Monday, January 15, 2007

Vineyard Voodoo

Wednesday January 17th the Moon will pass 4.5° south of Mars.

How fortuitous for those biodynamic farmers of red grapes out there!

What luck – two of the most powerful bodies in the heavens according to Rudolf Steiner, in what is the most perfect of configurations: Mars (representing the plants with red fruit, and also that part of plants above the ground) is North (above) the Moon (representing the portion of the plants below the ground) which is celestially below! And soooo close to each other (but only when viewed from Earth!)…

What a perfect day to make your offerings to those celestial spirits who might help balance the soil Karma in your vineyard…

Since the weather is sooo cold, it seems like a perfect time to make a burnt offering to enhance the effectiveness of the pruning I’ll be doing this week on my red vines (I’ll have to wait until Jupiter is in some propitious arrangement before I can make an offering which will be helpful to my white vines – so they’ll have to wait until later in the spring…actually, the Moon is near Jupiter’s today, but I only bought enough supplies for one "sacrifice" …such are the limitations of needing external potions, supplies, etc.).

The item to be sacrificed needs to be dear to the one who is making the offering, and also of some symbolic meaning to those cosmic forces being plied. Hmmmm, something dear…

Well, I suppose we could use red wine, but no doubt everyone would go there first, so Mars & Luna have probably had their fill by now. Maybe something that I think of with red wine…

Some of those steaks in the fridge, maybe? No, Mrs. Johnson’s gonna use those for dinner this week…

I know! Chocolate! But in some form where it will symbolize sacrificing my disbelief in Biodynamic agriculture – so they’ll know I really mean business & want to make the absolute best wine I possibly can! Hmmmmm…

Maybe if I get one of those chocolate Voodoo dolls that are on the market right now...

Yup, for me I’ll sacrifice something that will at least taste good (because it’s impossible that it would do anything else!). Thanks to Powell’s Sweet Shop in Healdsburg for stocking these babys…

And to make it all workout right, I guess we should have some sort of solemn setting for this guy to rest upon…maybe some purified sugar cushions to ease his worldly woes…like marshmallows! Yeah, that’d make him more comfortable, and would be more substantial for Mars & Luna to feast upon…

Now he’ll need to have some of the attachments of this world that we’re trying to get rid of before he's immolated: BioD, globalization, homogenization, fear of progress, fear of science running rampant and amok with our world…perhaps he’ll take them all with him when he burns. (Yes, I get the redundancy of using voodoo to rid the world of BioD...)

But it’s still not quite right.

I can’t send him off without at least a blindfold and a last (candy) cigarette (thanks again to Powell’s for stocking such a non-PC item like the old candy Death Sticks! I haven’t seen these on any store’s shelves since the early 70’s !!).

So there it is.

Quite the offering I’m making of my own conscience, and submitting myself to Steiner’s belief system (or at least I hope that Mars Silvanus and Luna think I’m doing so!). And there in this pan the effigy will lie until Wednesday evening, when I submit him to the flames of ignorance! Ha! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!...uhhhm, I mean Hallelujah!

And later, after they both have set, I can clean up the pan with a few graham crackers and a glass of milk.

MMMMMMM! Biodynamic s’mores!


Wednesday 17th January 2007 is Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW) # 29. It is supposedly slated for a slew of articles on BioD wines this round. I don’t participate in WBW, and thought that the choice of dates was rather strange on the part of the organizers – I wonder if they chose it for the astrology of the day? Anyways, I re-read Steiner’s notes about those bodies, and a few other .

BTW – Forkandbottle is hosting the event, and Jack over there has this lovely quote on his post notifying everyone of the topic of Biodynamic wines:

“Advantages: Sustainability & More
While the term "organic" gets cheapened further every day, biodynamics is sort of an ultra-organic label and, unlike organics (which just means using no chemical fertilizer), the biodynamic program is extremely sustainable...”

I’ve touted the public confusion about BioD vs. organic vs. sustainable agriculture, and about how proponents of the BioD system have continually tried to position themselves as the environmental vanguard movement to further their own interests and sales. My suspicion that the public is generally confused is confirmed yet again with that nugget of Jack’s above.

Good night, and good luck!




Anonymous Nicolas said...

That's not quite right.
this from the US EPA organic page:

"Organically grown" food is food grown and processed using no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Pesticides derived from natural sources (such as biological pesticides) may be used in producing organically grown food.
Page @

Actually that is pretty close to what biodynamic agriculture is attempting - minus the use of what seems to everyone outside of it to be voodoo, and the allowing of items like B. thuringiensis as insect controls which are naturally present in nature.

You should post on the subject of sustainability, and how it is a concept which can be applied regardless of which farming philosophy you adopt - even conventional.

January 16, 2007 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Nicolas said...

Sorry, I should have specified that "Jack's comment is not quite right."

January 16, 2007 8:27 AM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

Yes, what got me was the fact that their post didn't mention that they (organic) can't use synthetic pesticides either: again, slanting the field in favor of BioD by intimating through ommission that Organic is something less than it is, which is incorrect.

Sustainability is an ideal which is separate from the farming philosophy (conventional, organic, or BioD) and I probably will put up a post about that soon.


January 18, 2007 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Doug Smith said...

Really glad to find your trenchant commentary on BD. There is vanishingly little of it around. A friend and I did a recent article on the practice, published in the UK's wine journal "World of Fine Wine". We believe it to be the most thorough investigation of BD wine yet published, and we looked at all the peer-reviewed science we could find.

Would be happy to send a .pdf if you like, but can't locate your email address.


January 18, 2007 10:22 AM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

I'd love to see it!

Send it to


January 19, 2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Doug Smith said...

OK, sent! Enjoy.

January 21, 2007 2:00 PM  

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