Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It’s all in the preparation…

Biodynamics is a system and philosophy of farming that recognises the soil and entire farm as a living organism.  The respect for and care of the soil plays a prominent role. The biodynamic preparations form the cornerstone of biodynamic activity, and create balance and health in our soils and plants. 
We use a range of eight preparations within our farm and vineyards. One of the most important of these is Preparation 500. This is made when cows’ manure is buried inside a cow’s horn over winter, and then stirred into rainwater at body temperature to form a vortex before being applied to the vineyard by hand. This stimulates soil bacteria and fungi, improving soil structure and microbiological activity.
Three of our vineyard interns have been helping us make this and spread it across our entire vineyard…

David Wright, Farnham, UK
The digging up and application of preparation 500 marks the rejuvenation of life in the land and the beginning of a new growth cycle. For me it represents the intentions of the human custodians of the land to be aware of, and understand, the rhythms of nature to manage it productively. Unearthing the horns was a very thorough and insightful process and the myriad life forms that came up with them sparked many thoughtful discussions. Everyone that makes their living from Seresin vineyards was involved in the stirring and broadcasting of the 500. Together we covered every inch of every property, walking the flats, hills, creeks and pastures from angles I hadn’t seen before. This gave me a new perspective that cannot be gained from the cab of a tractor, a focus on the details that only comes when you give it a chance. I came away feeling good about the season ahead and confident that I had conveyed this positive message to the land.

Rose Capriola, California
My very first 500 experience proved to be an energizing one for the body, mind, and soul.  As we stood and stirred wilfully, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful diversity of our participants, all brought together to inoculate the land with the spirit of biodynamics.   We flowed as a group through the vines, spreading our 500 and cow pat pit mixture with the flicks of our wrists, gaining momentum as we walked.  Smiles dawned on faces and the enjoyment was palpable.  Through this experience I was again reminded of the value of the ‘we’ in biodynamics and of the wonderful impact our community can have on the land that we tend to joyfully.  

Charlotte Javelle, Saint-Etienne, France
Even after 9 months at Seresin I’m still impressed by people’s involvement. The 500 experience was a great lesson in openness and sharing.  Barrels, sticks, water, Preparation 500… everything needs to be ready for the “ceremony”. Everybody gave a little bit of himself stirring the preparation during one hour and trying to make the best vortex ever! Even the children participated with keen interest and happiness. Then, buckets and brushes in hand, the preparation was sprayed across all of the property.

Laughing and singing animated these afternoons. It’s amazing how this act can combine a range of different nationalities, ages and cultures. Maybe we should use cow poo and water everywhere in this world to bring more respect, peace and well-being! I really think that the land is able to feel and memorise all the love, all the human implication and all the energy brought by people. Thereby it can give us the best quality in our grapes and olives.

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