PASSION FOR ORGANIC
In the beginning for us, organic farming wasn’t really a passion but a necessity.
It was the need to bring healthy food to our table, to live in a place without pesticides, and to keep Corrado and me away from chemical products.
When my parents started this new adventure in the organic world of farming, my brother and I were just children, and we weren’t able to understand the value of this type of farming.
At its birth, organic farming wasn’t very popular. Before the introduction of this method, people used the ‘chemical struggle’ following a calendar of different chemical treatments.
The chemical treatments used are called ‘systemics’. These are products that can be absorbed by plants in a very easy way.
Plants are modified by these products, and with them, also pathogens. But they become more resistant to this kind of treatment.
With the introduction of organic farming, new methods of control are introduced. The most important is the ‘integrated struggle’.
This consists of elements like plants, insects, and pheromone traps being used for control. The pheromone traps are used for sexual confusion, so mating is not possible. The sole purpose of these integrated methods is to reduce the use of plant protection products.
The big revolution of this new method is the introduction of “Threshold intervention”, this takes into account the value of phytophagous insects damage (those that eat green plants) and the cost that we will be going to sustain for the treatment.
This means we take the decision to do the treatment only if it’s strictly necessary, mostly for some phytophagous insects like the vine ‘Tignoletta’ or the olive fly. (They are small insects that cause damage to the vines or the olives). We need to consider the weather conditions because they are extremely important for the treatments.
Every plot has a climate and a microclimate and each one is different from the other. For this reason, we need to be sure that the fungus that we need to fight is actually in that spot.
In our specific case, we do treatments only for pathogens like fungus. We use only ‘by contact products’ because they remain outside the plants as the fungus doesn’t attack the plant only the leaves.
Being an organic farm means that we can’t use GMO, weedkillers, chemical fertilizer, and other chemical plant protection products.
After having learned the method for Organic farming, we decided to proceed to the Biodynamic method.
The biodynamic method was born in 1924 after the huge quantity of chemical products in the soil after WWI.
Rudolf Steiner is the founder of Biodynamic. He was entrusted to study a new way of farming looking to the future.
Steiner proceeded from the method for alcoholic fermentation, the process of sugar transformation in alcohol thanks to the yeasts. For this process 200 or 300 gr of yeasts can transform 100hl of Mosto (grape juice not yet fermented).
To replicate this process in the soil is possible thanks to natural compounds, that are fundamental to connect the sky, earth and plants.
We use some compounds for the Air (Silica Horn\ Horn 501), and some others for the Earth (Dung Horn\ Horn 500). Plants are fed by the micronutrients and macronutrients of the soil and the light and for this reason, we need to have two different horns with different actions.
The Silica Horn is used to reflect the sunlight because it comes in the form of crystals, and it is spread in all the parts of the plants. It is fundamental for the plant because it allows better lymph transport through the lymphatic vessels.
In this way, the structure of the plant becomes stronger.
Dung horn is used to increase macrobiotics levels in the soil. Micororganisms are present only in the first 20\30 cm of soil, but in our biodynamic soil, they are present in the first 60\70 cm. It means that we have modified the soil’s structure.
Dung horn is essentially cow’s manure in a horn, fermented under the soil for 5 or 7 months. During this period, it loses the strong smell and becomes dark brown colour, rich in bacteria and is very similar to loam. It is fundamental because it represents the living part of the soil. This is spread in the soil by hand. We use some water added to the manure because it represents a fundamental role in this kind of agriculture. It’s responsible for the spreading. We start with the dynamization of the compound. To start this process we need time, movement, and warmth. The water has to be clear, without chlorine and around 37° C\ 98° F. This temperature is perfect for the survival of the bacteria.
When the compound is ready it has to be shaken for 1 hour creating some vortex. We can do this manually or using a machine. After the activation, the compound is poured into a copper recipient to be spread in the soil by hand. This process has to be done quickly.
Biodynamics is not only based on “ compounds ”, it is a different way to understand the surrounding environment and to cooperate with all the elements that it is composed of, including the stars.
MOON AND WINE
The moon is a fundamental element because we also understand its influence.
For every lunar phase, we have a specific way to work the soil or the plant.
To make this transformation, we started to collaborate with Michele Lorenzetti, a famous winemaker and biologist who is esteemed in the biodynamic world.
Thanks to his practice approach, we learned a new method without any guesswork. Michele and Carlo Noro (other prominent figures in biodynamics) have recently studied the use and the preparation of Horn 500. Biodynamics can look like magic, I know, but everything has a sense.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC?
Differences between biological and biodynamic are mainly in the use of the compounds. Organic farming has the only purpose of reducing the use of chemical products and chemical plant protection products.
Biodynamics has the purpose of creating a collaboration between all the elements of the ecosystem.
TOWARDS A GREEN FUTURE
Our farm was from the beginning very sensitive to sustainability, not for passion but necessity. We want to safeguard our health, our lives, our future, and the future of our planet.
With the arrival of our baby Eva, the new addition to our family, we decide to reinforce the decision to run across the same path that our parents chose to follow years ago. Organic and biodynamic are not a “fashion”, but a real habit that everybody should follow to preserve our actual needs without affecting our future ones.
To love our earth, live life to the fullest and leave it more beautiful than we found it.
This should be our mission.
Hello I’m Eva!