what’s after harvest?
it’s not all fun and games after the late fall harvest at satori, although you wouldn’t know it from our pack leader, buddah, here.
we are in a long term project to make our vineyard soil sustainable. it takes a lot of nutrients each year to grow so many grapes. in the past, growers just added fertilizers to replace those nutrients. but now we know that the soil health — everything in and around and above the root zone — depends on its ability to create its own nutrients from within, year after year, without addings gobs of fertilizers on top.
which way to the beach?
this is not sand but a truckload of gypsum, which, among other things, improves the structure of the soil, making it less “crusty” in the dry summer months, and allowing water to move more freely through the root zone when the roots need it.
biochar is a carbon-rich soil amendment, like granulated charcoal, that also improves the structure of the soil, helping it to hold onto water and nutrients. once added, biochar breaks down very slowly. like a thousand years slowly. so you don’t have to keep adding it year after year once it is established in the vineyard. first we blended the biochar and the gypsum.
mix it up
then we added recycled coffee grounds to the biochar and gypsum mix. the coffee adds potassium and other trace nutrients to the soil in a way that won’t wash away at the first rainfall. and it smells good.
tom on the range
and here’s mr. T. spreading the b-g-c blend over the vineyard. it rained hard right after we finished, which was perfect timing. with the water, the mixture was able to sink below the cover crop and into the root zone where it belongs. we’ll probably repeat this process a few more times over the next few years until the soil is rich and crumbly and full of organic humus.