Biodynamic Farming in Winter at Seven Springs

The Seven Springs Estate has been farmed biodynamically for many years, with the help of talented farmer Jessica Cortell and the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, the father of Biodynamics. There are several rituals that we celebrate and methods we employ throughout the year at Evening Land, and most recently, a few of us came together to bury cow horns for the 500 preparation. 

After the bustle of the harvest season, it feels like a giant deep breath within to refocus on the vineyard. The bare vines signal a fresh start and an opportunity for reinvention, and this preparation will be a catalyst for nourishment and growth. 

“The 500 preparation is only a small part of our overall compost program, but on this visit, I discovered the virtue in celebrating a ceremony that can be best described as mystical - the feeling of wonder and joy that comes from the suspension of disbelief”  -Sashi Moorman

The preparation involves putting fermented cow manure into cow horns, and burying them in the vineyard in winter. In the spring they will be dug up, and the mixture will be diluted in water and sprayed over the vineyard to stimulate root growth and soil formation. When the horns are facing toward the sky, they are receiving celestial energy.

This winter, this annual ritual took on a new meaning. It was a reason for a select few of us to come together safely and masked, to be present in the vineyard and with the awe-inspiring nature of Seven Springs, acknowledge the change that will happen in the next few months, and look forward to the spring.

In Sashi's words, “We must believe in hope and the rejuvenation of spring and the power of nature to heal us.”