Waning 2013 and Dark Nights

Two young redwoods we planted (left and center) 14 years ago to keep the redwood clump (to the right) company.     When we first began using Biodynamic practices, we were advised by our consultant to plant redwood trees at the east end of our vineyard because the clump of redwoods there were lonely and… 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 »

Cows and Climate Change

Okay, these goats are trimming up the toyon, good for fire prevention, but it is important that they move on. Browsing goats need to be monitored so they do not deforest an area.   Research shows that wise grazing of cattle (and other animals, including goats!) improves fertility of the soil while also sequestering carbon,… Read more »

Natural Ecosystems and Diversity: What’s Blooming

mariposa tulip grows in the hot, open meadows               Natural Ecosystems and Diversity: What’s Blooming The end of wild flower season brings some of my favorites: mariposa tulip, bog candle, and Neptune’s trident.  They are all a part of the healthy diversity of this ecosystem in which we live…. Read more »

Seeding with Dreams This Winter Solstice 2012

Does Boey dream of Toyon berries? Seeding with Dreams This Winter Solstice 2012 Our warm greetings to you at this richly dark time of the year 2012. The long nights allow time for dreams which, like seeds in the earth, can sprout in the warmth of the new year. We dream of an earth tended… Read more »

Napa Valley Life Magazine: Harms Vineyards and Lavender Fields

Napa Valley Life Magazine: Harms Vineyards and Lavender Fields This month we are honored to be featured in Napa Valley Life Magazine. The issue is a harvest issue with special emphasis on the diversification of agriculture in the Napa Valley. The publisher Kari Ruel and photographer Lowell Downey chose us because of our own work on… Read more »

Night Bloom

Soap root totally bloomed out.         I dreamed I picked a soap root blossom and placed it in a vase in a darkened room. Their blossoms open late afternoon or evening and are pollinated by evening or night flying insects, closing by morning. The tiny, white, delicate blossoms do look etheric, another… 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 »

Native Edibles: Miner’s Lettuce and Diversity

Miner’s lettuce A few years ago Judith Lowry Larner consulted with us about the native plants on our land. We want to support their populations, as they provide important habitat for native pollinators, honey bees, and many other animals. As Biodynamic farmers we work for diversity, and our native plants are an important part of… Read more »

February Honey Bee Food

Honey bee visiting rosemary blossom.     Many people are surprised to learn that in moderate climates, cities are  one of the best places for honey bees to forage. They never go hungry! If you live in such a climate, consider planting a variety of blooming bushes and plants so that your garden always has… Read more »