If given the opportunity, nature will find equilibrium, and if we can just get on the right side of the curve, we can farm with nature instead of against it. What does this mean? This means surrendering absolute control to the mind-numbingly complex systems of life above and below the ground, and then respectfully elbowing out a little space for our grapevines.
We don’t have a manicured, picture-perfect vineyard. It looks a little wild. But it’s actually meticulously and purposefully cared for. Bustling with life and vibrating with energy, it’s what can be achieved when farm priorities align with the needs of the ecosystem. It’s just a different approach. Instead of putting the bottle of wine first, we put the way we grow the grapes first. The wine is only a bonus.
How We Do It
It sounds simple and it is: choose grape varieties with disease resistance so they can stand up for themselves, and maintain a robust population of beneficial insects to keep all the baddies at bay. Ladybugs, lacewings, assassin bugs, spined soldier bugs, parasitic wasps, hoverflies, and others help to achieve the balance, but the real rock stars are the spiders. They are the sentinels always on watch. They are the reason our vineyard works.
Bugs may not be for you. Lord knows I don’t want them in my house. But when it comes to farming organically, it’s all about the bugs.