More Good News and Bad News

Tiny grape clusters just beginning to bloom. More Good News and Bad News This time: the “bad news” first— it is raining and the grapes are just beginning to bloom. Once our viticulturist told us that in our dry Mediterranean climate, rain is never bad. Indeed, the vineyards and lavender are getting a late season… Read more »

The Good News and the Bad News

The Good News and the Bad News   First the Good News: We returned from three weeks away to find the vines with forearm length canes and fully formed grape clusters (Chardonnay, not yet bloomed). The vines have loved the spring rains! They were just unfolding tiny first leaves at the time we left for… Read more »

May 12 Reading, Point Reyes Station, California

Photo by Jan Beaulyn On May 12 Patricia Damery will read from Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation and her just published novel, Snakes, as a part of Soul Food Series. Both books address the impact of the end of an agrarian culture and the rise of the industrial and technological age on the human… Read more »

More “Inconvenient Truths” —About Our Wine and Food

More “Inconvenient Truths” —About Our Wine and Food by Donald Harms As you may well expect these days, this is yet another inconvenient truth: My wife and I are grape and lavender growers in the Napa Valley. Some may think wine and lavender are not food but we think of them as ‘food for the… Read more »

The Ride Down

The Ride Down Perhaps one of the most important moments during the Napa County Board of Supervisor’s hearing for a neighbor’s proposed hillside vineyard happened just as the meeting adjourned. Presentations had been given by both parties, piles of copies of opposing hydrology reports thick as War and Peace circulated. Frustrations were expressed. Members of… Read more »

Ordinances Fail to Adequately Protect Environment

In the next weeks, we will address some of the issues that are confronting many of us and concern our relationship to the earth: land use issues, property rights, stewardship, and pesticide use. The following is a letter to the editor that appeared in the Napa Valley Register on Friday, February 18, 2011.  Letter to… Read more »

Snakes and ” The Light of Nature”

Snakes and ” The Light of Nature” Where we live in northern California, late March into April is the time large gopher snakes come out of hibernation. This year, with the cold, wet spring, they are late. We have yet to find them laying in the sun in the gravel or in the mowed grass… Read more »

On Boundaries: Good Will Fences

              On Boundaries: Good Will Fences Each year when our certifier asks about the buffer zone between our vines and a southern portion of our boundary shared with two neighboring properties, we say we have a “good will buffer.” This means that we have the good fortune to have… Read more »

BC Prep and Radiation: Bring Balance in Hard Times

Photo Art by Bill Fulton               BC Prep and Radiation: Bring Balance in Hard Times In consulting with the Josephine Porter Institute this morning, I learned that calcium will help mitigate harm from any possible radiation coming our way. One way to get this is through the barrel compost,… Read more »


Using evergreen branch to “spray.” There are several ways to spray the biodynamic preps, depending on the quantity of spraying that you have to do. In the garden we simply take an evergreen branch or a clean paintbrush to swish the stirred prep onto the ground or into the air around the plants.  In the vineyard… Read more »