Thursday, May 10, 2012

Going Biodynamic!

The 2012 growing season has just begun here at Edward Sellers and along with the change of seasons we are taking a new approach to growing our grapes. We are now farming our estate biodynamically, with an eye toward enlivening not just our grapevines but also our olive trees and our soils in general. We hope this approach will lead to even more interesting wines and a healthier environment for all the animals (those that drink wine and those that don’t) that visit our estate.

Austrian farmer and philosopher Rudolph Steiner developed the Biodynamic farming method in the 1920s as a holistic way to grow crops, and he did so with the understanding that farming is not just about rainfall, micronutrients and heat. There are spiritual forces at work, too. The Biodynamic method of farming incorporates the rhythm of the earth and the movements of the planets, enfolding these seemingly disparate systems into a whole. Think of your own circadian rhythms, or the effect of the moon on the tides, and you’ll get an idea where the biodynamics is coming from.

In practical terms, that means, among other things, rejuvenating the soil by applying concentrated amounts of cow manure to the ground after we have stirred this mixture by hand for an hour. And when we prune now, we do so according to the position of the moon and the planets.

We don’t expect to see results immediately. We may not, in fact, see any measurable results for several years. That’s okay. We are farming this estate for the future and making wines that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Jeremy Weintraub

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