Farmer as Quintessential

Tools of the Trade     It isn’t how we think it should go: by cutting back, we strengthen the core. Pruning is painful! It means relinquishing possibilities in order to direct attention and vitality in a considered way. The focus, hopefully, is for the good of the whole, whether that be the whole of… Read more »

Finish Pruning and Rain

Pruned vines and the reminder.     Ramon has finished pruning this morning. He always races himself, and this year is his fastest ever, helped by the lack of rain, for sure!  Over the weekend we got half an inch of rain, which will make it easier for the next stage: tying the pruned canes…. Read more »

Recycling Olive Branches

Goat Waving Olive Branch (of which most is in her mouth)     Part of our goats’ diet includes prunings of olive trees, other brush, you name it!  This week they are busy at work on branches from three olive trees in our courtyard. There is a cyclical process here: the olive leaves nourish the… Read more »

How to Prune Lavender

We use a power trimmer to prune lavender into mounds.       People ask us how to prune lavender, and our advice is, get really tough with it this month!  Prune it back almost to the wood, but not quite, water it, and let it put on a little growth and then harden off… Read more »

Still Pruning

Vine that has been carefully evaluated and pruned.               Still Pruning Pruning seems like it goes on forever! Each year Ramon has us write down the date he begins pruning vines (this year, January 2.) Each year he races himself. From start to finish, pruning to tying canes, the… Read more »

Pruning and Winter Light

Frosty Fallowness in January                     Pruning and Winter Light January into February is about cutting back old wood. Nevertheless, wings of light unfold, if you let them, and carry you through quiet fallowness. Although we are into the fallow period and do almost no Biodynamic spraying… Read more »

Waiting on Rain Again

We are waiting on rain again!  Even after last weekend’s six inches, the garden needs watering!  But it is great weather for pruning vines. Ramon is almost 2/3 done and we have not had to spray the biodynamic preparation 501, a solar spray, to insure the pruning wounds do not get infected. Meanwhile, the plum… Read more »

Wild Calendula

Carpet of calendula. The beautiful sunny days bring the wild calendula into full bloom. It is like a carpet of gold. The goats love it! They also have been known to do a little freelance pruning, so we have to be very careful taking them on walks through the vines and move rather quickly! Wild… Read more »


Pruning Pruned chardonnay vine   Pruning In January Natalio begins pruning the grapevines and fruit trees when it is not raining, then ties canes of the pruned vines to train them. Each year he is anxious to get started, always competitive with himself on how quickly he gets done. Still, he is patient once he begins. He… Read more »