Tall Grasses and Goat Trainers

Tall Grasses and Goat Trainers by Melissa McLaughlin I have been spending the early mornings and evenings pulling weeds in the lavender while the boys play various games throughout the large lavender plants. I work my way up the rows, clearing out the tall grasses within the plants so that, when we harvest, the bouquets will be… 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 »

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 »

Epiphany: the Gift of the Three Kings

Epiphany: the Gift of the Three Kings Today is Epiphany, the day the three kings arrived to visit the Christ child. Each Epiphany we do a gift spray around the perimeter of our property, a distance and ruggedness that we seldom encounter. This involves not only the gift spray, but two before it of an… Read more »

Bottling the 2014 Distilled Product

Bottling the 2014 Distilled Product Katherine Presley joined us this last summer, bringing her skills and care in helping Donald with distillation, and now helping Patricia bottle the distilled products. She thoroughly understands Biodynamic practices, being trained in England in anthroposophy and teaching in Waldorf schools. She is truly a resource for us! Here she… Read more »

Saving Seeds and Sovereignty of the Farmer

Harald Hoven demonstrating collecting lettuce seed.     One of the more important issues from Harald Hoven’s seed saving workshop at the Medicine for Earth and Man Biodynamic Conference this last weekend in Fair Oaks, California, was that of farmer sovereignty. In learning to grow and collect our own seed, we are exercising our human right to collect… 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 »

When Old Friends Die

When Old Friends Die Death always feels sudden, it seems, and no less so for a tree. Last night the dear old Valley Oak by the little farmhouse where Ramon and his family live, fell. The tree, at least 300 years and perhaps close to 500, lays shattered on the driveway. Although years ago a… Read more »

Crystallization Period Begins, and two Books to Go With It

Crystallization Period Begins, and two Books to Go With It If there were ever a book to meditate upon during this crystallization period of reception to cosmic forces (January 15-February 15,) it would be Dennis Klocek’s most recent Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics (Lindisfarne Books, 2013.) Stand forewarned: it is a book best read… Read more »


Drought The vineyards are quiet; the nights, cold; the goats, rowdy with too much rest. This is the time to sink into the sofa and seed yourself with Spirit, whether that be from meditation, dreaming, or from reading. These books are some of my own reading that I have gotten a great deal from this… Read more »