed vessels that help to regenerate water. I obtained a couple of molds and the South African license and have been casting them for use in my wetlands and for the water features I build.
Between 2007 and 2010 as partner in Midgard Conscious Choice, I have expanded my scope of work to include the holistic design of human living spaces in accordance with Biospheric principles.
I have introduced many children, youths and adults (school classes, youth groups, scouts) to the concept of organic agriculture and Permaculture.
I have done some research for the Earthlife Africa Greenhouse project regarding waste-water recycling and composting toilets.
In 1999 I wrote a conceptual paper for the Midrand EcoCity Project with regards to the handling of water within the context of a green city.
From November 99 to June 2000 I helped initiate the Ivory Park Organic Urban Agriculture Project.
From 2001 to 2008, I worked in partnership with Alan Rosenberg in the company LINDROS WHOLE EARTH CONSULTANTS, which advises in the conversion and establishment of organic agriculture and environmental systems (e.g. constructed wetlands) to pass on our knowledge that we have collected over the years.
At present I work independently and in cooperation with Altius Environmentals in finding solutions for the incongruences humanity has caused in living in this beautiful Biosphere.
My main focus though is in the establishment of the Academy of Life, a farming community of likeminded people that want to create, live, work and play in accordance and reverence for the planet we live on.