Saturday, January 07, 2006

I live for quotes like this

John Reganold, a professor of soil science at Washington State University, has studied biodynamics for nearly 15 years. His research suggests that the special preparations do indeed have a positive effect on compost. However, he says, “the jury is still out” on how effective they ultimately are, or whether there truly is much difference between the health of biodynamic farms and typical organic farms.

“We just finished a study that looked at a number of soil properties over six years, and there were no significant differences between biodynamic and organic practices,” says Reganold. However, he adds, “Biodynamic farms may be the most holistic farms that I’ve seen.”

As I continue my quest to understand exactly what BioD is (and how it could ever possibly contribute to improved wine quality) I become more and more convinced that the real benefit of BioD is in the increased attention the farmers pay to their farms.

And here, we see John Reganold, who has been a proponent of BioD for the last decade-and-a-half, essentially state that there is no difference even after 6 years between the two types of farming. This is perhaps one of the reasons the BioD supporters disdain traditional science experiments with BioD...their beliefs are continually disproven with quantitative analysis.


Onto another article in the news: Grgich Hills went BioD, which is in fact "old"news...
This is yet another troubling piece - in that many false conclusions are presented to the reader as fact (most are quotes directly from the Grgich's)...

By using biodynamics, he hopes to achieve healthier plants and improve the terroir. "How can you talk about terroir if the soil is dead," he said.
This just presupposes that conventionally farmed soils are "dead". No proof to support that claim is given. It would be better if he had just stated he was trying to improve the soil quality...

"It (biodynamics) will give the vineyard longevity," Jeramaz said. "Here (in Napa Valley) we're lucky if we get 40 to 50 years in a vineyard. I've seen 10- and 15-year-old vineyards being pulled. Because of bad farming, they weakened the plant. I'm convinced that (our) vineyards will be producing to the age of 80." He pointed out that a vine in Grgich Hills' Calistoga vineyard is 110 years old.
This is just speculative, there are many reasons vines are torn out...not just "worn out" soil or bad farming techniques. They've only been BioD for 3 years now...And wait!...what's that they're bringing forth as proof - a 110 year old vine? my calculations that vine seems to have THRIVED and SURVIVED for 107 YEARS on conventional agricultural techniques...hardly a point I'd be making to espouse the benefits of their "newly" adopted system.

"It's common sense agriculture," he said. "It's not cutting-edge technology. It's just going back to what three or four generations (before) did. We depend so much on machines that we forgot about nature."
Oh, that's just great. The wisdom of the past speaks yet again...
It was good enough for Great-grandad, so it must be good enough for me.
Why stop there? Why not go back to horse-drawn wagons for transporting your product Mr Grigich? While you're at it, try offering your workers a healthcare package commensurate with the technology available four generations ago, and pay scale to boot...since it was obviously "good enough" for the good folks four generations ago.

Jeramaz said the moon also has a huge influence over plants. "The full moon brings fertility and water," he said. "The earth can be more effective if it's in rhythm."
Yeah, I've heard this one before...too many times to count.
First - the Sun brings fertility, not the moon, you dipwads!
Second - the "earth" has never been "out" of rhythm...what a waste.
(See this link of the Skeptic's Dictionary)

The Grgich Hills brochure points to the effect the moon has on the oceans' tides and on people - "the word 'lunatic' derives from 'luna' (moon) because of the moon's effect on human behavior" - and also mentions circadian rhythms, a human's biological clock that is attuned to the earth's rotation.
The link between "lunatism" and and any effects on human behaviour due to influence from the Moon have been disproven for years. Sad to see that brought up by them as well - though not unexpected considering their other stated beliefs.

Here's a real reason they're going through all this:
Jeramaz said that next year the winery will probably place a reference to the wine being made from biodynamically-farmed grapes on the back labels....
What's the reaction from consumers and the trade? "It's mostly positive," Jeramaz said. "Most people are conscientious about the quality of produce," but they tend to equate biodynamics with organic.
Interesting. I wonder if they'd still be going in this direction if consumers thought it was all bunk? Probably not, and I bet they're banking on higher sales and increased prices per bottle once they get their certification and can put "biodynamically grown" on the label.

The is yet another assault on science and modern agriculture, and it continues with each of the articles like this that come out.

And it's sad that such an important topic as soil health and farming practices will be reduced to merely an argument from authority as the Grgich's are quite famous, and what they say must must make sense - or so the implied argument follows...

Good night, and good luck...

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home