Cameron Presents: the birds and the bees

From John, March 25th, 2013
Fois & Gras enjoy a spring walk in the Clos Electrique

Fois & Gras enjoy a spring walk in the Clos Electrique

It is said that healthy farms maintain a balance between plants and animals.  Plants obviously provide a direct nutritional source for herbivorous animals and insects.  But animals also provide crucial input into the plant biosphere as well.

Here at Cameron Winery, chicken tractors chug up and down the vineyard rows providing potent nourishment to the vines.  The fowl scratch up the soil and defecate their offerings in a ritual which requires moving the tractors once a day.  Goats mow down competing blackberries and the barn in which they reside is cleaned out every two weeks and the enriched straw added to the compost pile.

Our hives of honey bees pollinate the array of nutrimental plants in the vineyard, allowing them to efficiently reseed themselves. The geese…well let’s be honest here…don’t do anything but they do provide comic relief which is a form of health in its own right!

Our compost piles which are constructed from wine pressings, chipped up vineyard prunings and animal waste (mentioned above) provide not only potent nutrition to the vineyard but a viable colony of earth worms as well.

In the end we provide a largely “closed system” which requires minimal input of nutrition from outside the system.  This is in essence the definition of “sustainable.”

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