Forest Walk

Forest Walk (and dreaming in August of rain) The sound of the breeze in the bay leaves is like water flowing over rocks. The forest is a story of earth becoming water becoming air, (oh, not fire!) earth to spirit; spirit to earth. To listen is to feel these gestures, like this cycle we live each… Read more »

Fire and Farming

Fire and Farming This morning it is evident that the fire in the eastern most part of Napa County is less contained that it was yesterday morning this time. A large plume of smoke spreads across the sky at first light. The orangish light is alarming and reminds us to think about animals and evacuation… Read more »

Poison Oak Remedy

The woods are aflame with Toxicodendron diversilobum, Pacific poison oak. Like a  fastly spreading fire, its red leaves skip across the forest floor and leap high up our California oaks. For many years we tried to rid the ranch of poison oak, annoyed by its impact on us—red rashes and blisters that lasted weeks. We told ourselves… Read more »

Vote with Your Food Dollars

Vote with Your Food Dollars Vote with your food dollars! Support a small farmer, a farmer whose business plan includes building soil and biodiversity. Mix stockholders and corporations into this, and the earth and biodiversity become secondary to profit. We seem to have lost sight of the fact that how we make a living is… Read more »

Barrel Compost and Drought

This summer of the fourth year of drought, we are liberally using the Barrel Compost we made on site in December (see post, Making Barrel Compost). Each fruit day (moon in fire signs) we spray the ground under the grapevines and orchard,  and each flower day, moon in air signs) we spray the aromatics. The vines looked… Read more »

Lavender and Bees

Lavender and Bees Lavender and bees go together!  The following is an excerpt from  Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation and tells how the bees helped us get started marketing lavender. June 10 is generally the beginning of the lavender harvest for the flowers we dry. The work begins before sunrise, as we try to get… Read more »

Lavender Harvest Begins!

The heat of the last days pushed the lavender quickly, and lavender harvest has begun! We cut the longest stems for the dried bouquets, harvesting them just as the bees inform us two or three of the calyxes are open. This way the dried bouquets do not “shatter” or lose too many flowers. This year… Read more »

Land Activism and Communication

We never expected the need to get into Land Activism, and yet, here we are, attending Napa County Board of Supervisor Meetings, Planning Commission meetings, Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee meetings, making public comment, advocating for the health of our environment. One thing that sets Biodynamic farming and certification apart for organic and conventional farming is that… Read more »

Uninvited Guests (Pests!)

Uninvited Guests (Pests!) When I first started writing The Uninvited Guest: Fire and the New Consciousness, I was thinking about fire. Collectively we banned it from our environment over the last 100 years and now it threatens to return with a vengeance. In this fifth year of severe drought in the West, we are being warned… Read more »

Acres: Article on Biodynamic Farming

Acres: Article on Biodynamic Farming This month Acres magazine published an article about our entry into biodynamic farming. Along with the story of why we began farming in this way, we offer suggestions about how to start gardening or farming this way yourselves. One of my greatest pleasures is to know that when I walk through the… Read more »