Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Demeter Certification

We've been selling a lot of Hawk and Horse Vineyards wines here lately.  If you go to their website they're all about their biodynamic certification.  Biodynamic is beyond "organic."  When I looked into how many other wineries could claim the certification I was struck by how many do carry this distinction.  They all readily advertise it too which makes sense when you consider they have to pay someone annually to inspect their digs.  You bet they're proud of their certification.

Demeter, by the way, was the Greek goddess of grain and fertility.  She must have resided somewhere prominently in Dr. Rudolf Steiner's consciousness back in 1928 when he started the certification program.  Steiner was a noted scientist in Germany who observed that industrial farming was doing long term harm to the soil and to all of us who rely on farming.  Actually he was confronted with the situation when farmers implored him to investigate why their crops were failing and their animals were sickly.

What Steiner came up with was a solution 180 degrees from the the factory farming model.  Steiner considered a farm to be a living thing, self-contained and self-sustaining.  It should be responsible for creating and maintaining its own health and vitality without adding anything from outside of its boundaries.  That means a farm must have livestock for manure, compost, nutrient catch crops and crop rotation.  It also must have biodiversity, predator habitat, adequate sunlight and air flow.  Any strategies for combating disease, insects, or weeds have to originate at the farm utilizing what is there.  This was the beginning of sustainable farming.

In 1985 Demeter Certification came to America, seventeen years before the USDA started its organic regulatory program.  Demeter remains the sole biodynamic certification program in this country and fifty countries around the world now offer their own Demeter programs.

Please join us this Thursday for the weekly wine tasting at the store.  We start at 5pm and go till 7.

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