What does Mulch Have to Do with Sustainable Farming?
We know you enjoy your glass of red or white more when it’s made with green techniques. Sustainably produced wines aren’t just better for the earth. They’re better for you and they taste better too! That’s a whole lot of better!
Earth-friendly wine starts with earth-friendly farming practices. Last week we showed you how we plant a vineyard without tilling the field. This week we’re showing you how mulching a vineyard helps reduce fertilizer and pesticide use.
The Vineyard Mulching Process
We fertilize our fields the way God fertilizes the forest, with dead trees and brush.
In the forest, mulch materials naturally fall to the ground. In the vineyard, we spread recycled trees, brush, and grass clippings over our vines.
This is the first year we didn’t have to mulch by hand. Check out our new mulching machine! Randy was more excited than Ralphie getting his official Red Ryder air rifle on Christmas morning when this baby showed up.
Frank used the mulcher to guide about 1,000 cubic yards of mulch over the baby grape vines.
Over time, earth worms will break down the material and beneficial fungi will produce natural fertilizer for the vines. That way we don’t have to put down other fertilizers that can damage the soil.
Eliminates Herbicide Use
Matt followed behind smoothing and spreading the mulch.
A four-inch layer of mulch will prevent weeds from pushing through. So, we won’t need to use herbicides, which many other vineyards spray bi-weekly.
It’s Worth the Effort
In all, we mulched about seven acres of vineyard this year.
While mulching takes a lot more work than spraying, it’s worth it. For us, it’s a labor of love.
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