“Spring is natures way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’” – Robin Williams
Let the party begin! The Vernal Equinox is almost upon us and we are already starting to see how the sun is warming the soil, bringing about new life, growth and energy to the farm. Nature is instinctual and if we observe it, we can see just how closely the sun, the soil, the animals and plants interact. In biodynamics we concentrate on soil health and this is what determines plant health and vitality. When the vines are rooted in good soil, they can follow the cycles of nature closely. The Spring equinox will signal bud break, the Summer solstice will signal flowering, the Fall equinox will signal harvest and the Winter solstice will tell the vines it is time to sleep. Conventional farming can disrupt these natural signals through the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Our biodynamic growing methods help to enhance these signals through our natural preparations.
One of these preparations is called prep 500. We start this preparation on the Fall equinox by burying cow horns filled with manure. Over the next 6 months underground, the manure will ferment and gather energy from the Earth. When the horns are dug up in the Spring we find a sweet smelling humus that has all the energy from the ground. Before applying, the 500 is rhythmically stirred in the appropriate amount of water creating a vortex in one direction, then abruptly stopped (which will cause obvious chaos to the fluid dynamics) and stirred in the opposite direction, reordering the liquid into an opposing vortex. This process continues for 1 hour. Once stirred we spray the liquid into the vineyard. Ideally the prep 500 is applied to the Earth in the evening when the Earth herself is breathing inward. Best done during the descending phase of the moon.
The Earth is a living organism and is capable of growing plants that provide food and drink for the beings on this planet. She breathes in and out and it is our responsibility to provide her with good food to eat, good air to breathe, and good liquid to drink. In turn, we can take back from the energy she provides to grow a wine that has vitality and life. The Spring equinox kicks off this connection to Earth for the year and the prep 500 is one of the first sprays that can communicate the energy between the land and what she grows. Happy Spring!