Welcome to the blog of Johnathan Grieve.
I am the proprietor of Avondale wine estate, and pioneer of the BioLOGIC® approach to sustainable viticulture. The transformation of Avondale from over-used and abused land into a thriving, robust vineyard ecosystem has been a personal learning journey of more than a decade long. This blog is where I share some of what I have learnt about promoting life on our farm and the wonderful impact this has had on our handcrafted premium quality wines.
The making of liquid homeopathic remedies is essentially to transform a raw material, such as the pepper, into a remedy through a process of dilution and succussion. Succussion is defined as a method to potentise the liquid preparation by shaking it using a specific method.read more
Avondale recently hosted a first for South Africa – a Quantum Agriculture Workshop by Hugh Lovel, the internationally acclaimed Biodynamic practitioner and educator, and author of the ground-breaking book, Quantum Agriculture: Biodynamics and Beyond.read more
Weeds tell us stories about what’s happening in the plant community on the farm, and they highlight deficiencies and conditions we might want to solve. You have to consider that if you get rid of a particular storyteller, you might miss out on messages you need to read. You also have to think about the role the weed plays in the plant community, and what might rise up to fill the gap.read more
Ferments and peppering are biodynamic techniques that are used to find solutions to issues that invariably arise in the farm environment. We have already taken a look at how ferment can help to solve the case of a problem weed. However, there are also times when we need to have a nature-friendly way of dealing with a ‘problem animal’, and this is where peppering comes into the picture.read more
Weeds are naturally full of nutrients, and when they decompose through fermentation or composting those nutrients become available. Using the problem weed ferment methodology, you can use the following weeds to make specific mineral-enriched teas.read more
Over the past months, I have been writing about some of the different plant-based ferments and peppering used in Biodynamic farming. Cow Pat Pit, known as CPP, is also a ferment. It is not one of Steiner’s Biodynamic Preparations, but was developed by leading Biodynamic proponent, Maria Thun who conducted extensive research into its benefits.read more
One of the year’s highlights has been to bring chickens into Avondale’s Circle of Life and see them thrive. Housed in a converted 1952 Dodge truck, our brood of Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns, Koekoeks and Buff Orpingtons spend their days free ranging and foraging in the vineyards. They’re great at spreading and breaking down the cow manure as they scratch, and at controlling flies by foraging for their larvae. They’re also providing us and FABER Restaurant with fresh pasture-reared eggs.read more