“On the one hand, theology demands the blind subjection of thinking to the statements of the church; on the other, science demands blind subjection to the statements of sense observation. Here as there, independent thinking that penetrates into the depths counts as nothing. The science of experience forgets only one thing. Thousands and thousands of people have looked at a sense-perceptible fact and passed by it without noting anything striking about it. Then someone came along who looked at it and became aware of an important law about it. How? This can only stem from the fact that the discoverer knew how to look differently than his predecessors.”
– Rudolf Steiner in Goethean Science

“All wisdom is rooted in learning to call things by the right name. When things are properly identified, they fall into natural categories and understanding (and, consequentially, action) becomes orderly.”
– Confucius, Ta Hsueh or Great Learning

In late-nineteenth-century Austria and Germany, the man who might edit Goethe’s massive collection of scientific writings could simultaneously establish his intellectual credentials and from that point forward, never be dismissed as a non-entity.  In 1883, at 22 years old, a precocious Rudolf Steiner was given this rather important and arduous task. Above and beyond the herculean effort behind editing Goethe, Steiner also put his analytic mind to use in his spiritual pursuits, creating Anthroposophy, to relate to the world outside of the scientific attitude of mind, as well as to be free to make individual judgments and decisions, apart from science.

Rooted in the philosophies of Aristotle, Plato, and Thomas Aquinas and meant as a bridge across the chasm created in the Middle Ages between the sciences, the arts and the religious and spiritual impulses of humanity, Anthroposophy was created to nurture and respect the individual in society  independent of their origins and views.  Somewhere between Goethean Science and Anthroposophy, lies perhaps Steiner’s greatest legacy: Biodynamics.  

Original drawing from Steiner's 1924 lectur

Original drawing from Steiner’s 1924 lecture

What is Biodynamics? Well…there’s no concise answer. “Seeing the farm as a living organism,” is often mentioned, but obviously lacks the how, why and when of the thing. There are two distinct parts to Biodynamics. One is in composing (or purchasing) homeopathic preparations and applying them at specific points in time to the compost pile, and then crops, as indicated by astronomical observation and the calendar.

The other part of Biodynamics deals with the unseen forces of the individuals carrying out the aforementioned acts and their intention in doing so. This isn’t oftentimes discussed, but it seems ironic that the invisible realm where spiritual intentions manifest are home to the same forces that make Biodynamics tick through farming.  The following list from Paul Dolan Vineyards in Mendocino, Ca. comprises the Biodynamic preparations used in the compost pile and forms the basis of practical Biodynamic Farming:

 

Preparation      Purpose

What                               ApplicationMethod

 

500

 

Promotes root activity and stimulates microbiotic life in the soil

 

Cow manure fermented in a cow horn, which is then buried and over-winters in the soil

 

Sprayed on the soil

 

501

 

Enhances light metabolism ofthe plant and photosynthesis processes

 

Ground quartz (silica) mixed with rain water and packed in a cow’s horn, buried in spring and then dug up in autumn

 

Sprayed on the crop plants

 

502

 

Applied tocompost along with preparations 503-507.Togetherthese control the breakdown ofthe manures and compost, helping tomake trace elements more available tothe plant

 

Flower heads ofyarrow fermented in a stag’s bladder

 

Applied tothe compost

 

503

 

Applied tocompost along with preparations 502-507.Togetherthese control the breakdown ofthe manures and compost, helping tomake trace elements more available tothe plant

 

Flower heads ofchamomile fermented in the soil

 

Applied tothe compost

 

504

 

Applied tocompost along with preparations 502-507.Togetherthese control the breakdown ofthe manures and compost, helping tomake trace elements more available tothe plant

 

Stinging nettle tea

 

Applied tothe compost. Nettle tea is also sometimes sprayed on weak or low vigor vines

 

505

 

Applied tocompost along with preparations 502-507.Togetherthese control the breakdown ofthe manures and compost, helping tomake trace elements more available tothe plant

 

Oakbark fermented in the skull ofa domestic animal

 

Applied tothe compost

 

506

 

Applied tocompost along with preparations 502-507.Togetherthese control the breakdown ofthe manures and compost, helping tomake trace elements more available tothe plant

 

Flower heads ofdandelion fermented in cow mesentery

 

Applied tothe compost

 

507

 

Applied tocompost along with preparations 502-507.Togetherthese control the breakdown ofthe manures and compost, helping tomake trace elements more available tothe plant

 

Juice  fromvalerian  flowers

 

Applied tothe compost

 

 

 

508

 

Used as a spray tocounter fungal diseases

 

Teaprepared from horsetail plant (Equisetum)

 

Vineyardspray

 

What nowadays is referred to as  Biodynamics began as a series of eight lectures delivered on June 7-16, 1924.  They were delivered to 111 guests, comprised of: 81 males, 30 females. Fifty-five percent of the audience were German, twenty-seven percent Polish, with the rest a smattering of assorted Western European Countries. Thirty-eight marked they were Farmers in the register, with eight Priests in attendance, as well.  Unfortunately, forty-four attendees failed to respond to the question on the registration form, so until more research can be done, we’ll have to speculate. The venue for the event was the well-appointed Estate of Count Carl von Keyserlingk in Koberwitz, Germany (then Poland). It’s appropriate the lectures were given at the Count’s Estate, as he was the third in a series of inquirers who’d come to Steiner regarding recent Farming problems, a series of encounters that invariably led to the creation of Biodynamics.

Biodynamic Prep # 500

Biodynamic Prep # 500

The first were a group of farmers from Lucerne who were concerned about increasing degeneration in seed-strains and cultivated plants. Traditionally they could seed their own rye, wheat, oats and barley in the same field for up to thirty years. Recently, the number dwindled to nine, and  then, suddenly, another sudden drop to four or five.  The second group of inquirers came with questions regarding a recent rash of animal diseases.

Specifically, foot-and-mouth disease and increased sterility. By the time von Keyserlingk came to Steiner regarding plant disease, Steiner realized he should address the issue, as the situation seemed grave.  Already over-committed and exhausted from an endless lecture and touring schedule, he put it off for awhile, until von Keyserlingk dispatched his nephew to his doorstep to stay until reply were given.  Steiner finally assented, and the date set.

Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture was delivered in the last year of Steiner’s life.  In its aftermath he told attendees and his close circle of followers the lectures “should not be spoken of outside this circle, but looked upon as the foundation for experiments and thus gradually brought into a form suitable for publication,” perhaps knowing the world was becoming a place where such ideas would be source for ridicule.

Biodynamics, as such, was born in 1938 when Steiner’s trusted confidante and long-time pupil, Ehrenfried Pfeiffer published Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening in English.  This Summer was the eighty-ninth anniversary of Steiner’s lectures. Far from being a household word, Biodynamics has just recently gotten some wide-scale press,  uncannily from the world of wine, where top-shelf  European (and more recently California) winemakers have touted its beneficial aspects.  This was my entry point into Biodynamics, being fortunate enough to have visited working Biodynamic vineyards in my time in Napa and Sonoma counties.  

My recent re-location back to New Mexico had me concerned about experiencing a serious setback in my exposure to Biodynamics, however, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find diligent practitioners who are equally enthralled with the process. Previously in Dionysian Writes we’ve highlighted Melissa Bateman of Morningstar Farm in Arroyo Seco, just north of Taos. Melinda has practiced Biodynamics for over a decade and offers courses in Biodynamics and composting at Morningstar. All the way down in the “Breaking Bad” territory  of Albuquerque Erda Farms and Learning Center uses some  Biodynamic practices and offers education, as well as hands-on involvement for those interested. 

Last year, we at Dionysian Writes put on a Biodynamic Roundtable in Berkeley, California to celebrate the eighty-eighth anniversary of the lectures, and to broaden awareness on the subject. We were blessed to have expert panelists and a cutting-edge Chef at our disposal, as well as a world-class sustainable site in which to host the event in the David Brower Center.  To celebrate this year’s anniversary of Steiner’s lectures, we’d like to share our account of the experience. As a reminder to ourselves of our dedication to Biodynamics, to make the correlation between nutrition and health, and as an entry point to the wonderful world of Biodynamics to the uninformed.   

Dionysian Writes Biodynamic Roundtable Logo

Dionysian Writes Biodynamic Roundtable Logo

Biodynamic Roundtable

July 12 2012, 6:00 – 9:00
Tamalpais Room, David Brower Center, Berkeley, Ca.

“Search outside of you for what is within
And search within for what is outside.”


– Rudolf Steiner, from Count Keyserlingk’s guest book at the “Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture” lecture.

A

 

 s the eighty-eighth Anniversary of Rudolf Steiner’s groundbreaking 1924 lecture series Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture –  what’s now commonly referred to as Biodynamics approached, I found myself engaged in a mad-dash against time in securing the proper venue for a “Biodynamic Roundtable” we at Dionysian Writes were looking to host.   I had navigated my way through a dizzying labyrinth of public relations entities for several weeks and only recently had some promising leads on panelists to pour and present their Biodynamically produced wines. 

As a Wine Professional, I knew I would want exquisite and honestly prepared food to pair with the Wines. Not just any food… a simple cheese and charcuterie pairing with accompanying nuts and dried fruit in various forms would have been sufficient, but as the Bay Area is teeming with innovative Chefs employing sustainable, organic, or Biodynamic methods, I knew it was only a matter of time before the right situation presented itself.

I’d recently read about Gather restaurant in Berkeley in the San Francisco Chronicle and was intrigued by their website’s images of a  heavily-influenced vegetable menu executed with Japanese precision and Scandinavian artfulness.   I made a reservation and the Dionysian Writes crew made a night of it. Needless to say, I was impressed to the point of asking a close friend who knew one of the owners to lend an ear, and soon he and I were exchanging e-mails. I did have some reservations about using a Restaurant space. I felt it might be too confining, yet I also wanted the elegant ambiance of linens and stemware for that Downton Abbey feel.  It was a conundrum, but I inherently felt somehow that resolution were just around the corner.

I also  knew attendees would come with inquisitive minds, as there is little information regarding Biodynamics in the mainstream media.  When one does invariably come across an article, it’s generally a quick summarization of a few facts – and therefore, woefully incomplete.  The goal was to give those present the opportunity to hear experienced practitioners discuss how they specifically use Biodynamics at their respective Estates. Also, why they chose to do so, and, furthermore what they hoped to accomplish with it.

As the date rapidly approached, the line-up for the evening mercifully grew to include an elite crew of Napa Valley Biodynamic Farmers and Winemakers. For them, Biodynamics is a way of life; its foundations and practices dictating every decision in their respective businesses along the way.  Over time, I came to realize they constantly walked a fine line between simultaneously espousing,  and defending Biodynamics.  After all, Napa is home to the Winemaker who has personally made it his mission to debunk Biodynamics, going so far as to create the website biodynamicsisahoax.com. His website and its viewpoint are part of an “old guard” Napa attitude that harkens back to a prohibition-era mindset.  However, Napa’s a big place, with a lot of vineyards being farmed with varied techniques – Biodynamics has a stronghold there as well.  High-end producers that demand top-dollar mention Biodynamics as integral to their success.  Over the past decade their position has been solidified by the consistency of their respective wines balance and fruit health.

Grgich Hills

Ivo Jermaez of Grgich Hills

Ivo Jermaez of Grgich Hills

 No one in California has married the best of the ‘Old World’ European winemaking tradition with 21st century ecological concerns than Mike Grgich.  Not one to ignore the spiritual side of winemaking, (or Biodynamics) his Chardonnay that won the infamous 1976 Paris Tasting was blessed by a Priest in the vineyard prior to crush at his behest.  One of the Seventies crop of California Winemakers now considered unimpeachable, Grgich isn’t content to rest on his laurels, but continues to push the envelope of winemaking by whole-heartedly embracing Biodynamics,  among a bevy of  other sustainable methods.  His nephew, Ivo Jeramaz is Croatian by birth like his uncle, and similarly followed his Uncle’s footsteps from Croatia to California.  Trained as an engineer, he was bitten by the wine bug and with Mike’s help came to California. After study at UC Davis and an intensive, hands-on period at the Winery, he now heads production and assists in delivering Mike’s vision.

I initially met Ivo several years previous, when I interviewed him as an inquisitive blogger and Restaurant Professional.  I had studied Steiner’s Lecture Series for several years, and felt I had a fairly sound grasp of the process. But I knew my knowledge lacked practical experience, and was therefore incomplete.  So I set about rectifying the situation, prompting a call to Grgich Hills.  

Ivo took me out to their acreage in American Canyon just south of Napa one morning and was gracious enough to spend time with me, being frank about his concerns regarding food production and its relationship to health.  He comes across as serious and thoughtful, with the relaxed manner of one attuned to the rhythms of his land.  He took the time to explain the intricacies of how Biodynamics is employed there, but also managed to personalize it passionately, putting it in terms of a father and a lover of Earth as well. “Biodynamics is like going back to what our grandfather did. Farming without chemicals and pesticides,” he says, acknowledging the wisdom of the generations who’ve come before.

In his time under Mike’s tutelage, he has developed an immense respect for the land, stating, “Mike taught me early in my career that you need great grapes to make great wine. Over the years, I’ve focused on working with the land. Since we’ve converted to using Biodynamics, it’s been very rewarding to see the soil alive with healthier plants than under conventional farming.  It allows the wines to be more authentic – more distinctive.”  

Ehlers Estate 

I had heard that Ehlers Estate, just outside St. Helena in the Napa Valley was practicing Biodynamics.  At the time I was busy exploring Sonoma and Mendocino counties, after having more than my fill of Napa rhetoric through five long years caught in the machinations of the grueling Wine world.  Over time, I was exposed to the seedy underbelly of the Napa Wine game: its Apollonian claims to greatness, excellence, and other key marketing catch-phrases increasingly wearing thin in the emerging reality of a pervasive corporate culture and feigned upper-crust affectations. “You can’t buy class,” My mom used to tell us. Napa proved it to me in spades.

Kevin Morrisey of Ehlers Estate

Kevin Morrisey of Ehlers Estate

Pulling up to the idyllic Ehlers property just north of the chic town of St. Helena, one is greeted by an impressive, yet quaint, structure of cut stone.   Out here on the coveted loamy bench land, just north of St. Helena, Ehlers is closely working with the prized ‘hourglass’ section of the Valley where the Mayacamas and Vaca ranges come closest to touching one another.   It’s prized for the variety of soils produced, and Ehlers has been working their thirty-nine acres since 1886.  The tasting room is rustic Napa: chic, yet not too opulent, the wines all superb.  The Merlot catches my attention.  Yes… somewhere in the back of my mind, Miles from Sideways was screaming, “I’m not drinking any fucking Merlot!”  However, most Wine geeks know that particular Sideways scene is somewhat of a riddle – as his prized Chéval Blanc is nearly half Merlot. It does make a hilarious scene, though.  

Over at Ehlers, they don’t put on the hard sell.  I ask to speak to Kevin Morissey, and I’m told he just happens to be around.  He appears about twenty minutes later and after introductions, we get right into talking about Biodynamics. He is frank and open.  Not afraid to dish a little. I like his approach, but as mine is similar, I know it’s best to give him space.  He tells me their doing a presentation in Spanish on Biodynamics for the vineyard workers tomorrow.    It’s the first I’d heard this sort of outreach happening, although the practicality of the program seems pertinent, as it behooves any property practicing Biodynamics to ensure all involved are steeped in the methods and philosophy prior to practice.  Steiner is very specific about the state of mind of the Biodynamic practitioner.  In his opinion, the subtle energies involved in the physical application of Biodynamics are the basis for success of the method. 

Gather & the David Brower Center

David Brower Center

David Brower Center

The David Brower Center in Berkeley is homage to the late Executive Director of the Sierra Club, and lifelong environmental crusader of the same name, born in Berkeley, 1912.  Conceived as a space to honor his legacy, it is a vibrant community of like-minded individuals and organizations committed to a just and ecologically sustainable society.  One of the Bay Area’s most advanced green buildings; it seemed the perfect place to hold the event.   My instincts proved right, I pleasantly found out, after an initial call to the Brower Center revealed that among their in-house catering options, was one Back to Earth, the esteemed Gather Restaurant’s operation. 

In fact, Gather is adjacent to the Brower Center, a salient point I hadn’t known when I’d dined there several weeks previously,  when I was wowed by Esquire Magazine’s  Chef of the Year 2010,  Sean Baker’s menu.  About a week later, Sean and I met to taste through the Grgich Hills offerings at Gather.  I met the Grgich Hills rep there and we sat at the bar, waiting for Sean.  A few minutes later Sean showed up with notebook in hand, ready to taste.  As the Grgich Hills rep poured their Fumé Blanc, I said, “So…traditionally this would be paired with, say…goat cheese, fennel pollen…maybe some honey…”

“See, I would never do that.” Sean dovetails over me.  “That seems boring.” 

“Aha!” I thought to myself. “This is definitely the guy.”  I let him go on a bit, caught up in the tale he was spinning about various techniques and possible ingredients he would use. .  By the end of the tasting, I knew Sean was going to nail it.  He seemed generally concerned about wanting to make a statement alongside Biodynamics.  He understood the innovative angle to the event, and was prepared to run with it. 

Marian Farms

Sean Baker of Gather

Sean Baker of Gather

The lunch service was really starting to come on, so Sean excused himself to deal with it.  I sat at the bar for a moment, wrapping up notes and getting my thoughts together, enjoying sitting back and watching a well-run restaurant.   After twenty years in the industry, the sounds, smells and pace are strangely meditative to me.   The added bonus is that I ‘m able to merely watch; no need  be concerned with the onslaught of diners filing through the door, at this very busy spot, directly across the campus from UC Berkeley. 

Scanning the vast liquor selection at the well-stocked Gather Bar, I spied a Marian Farms Biodynamic Vodka, prompting a eureka! moment.  “Why not a cocktail…?” I gleefully pondered.  Later that night, I went to the Marian Farms website and took a look around.  While I knew Marian Farms existed, I wasn’t familiar with who they were, or where they were located. After learning that Gena Nonini, owner of Marian Farms comes from a long line of immigrant Italian farmers who have been in Fresno, California for several generations; and that she is a Woman currently farming Biodynamically, in Fresno, of all places…  I knew I had the final piece; Wine, food, cocktails…pioneers.  Yes, now we were headed in the right direction.

Gena Nonini of Marian Farms

Gena Nonini of Marian Farms 

 Spiritual Foundations on a Fruit Day

It’s the night of the event.  I should be stressed out, running around, micromanaging details… instead, I’m across the street at the bar of Jupiter restaurant, across the alley from the Brower Center, sipping on a cold beer.   I had hit the wall the night before.  In the ensuing fortnight between solidifying the program and – much to my wife’s dismay – emptying our bank account, there was a dizzying array of personal and professional meltdowns.  Nothing life-altering, mind you, but the Restaurant industry is Theatre – replete with all the melodramatic trappings therein.   Then there’s the Politics…  Lots of P.R. and P.R. people…  The machinery needs to be fed. So I gave.  If the show was to come together, I knew I had to sacrifice. 

Steiner discusses working with strife in daily life as an essential part of knowing higher spiritual worlds; knowing that it’s out of the mundane where the purest gold is mined.  Biodynamic practices follow suit. The crux of its beneficial effects found in the compost pile (Buddhism offers a similar image of the lotus blooming in muddy and murky waters), the common thread being: from simple comes sublime. At its core, Biodynamics is a melding of Steiner’s extensive Goethean research and his own personalized version of Christianity. 

In Biodynamics, Steiner expanded on Goethe’s unique marriage of right and left-brained scientific inquiry – the direct experience view – which utilizes analysis and synthesis, going beyond the reductionist, or, analytical view concerned merely with a conceptual understanding of its subject. What reductionist science doesn’t seem to understand is that dissecting and analyzing the effects of Biodynamics will get you nowhere – best just to do it – not merely go through the motions, but really do it; pre-meditating on it, and being completely mindful during what is essentially a sacerdotal act – the practitioner potentially marrying Heaven and Earth through the medium in the process. 

This is the thing that people get tripped up on.  After all, if it really works, who cares why? In 1920’s Europe,Steiner looked around and saw that on the most fundamental level, Earth’s life-force had been altered.  Crop longevity was rapidly dwindling. Farm animals increasingly were diagnosed with sterility and foot and mouth disease.  Shortly before he delivered the lectures, he was being driven somewhere by his assistant,  Ehrenfreid Pfeiffer, who is responsible for documenting and fully developing Biodynamics from the Lecture Series. 

Pfeiffer had been pondering the way to effectively build a bridge to active participation and the carrying out of spiritual intentions without being pulled off the right path by personal ambition, illusions and petty jealousies. “Why is it the will for action, for carrying out spiritual impulses…is so weak?  Pfeiffer asked Steiner as they silently rolled along, landscape rushing past the window.  “This is a problem of nutrition.” Steiner calmly replied. “Nutrition as it is today does not supply the strength for manifesting the spirit in physical life.  A bridge can no longer be built from thinking to will and action. Food plants no longer contain the forces people need for this.”

AgriLecture_8sBack at Jupiter, Ivo is watching me drink my beer.  We’re chatting about family, life, and nutrition, when my phone rings.  Kevin Morissey is double-parked out front the Brower Center and wants to drop off the wine.  He just got off a transatlantic from France the day before, and I’m relieved he made it in one piece.  I down the beer and pay up. 

The alley between Jupiter and the Brower Center is now packed with Berkeley students and nine to fivers.  I’m weaving my way through them quickly as a thousand questions start to run through my mind: Is the Ehlers Sauvignon Blanc chilled? What time is it? Where’s Gena? Kevin’s outside the building waiting on us when we roll up. I introduce him to Ivo, and then quickly unpack the wine and take it up to the event.

As I emerge from the elevator on the second floor, I immediately see a woman who I recognize as Gena from a publicity photo, patiently waiting outside the Tamalpais Room.  She is immediately engaging and direct and proves the perfect foil for my clown act, so I seat her to my right at the table. Ivo’s been with me longer than anyone, and I like him, so I give him a break and put him at the end of the table on the extreme right,  with Kevin in the middle.

The room is starting to fill up with fresh faces as guests quietly mill about. At the panelist’s table we find ourselves collecting our thoughts until we reach that moment when the audience has introduced themselves to one another and idle chatter has been exhausted.  A sudden lull materializes and I give the caterer the cue to proceed in the ensuing brief moment of silence. 

I’ve chosen today, July 12th, out of the options presented by the respective schedules of all involved, due to the fact it’s a Fruit day, and therefore ideal for drinking wine.  The Biodynamic Calendar extends to Wine Tasting as well, dividing days into: Root, Flower, Leaf, and Fruit aspects.  Based primarily on lunar rhythms, the Calendar is becoming invaluable to discriminating Wine Professionals, and is currently used by Britain’s largest grocer when tasting potential wines. 

As the first wine is poured, I make the introductions, welcoming all to the celebration as the first course comes out, plated meticulously: King Salmon, smoked cream cheese, everything bagel herbs, fresh cucumber.  All goes silent as the first bite is scrutinized along with Ehlers Estate’s 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. I’m slyly checking people’s faces, watching their responses. Smiles, even some laughter spreads across one face, then another.  There are obvious food descriptors one could use to convey the pairing: the Sauvignon Blanc’s clean mineral streak lushly fleshed out by thinly – sliced, fresh King Salmon. Fresh grapefruit flavors in the wine mingling with the creaminess of the cheese, a lush mid -palate where crisp citrus, silky flesh and plush smokiness come together with the umami pop of caramelized onion and garlic…but, this isn’t about the hard sell.  Trust me: the food was ultra-excellent.  

Chef Sean came out at the end and described his somewhat convoluted – yet, ingenious – thought process to us.  He seemed frazzled.  In fact, I’m sure I did.  As he’s telling his story, I’m reminded of my own struggles over the past couple weeks: the purportedly insurmountable problems,  sleepless nights, dwindling bank account, but I’m reminded that  Steiner discusses working with strife, rather than trying to rise above it. The sentiment is rather Zen, and invites comparisons with a variety of Eastern philosophies – although, in fact, it’s neither Western, nor Eastern – but acutely human.

Steiner’s critics often deride him for his ‘mystical babbling,’ yet, the reality is his message is rather natural, steeped in age-old tradition, and merely making a re-appearance in the collective unconscious.  It’s a matter of whittling one’s thoughts down.  The device that truly makes the dialectic spin, however – is the imagination.  It’s the imagination that gives one the ability to envision plant health; the inter-connectedness of the cosmos; and one’s own compassionate, caring hand as the antennae for the Star Wars-like Force that works with the living force in the plant. 

Steiner summarizes it best at the end of the Lecture Series, during the Q&A portion, “These things that take place through human influence, though they cannot be outwardly explained, are inwardly quite clear and transparent. Moreover, such things will come about simply as a result of the human being practicing meditation; preparing himself by meditative life.”  In today’s fast-paced society, the opportunities for this sort of reflection continue to dwindle, as the wireless lifestyle of continually interacting with our devices replaces quiet, solitary, reflection. 

Currently, Biodynamic and Organic Farming comprises a ridiculously low percentage of global vineyard acreage.  For what it’s worth, the recent decade, or so has seen a rise in Biodynamic Farming at some of the World’s premiere Estates.  Some may consider it “much ado about nothing,” but it seems the wisdom in using Biodynamics on such storied soils must be rooted in sound logic.  Eighty-eight years after a group of Farmer’s came to Steiner and asked him to devise a system to ameliorate the devastating effects the first use of chemicals had upon European soil and livestock, his response to that request – Biodynamics – is still locked in a desperate battle with a now global consortium of chemical producers:  Its classic David and Goliath at this point. However, something tells me this is exactly the way Steiner would have wanted it.

 

roundtable copy (1)Biodynamic Roundtable

Menu

2011 Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc

King Salmon, smoked cream cheese, everything bagel blend, cucumber

2008 Grgich Hills Chardonnay

Marinated Sardines, vegetable ash, raw vegetables, bronze fennel

2008 Grgich Hills Zinfandel

Blueberry corn, smoked cashew, pickled mushroom, grains of paradise, Douglas fir

2008 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

Grilled Porcini, Yuba, summer squash, lentil-seaweed vinaigrette, Miso-cured tofu, nepitella

2009 Ehlers Estate Merlot

Lamb neck mole, purple Cherokee tomato, Lamb bacon-smoked vegetable, grilled little gem, crème fraîche

NV Marian Farms Brandy

 

Edible Santa Fe

Edible Santa Fe

Edible celebrates New Mexico's food culture, season by season. We believe that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. With our high-quality, aesthetically pleasing and informative publication, we inspire readers to support and celebrate the growers, producers, chefs, beverage and food artisans, and other food professionals in our community.
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