Biodynamic Wine

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Biodynamic

Biodynamic viticulture (grape growing) uses organic farming methods while following Rudolf Steiner’s (1861-1925), formula of planting and harvesting by astronomical configurations.  Sort of like the Farmer’s Almanac but a little more intense.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Biodynamic Viticulture

by David Proctor 


 December 2, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


One of the key components of biodynamic farming, besides the astronomical practices, is treating the earth as a “living and receptive organism”. 
 
“The concept behind biodynamics is that everything in the universe is interconnected and gives off a resonance or ‘vibe’.

 

Grapes

Photo by Frederic Hancke from Pexels

 

The interconnectivity of everything even includes celestial bodies like the moon, planets, and stars.

Biodynamic viticulture is the practice of balancing this resonance between vine, man, earth, and stars.

Essentially, biodynamics is a holistic view of agriculture.” (Wine Folly)

One of the strangest practices for preparing to fertilize the fields is to first get a bunch of cow horns and stuff them full of cow manure and bury them. 

After a period of time, the horns are dug up and the green manure has changed into a rich fertilizer, thanks to worms and microbes.

 

Horns Stuffed With Manure

Horns Stuffed With Manure

 

“Stop to think about why a cow horn is used, it goes back to being a symbol of abundance. 

The Vikings would drink from horns, the Chinese believe in the concept, that is why the Rhino horn is coveted. 

In fact, we believe in the tradition of abundance when we display the cornucopia at Thanksgiving”.

 

Cornucopia

Cornucopia

 

I’m not advocating that we all start burring horns in our yard full of poop, just saying their seems to be a precedence to the practice.

Several other practices are used for controlling or enhancing the biological aspects of the vineyard and that is chamomile (natural antiseptic) and stinging nettles (a natural cleanser) as examples.

The soils when tested, do show a greater disease suppression, a decrease in compaction, and additional organic material versus non-organic soils.

The biodynamic practice follows a calendar that has four basic parts:

  1. Fruit Days: Best days for harvesting grapes
  2. Root Days: Ideal days for pruning
  3. Flower Days: Leave the vineyard alone on these days
  4. Leaf Days: Ideal days for watering plants

 

Biodynamic Calendar

Biodynamic Calendar

 

Besides the calendar, no chemicals or manufactured additions are allowed in the wine, like commercial yeast or adjusting the acidity.
 
Does the wine taste different? 

According to some, it does. 

The wine is supposed to enhance or have better expressions of terroir or character.

Some say that the wine stays drinkable longer than other wines and has a more noted stronger yet clearer taste which is also more vibrant.

How do you know when you buy wine if it is biodynamic?

Biodynamic is not a defined and regulated term such as organic.

There does exist two governing bodies to certify the strict rules and regulations for certification, and they are:

  1. Demeter International (Certifies predominately North America)
  2. Biodyvin (certifies only 100 European wineries)

 

Demeter Certification

Demeter Certification

 

In that case why not just by organic wine. 

No reason not to, but you have to look at the process that goes into the biodynamic wine. 

Biodynamic predates “organic” by at least twenty years. 

Some say that it is worth it to drink these wines, due to taste, flavor, and being in tune with the cosmos.
 
When it is all said and done, if your spirit tells you to role with the cosmic vibe, then biodynamic is your choice.


Check It Out!

An Introduction to Biodynamic Viticulture 7:02


Quick Tip

 

Biodynamic vs Traditional


Bibliography:

“Biodynamic Wine.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Oct. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_wine.

“What’s the Difference between Organic, Biodynamic, and Sustainable Wines? | Ask Dr. Vinny | Wine Spectator.” WineSpectator.com, www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/41226.

“Getting Into Biodynamic Wine.” Wine Folly, Wine Folly, 16 Sept. 2015, winefolly.com/review/biodynamic-wine-guide/.




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , , , , ,

Thanksgiving Day Celebration

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Gratitude

This is the day to stop and give thanks. Give thanks for the family you have, the food you have to eat, your health, the memories you have, and that you are here in the moment to do so.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Gratitude – Count Your Blessings

by David Proctor 


 November 25, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


We have all faced many challenges this last year.

We are all thankful to just be here and count our blessings.

 

 

Be grateful for having the ones that are with you; family, friends, and neighbors.

 

Thanksgiving

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris: The First Thanksgiving

 

Be thankful for the food that you have to eat.

 

Turkeys

Turkeys

 

So many times, Thanksgiving Day is just a day before Black Friday or a benchmark for other events or activities.

To me, this day is about family and memories that I have of family.

 

Farm Tour

Farm Cat

 

I am so grateful for the family members that made Thanksgiving Day a wonderful day in the past and the family members that make it the same today.

 

Cornucopia

Cornucopia

 

May this day and every day bring you peace, love, joy, hope, and a deeper faith in God.


Check It Out!

 

Turkeys


Quick Tip

 

How to Carve a Turkey  1:45


Bibliography:

 

Silverman, David J.. “Thanksgiving Day”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 25 Sep. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Thanksgiving-Day. Accessed 20 November 2021.

The First Thanksgiving, reproduction of an oil painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, early 20th century.
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (neg. no. LC-USZC4-4961)




 

Posted in Magazine Issues Tagged with: ,

Bee Winter Prep

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Let It BEE Winter

When we think of honey bees, our thoughts go to spring flowers and blooms with honey bees flying back and forth from flower to flower.  In the fall going into winter is the best time to prepare for spring and keep your bee colony healthy and thriving.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Fall Beehive Survival Steps

by David Proctor 


 November 18, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Fall Beehive Survival Steps

With your last honey extraction, put the supers or frames you extracted back on the colony and let the bees reclaim the sticky bits left behind. 

After a day or two, leaving the cleaned frames in the super, remove the whole super used for storing surplus, honey. 

This leaves the three brood boxes, where your bees will spend the next few months.

 

Honey

Honey & Brood

 

Follow these (9) steps to prepare your beehive for winter so your bee colony will be ready for spring.
 
Fall and Winter Management

  • Mouse guards in place
  • Enough good food
  • All medications removed
  • Colony tilted
  • Windbreak in place
  • Inner cover propped up
  • Outer cover secure with weight on top
  • Feeders removed
  • Screened bottom board cover replace inside

Mouse Guards

Be sure mouse guards are in place. 

The expandable, metal types with holes rather than a slot are by far the best. 

The wood guards have slots that may not keep out a determined mouse.

Enough Food

The bees will need about 60 pounds of honey stored for the winter. 

If the amount is insufficient, a sugar syrup mix will need to be prepared for the hive. 

Mix a thick 1:1 syrup – one part sugar to one part water. 

The thick syrup does not induce a build-up, but rather storing behavior from the bees. 

Measure by the amount of sugar used.

When finished feeding, the stored food should be at the sides of the broodnest and above the broodnest.

The broodnest should be mostly in the bottom two boxes. 

Honey should be in the outer two frames, plus some in the frames next to the outside frames. 

Burnley Farm Apiary

Burnley Farm Apiary

 

The top box should be almost all stored honey.  You will need to monitor this during the winter.  If the bees are moving to the top they are running out of food.

All medications removed

Since Varroa mites are being monitored all through the summer, you may not need any treatments in the fall.  The mites will be easier to spot since the colony will become smaller going into fall and winter. 

If you do need to treat, use formic acid treatment. It will knock down adult mites and will damage the mites in cells also.  Do not forget to check for diseases.

Colony tilted
If you haven’t already, now is the time to tilt your colony forward just a bit by raising the back about an inch. A one-inch thick board works well. 

The colony should have this forward slant so that melting snow or winter rains don’t run into the colony and collect on the bottom board.

Windbreak in place

If your colony doesn’t have a good windbreak, you can build a temporary one to help.  A stack of straw bales on the windward side is one way, as is a temporary fence of horticultural burlap and a few fence post.  

Inner cover propped up & outer cover secured

Turn the inner cover so the flat side is up.  Then, between the inner cover and the edge of the top super, place a pencil or any block of material that raises the inner cover about 3/8th of an inch. 

Replace the inner cover and the cover over that when complete.  Add a brick to hold the cover in place for those windy winter days. 

This will help with ventilation, which lets carbon dioxide and the warm moist air from the bees keeping themselves warm escape.
 
Feeders removed

By late fall, at least a full month before winter arrives according to the calendar, treatments should be complete and all assistance activities should be over.


Check It Out!

 

by Lauri Calloway

 

Honey Pumpkin Bread

I have prepared many loaves of sweet bread over the years…pumpkin, banana, blueberry, apple, and zucchini to name a few. They were all delicious. And…quite sweet. Most of these recipes call for nearly two cups of sugar, either brown or granulated, or both. So, when I saw a recipe for honey pumpkin bread on the website honey.com, I was intrigued. Honey is the only sweetener used in this recipe.

 Warning: If you like your pumpkin bread to be really sweet, this is not the recipe for you. However, if you want a tasty alternative using only honey as a sweetener… no sugar added, with the lovely flavor of spices, pumpkin, and honey, give this a try!

I prepared this recipe with some modifications. You can find the original on honey.com.

Honey Pumpkin Bread

1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
11/2 cups honey
1 15 oz. can solid-pack pumpkin
4 eggs
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray with vegetable oil spray, two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans.

Cream softened butter and honey. Add the canned pumpkin and mix. Mix in eggs, one at a time, until well-incorporated.

Sift dry ingredients together and stir into the above mixture. Mix well. Stir in walnuts, if desired.

Divide batter equally into two loaf pans. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Insert a knife into the loaf near the end of the baking time. If it comes out clean, the loaf is done.

Allow loaves to cool about 10 minutes in the loaf pans, then take them out of the pans and cool on a wire rack.

Cut bread into 2-inch slices, and serve with whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon, if desired.

 

Cream softened butter and honey
Butter & Honey
Mix Ingredients
Mix Ingredients
dry ingredients
Dry Ingredients
two loaf pans
Two Loaf Pans
bread
Bread


Quick Tip

 

by Lauri Calloway
  • Make sure to soften the butter at room temperature.

 

  • You may want to add an additional 1/2 cup honey if you like the bread sweeter.

 

  • Dried fruit or raisins could also be added with, or instead of, walnuts

 

  • Make certain loaf pans are greased or coated well with the vegetable or canola oil spray

 

  • Check on your loaves while they are baking…ovens vary in temperature, so the bread may need more or less baking time.

Bibliography:

Flottum, Kim. The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print._18 Nov  2021.

N.p., n.d. Web.
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/06/23/why-joining-the-urban-agriculture-movement-will-make-you-healthier_18 Nov  2021.

“Seasonal Cycles of Activities in Colonies.” MAAREC Mid Atlantic Apiculture Research Extension Consortium RSS. N.p., 07 June 2010. Web. 18 Nov  2021.

“USDA.” – Beesource Beekeeping. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov  2021.




 

Posted in Apiary, Magazine Issues, Recipes Tagged with:

Superfood

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Kale

Kale has been touted as one of the healthiest foods we can eat. When we think of our health we need to be careful of semantics. What is healthy and what is nutritious can be a whole different matter. This is a look at kale and its benefits to our diet. 

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Superfood – Kale

by David Proctor 


 November 11, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


I never ate Kale when I was growing up, at least that I can remember.

We use to eat a lot of different vegetables but I never really had heard of kale until a few years ago.

I decided to see what kale is all about and determine if it should be added to my diet on a regular basis.

 

Kale

 

First to define what kale is.

According to Wikipedia: Kale or leaf cabbage is a group of vegetable cultivars within the plant species Brassica oleracea.

They have green or purple leaves, in which the central leaves do not form ahead.  

Research shows that kale can help lower cholesterol and has other medicinal benefits as outlined in the article Kale by George Mateljan. 

 

Chart For Cooked Kale

 

I came across another article while investigating the benefits of kale that was written in the Washington Post. 

According to the article: No food is healthy. Not even kale By Michael Ruhlman, we should really watch our words that are used to describe what is healthy and what is nutritious for our bodies. 

I have talked about how the food industry labels its products and how sometimes a misunderstanding can come about if we are not careful about what we think we have read on the label. 

 

Bread Label

 

There are a lot of foods that we can consume for the nutritional qualities and health benefits that our body needs, but kale ranks high on the list as a “superfood”, maybe even No. 1. 

Give it a try as part of your diet, combine kale with your salads, or as a dish on its own.

Your body will love you for it.


Check It Out!

 

10 Proven Benefits of Kale (No. 1 is Very Impressive)
By Kris Gunnars, BSc 

1. Kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet
2. Kale is loaded with powerful antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol
3. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C
4. Kale can help lower cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease
5. Kale is one of the world’s best sources of Vitamin K
6. There are numerous cancer-fighting substances in kale
7. Kale is very high in beta-carotene
8. Kale is a good source of minerals that most people don’t get enough of
9. Kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, powerful nutrients that protect the eyes
10. Kale should be able to help you lose weight


Quick Tip

 

Tips for Preparing and Cooking Kale:

Rinse kale leaves under cold running water. Chop leaf portion into 1/2″ slices and the stems into 1/4″ lengths for quick and even cooking.

To get the most health benefits from kale, let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes before cooking. Sprinkling with lemon juice before letting them sit can further enhance its beneficial phytonutrient concentration.

The Healthiest Way of Cooking Kale:

We recommend steaming kale for maximum nutrition and flavor. 
Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with 2 inches of water. While waiting for the water to come to a rapid boil chop greens. Steam for 5 minutes and toss. 

How to Enjoy:

A Few Quick Serving Ideas…

Braise chopped kale and apples. Before serving, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped walnuts.
Combine chopped kale, pine nuts, and feta cheese with whole grain pasta drizzled with olive oil.

The George Mateljan Foundation


Bibliography:

“Kale.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. 11 November 2021.

“Kale.” Kale. The George Mateljan Foundation, n.d.11 November 2021.

Ruhlman, Michael. “No Food Is Healthy. Not Even Kale.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 17 Jan. 2016. 11 November 2021.

Gunnars, Kris. “10 Proven Benefits of Kale (No. 1 Is Very Impressive).” RSS 20. N.p., 28 Oct. 2014.  11 November 2021.




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , ,

Exhale

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Breath

The secret to true health is not in what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or fat you are, but how you breathe.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!

 

 


Breathing

by David Proctor 


 November 4, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


I have never really thought about the process of breathing.

You inhale and you exhale, doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Plus, you don’t have to think about it, you just do it.

Yes, I have thought about breathing but mainly when I didn’t have enough air.

Like when running or swimming underwater or even when the breath is knocked out of you.

 

8 Interval Training Running Workouts for Speed —

 

Then you think about inhaling, not the exhale.

I have just finished what I consider a very good book called “Breath” by James Nestor.

It turns out that we actually breathe too much and do not exhale enough!

I thought that was strange.

To truly breathe correctly the old adage of breathing in the good air and letting out the bad, is that we tend to take shallow breaths and keep too much bad air in.

Stop and think about all the people you may know that have breathing problems like asthma or are mouth breathers.

Breathing through your mouth should only be on exhale if needed.

Improper breathing can lead to changes in the shape of the mouth and even elongation of the facial structure.

Have you ever woken up the next day and felt tired because you didn’t have a good night’s sleep?

One reason for not sleeping well is breathing through the mouth.

This can become so bad that people wear masks or CPAP at night just to try and control this.

Try an experiment on yourself.

I know this may sound strange, but put a small piece of tape on your mouth at night so you will breathe through your nose.

Don’t go to an extreme with this, just a small piece of tape and try this for a week.

You might be surprised at the way you feel after doing this and may want to continue.

Or you can wear a mechanical device that helps you breathe and deal with possible health issues from that.

The book is all about how we take our breath and gives examples of what can change when we change our breathing.

James Nestor points out “the new science of a lost art” in breathing.

Athletes are always looking for a way to improve performance.

 

Athlete

 

Few things will make as big a difference as to how the athlete breathes.

You may be asking yourself well just what is the right way to breathe?

What is the perfect breath?

“The perfect breath is this: Breathe in for about 5.5 seconds, then exhale for 5.5 seconds. That’s 5.5 breaths a minute for a total of about 5.5 liters of air.”

By trying this you will get out what you take in.

It doesn’t stop with just that.

People have had and do have many ailments that with proper breathing, the body can reset its autonomic nervous system.

One way to do this is through “heavy breathing”.

James describes how he was instructed to do the heavy breathing by: “start by finding a quiet place and lying flat on your back with a pillow under your head. Relax the shoulders, chest, and legs. Take a very deep breath into the pit of your stomach and let it back out just as quickly. Keep breathing this way for 30 cycles. If possible, breathe through the nose; if the nose feels obstructed, try pursed lips. Each breath should look like a wave, with the inhale inflating the stomach, then the chest. You should exhale all the air out in the same order.
          At the end of 30 breaths, exhale to the natural conclusion, leaving about a quarter of the air left in the lungs, then hold that breath for as long as possible. Once you’ve reached your breath-hold limit, take one huge inhale and hold it another 15 seconds. Very gently, move that fresh breath of air around the chest and to the shoulders, then exhale and start the heavy breathing again. Repeat the whole pattern three or four rounds and add in some cold exposure (cold shower or ice bath) a few times a week.”

This type of breathing is called “Tummo” and should never be practiced while driving, walking, or in “any other environment where; you might get hurt if you pass out.”

This has been claimed to have helped thousands with illnesses that other treatments had no success with.

If you would like to learn more about breathing correctly for all the benefits this can provide, then please read the book, it is an enjoyable read.


Check It Out!

 

Breath


Quick Tip

 

Asleep in 60 seconds: 4-7-8 breathing technique claims to help you nod off in just a minute
3:18


Bibliography:

Nestor, James. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. Riverhead Books, an Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2020.




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues Tagged with: , ,

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