The Fauna – Vineyard/Farm as a living, life giving system
Sustainable farming recognizes the important role that birds, animals and insects play in the vineyard. Biodiversity is a vital part of nature’s system of checks and balances, keeping harmful populations of insects and weeds in control and providing a balanced environment for the vines. Animal manures are key ingredients in the organic compost applied in the vineyard, returning nutrients and life to the soil.
Important contributors to vineyard health include:
BENEFICIAL INSECTS (OG/Organic & BD/Biodynamic)
- Include lady bugs, lace wings, spiders, bees, butterflies and predatory mites.
- Cover crops, bug farms and wildlife corridors attract beneficial insects to vineyards.
- Self-regulating insect populations help keep pest populations in check.
- Beneficial insects replace conventional farming’s use of pesticides.
- Insects pollinate various plants on property.
BIRDS (OG, BD)
- Birds such as swallows and blue birds increase the farm’s biodiversity.
- They scour the property for insects by day.
OWLS (OG, BD)
- Owls are the night patrol, regulating vineyard populations of moles, ground squirrels, gophers and mice which damage vines.
- The farmer puts up owl boxes around the farm to encourage owl habitation.
RAPTORS (OG, BD)
- Raptor perches in the vineyard encourage birds of prey to patrol the vineyard for small mammals that damage vines.
BATS (OG, BD)
- Bats sweep through the vineyard during their nightly feedings, keeping nocturnal insect populations in check.
- The most important animal on the farm is the cow.
- Cow manure is the primary life-giving ingredient in the organic compost applied to the vineyard, returning needed nutrients and energy to create healthy soil.
- Cow horns are used in preparation 500, which promotes root activity and stimulates microbiotic life in the soil.
- Cows provide food for farmers.
- Chickens are versatile vineyard workers, easily moved around in their mobile chicken coops.
- They help manage vineyard pest populations, such as cutworms who feed on vine roots.
- Chickens provide valuable organic fertilizer.
- Their eggs supply the farmer’s family with nutritious, fresh food.
- Goats are nature’s lawnmowers. They provide natural control of weeds and cover crops.
- Their waste is organic compost.
- Goats supply valuable food for the farmer in the form of milk, cheese and meat.
- Sheep wander through vineyards and hillsides eating weeds and keeping cover crops under control, replacing the farmer’s diesel powered tractor.
- They provide organic compost with the waste they leave behind.
- Some farmers sell sheep’s wool and meat at the local farmer’s market.
Article Source: Paul Dolan Vineyard