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 »

Replanting Biodynamic Lavender

Replanting Biodynamic Lavender There must be a eulogy for the old lavender and a blessing for the new, as there must be a prayer for the bare earth in its liminal, in between state. This week we pulled the last of Lot Sophia lavender, 420 plants, just as the new replacements arrived from Cottage Gardens… Read more »

Land Use in the Napa Valley and Consciousness

Land Use in the Napa Valley and Consciousness It is the end of a season and of a year, and we in the Napa Valley are hardly in a sleepy, midwinter’s night space! Land use issues are reaching a boiling point, heated up by the drought and water scarcity, and the decreasing amount of land… Read more »

Managing Powdery Mildew During Veraison

Riping Chardonnay grapes     One of the challenges of grape growing is that of controlling powdery mildew or botrytis after the grapes start developing their sugars (veraison). During the growing season we use elemental sulfur, but as we get within 5-6 weeks of harvest, we must stop. The sulfur is known to leave a… Read more »

Happy Thanksgiving from Harms Vineyards!

Boey and St. Francis: Thanks for the animals! Happy Thanksgiving from Harms Vineyards! There is so much for which to be grateful this year: the harvests of grapes and lavender; our dear llama Racu who guarded our goats these last sixteen years and passed this fall; our customers who have supported our Biodynamic organic farming… Read more »

Compost Cycle of Our Ranch

Dasher and Valley clean last leaves from chardonnay vines. White strips are pheromone strips to control European grapevine moth. Compost Cycle of Our Ranch I think of our goats as kinds of blenders: they mix up the food stuffs of the ranch, then release what isn’t digested to be composted and put back into building… Read more »

Vine Mealybug

Pheromone strip.       We use organic pheromone strips (allowed by our certifier) in the vineyard to disrupt the mating cycle of the Vine Mealybug. It has been very effective! Use of these strips has reduced vine mealybug populations enormously in the last three years. The insects were introduced into southern California from Mexico… Read more »

Glyphosate and Monsanto

Blogspot There are many David and Goliath stories these days, stories it seems we love to hear. Perhaps we are comforted to think our actions count, that we can really do something. Even the Dali Lama gets into it with the famous quote, If you think you are too small to make a difference, try… Read more »

First Harvest of Persimmons, Last Harvest of the Season

Fuyu persimmons prepared for drying. Photo by Jesse Pizzitola First Harvest of Persimmons, Last Harvest of the Season We harvested our first crop of Biodynamic organic Fuyu persimmons these two weeks, 30 trees, 10 gallons of persimmons. Not a lot, but too many to just eat! ¬†Our son Jesse dried the crop. They are as… Read more »

Diversity: Fuyu Persimmon

Baby fuyu persimmon. One of the places we will visit on the Biodynamic tours of our ranch on Saturday, June 23, is the orchard our son Jesse planted. Monocropping is a sure way to bring sterility to a ranch; allowing a diversity of native plants to flourish and raising a variety of crops offers food… Read more »