Biodynamic Farming in California’s Vineyards
Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer was also very influential in developing these principles. It is basically a farming philosophy that takes into account the energy and spirituality of nature.
Ecologically friendly strategies are employed to control grape health, yields, soils fertility, pests and diseases. There is a certain mystical aspect to biodynamic farming, and thoughts, attitudes and intentions are all thought to play a role in the process.
Steiner’s philosophy and intellectual methods are known as anthroposophy. He advocated these agricultural principles in response to the increase in commercial fertilizers and pest treatments.
The health of the soil is foremost on the minds of biodynamic farmers, and the land itself is thought of as a single living thing. Even the vineyard workers are considered to be part of the land.
Biodynamic farmers eschew chemical fertilizers and treat soil with compost and friendly insects instead. Lunar phases and astrological cycles dictate many actions in the vineyard, and seeds are planted based on the phase of the moon.
A cow horn is filled with manure quartz powder and buried in the vineyard for several months. Cover crops are used to enhance the “life force” of the soil. In general, as few outside materials as possible are used in the vineyard.
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