Biodynamic composting at Haskell
At Haskell Vineyards we believe that taking care of the soil is just as important as the quality wines we to produce. That is why good vineyard management has always been crucial to us.
One such method was the introduction of the organic composting project that has allowed us to process our organic material from the farm in a responsible manner, as well as stabilise the nitrogen and increase the health of the soil.
With this goal in mind, we have decided to go one step further by introducing biodynamic preparations to our composting project.
A set of biodynamic preparations were purchased from Bloublommetjieskloof, a biodynamic farm in Wellington. As per their instructions, these preparations are applied to the compost according to the rules of biodynamic preparations.
Each of these preparations plays a specific role in enriching the vines:
- BD 502 – Yarrow blossoms: Helps the vines access the trace minerals in the soil
- BD 503 – Chamomile blossoms: Helps stabilize nitrogen
- BD 504 – Stinging nettle: Stimulates soil health
- BD 505 – Oak bark: Is rich in calcium and it strengthens the vine
- BD 506 – Dandelion flowers: Enhances the vines ability to absorb sunlight via photosynthesis
- BD 507 – Valerian flower: Influences the phosphors
Following specific instructions received from Bloublommetjieskloof, five holes were made in a newly prepared compost heap, where in the preparations will be inserted.
By rolling five balls out of prepared compost (roughly the size of tennis balls), an indentation is made and a preparation is inserted and closed up.
Each “infused” compost ball is then inserted deep into the hole of the prepared compost heap and covered up.
Finally for the last preparation, the Valerian liquid is mixed into oxygenated water and sprinkled over the compost heap.
Over the next few months these preparations will revitalize the compost heap, which will in turn increase the health and quality of the soil, helping the vines produce superb wines synonymous to Haskell Vineyards.