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Biodynamic Farming

Beck­men Vine­yards was one of the first Deme­ter cer­ti­fied bio­dy­nam­ic vine­yards in San­ta Bar­bara Coun­ty in 2008. You can learn more about how we got start­ed with bio­dy­nam­ic farm­ing in 2002 and why wine­mak­er Steve Beck­men chose bio­dy­nam­ics, here.

Biodynamic Preps & Calendar

Bio­dy­nam­ic farm­ing is the first type of farm­ing that can be con­sid­ered organ­ic” and is the root of the organ­ic farm­ing meth­ods wide­ly known and prac­ticed today. Often con­fused with both organ­ic and sus­tain­able farm­ing prac­tices, bio­dy­nam­ic farm­ing meets all of the cri­te­ria of both, while also imple­ment­ing a set of eight nat­u­ral­ly derived, non-chem­i­cal, soil and plant treat­ments known as bio­dy­nam­ic prepa­ra­tions (preps). These herb and manure based preps are applied to the farm in var­i­ous sea­sons to help heal the earth and increase bio­di­ver­si­ty, espe­cial­ly in the soil.

Based on the pio­neer­ing 1920’s work of Aus­tri­an philoso­pher and spir­i­tu­al sci­en­tist Rudolf Stein­er, bio­dy­nam­ic farm­ing offers a proac­tive (ver­sus reac­tive) and holis­tic approach to farm­ing. By treat­ing our vine­yards as com­plete and self-replen­ish­ing sys­tems, bio­dy­nam­ic farm­ing nat­u­ral­ly builds soil life and vital­i­ty, while defend­ing against pests and disease. 

Lis­ten to wine­mak­er Steve Beck­men as he describes what it means to be a bio­dy­nam­ic farmer. 

The preps are the defin­ing fea­ture of bio­dy­nam­ic farm­ing, but anoth­er inte­gral part is fol­low­ing the Bio­dy­nam­ic Cal­en­dar for Plant­i­ngs and Sow­ings. This cal­en­dar allows us to under­stand how the cos­mos affect our prac­tices here on earth, how the greater push­es and pulls of the uni­verse influ­ence the flo­ra around us. It’s more spe­cif­ic than just a full or new moon’s posi­tion. It doesn’t resem­ble the tra­di­tion­al farm­ers’ almanacs or astrol­o­gy cal­en­dars we’re accus­tomed to see­ing in mag­a­zines. We invite you to dive deep­er into how it was cre­at­ed, here.

The Bio­dy­nam­ic Cal­en­dar allows farm­ers to proac­tive­ly focus their work on the part of the plant that is most respon­sive on a day to day basis. We all know how pow­er­ful the moon’s affect is on ocean tides, so just imag­ine how pow­er­ful it is on the small parts of a grapevine. The Bio­dy­nam­ic Cal­en­dar breaks down each day as a fruit, flower, leaf, or root day, the four main com­po­nents of a plant:

  • Flower Day: a good day to har­vest and work on white wine grapes
  • Leaf Day: the plant is focused on pro­duc­ing chloro­phyll, so best to avoid har­vest­ing and spraying
  • Fruit Day: best day for har­vest­ing grapes, spray­ing preps, and composting
  • Root Day: best day for prun­ing, good for till­ing and com­post­ing, okay for har­vest­ing red grapes; avoid drink­ing wine

Each day, the cor­re­spond­ing sym­bol is dis­played on the top of our web­site. Look for it near the shop­ping cart symbol.

Beckmen pmv b6 tree

Deme­ter is the largest asso­ci­a­tion in the world that pro­vides bio­dy­nam­ic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. There is one set of cri­te­ria all bio­dy­nam­ic farms adhere to, not because they have to, but because it’s the best way to heal our earth and increase bio­di­ver­si­ty. The prin­ci­ples of bio­dy­nam­ic farm­ing were estab­lished in 1928, but most peo­ple agree that these were not new prin­ci­ples since peo­ple have been using these meth­ods to farm for centuries.

Dis­cov­er why wine­mak­er Steve Beck­men chose bio­dy­nam­ic farm­ing at Purisi­ma Moun­tain Vine­yard, a process which began in 2002 and con­tin­ues through today.