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 drought has major effects on faming on all fronts and Avondale is no exception to this.
However through foresight and respect for our natural resources we are currently having minimal detrimental consequences.
With our commitment to organic and Biodynamic farming, and to preserve our healthy vineyard ecosystem, we’ve turned to biological controls in order to avoid fungicides. Nature provides alternatives in the form of various strains of beneficial bacteria, such as Bacillus amyloliquifaciens and Bacillus subtilis, which are highly effective at preventing common, threatening fungal infections.read more
When it comes to the energies and rhythms of the moon, 2018 is certainly going to be an exceptional year. Many of you would have been aware that January 2018 was a rare Blue Moon month, with two Full Super Moons – and the last on the 31st of January pulling out all stops as a Super Blue Blood Moon!read more
In this third article in our series about using beneficials to solve challenges naturally and avoid harmful chemicals in the farm environment, we look at solutions for a common problem – bollworms. A bollworm is not a worm, but the larvae (caterpillars) of a number of different moth species. Voracious eaters, they do give farmers a real hard time.read more
We started this series of articles on the role of ‘beneficials’ in natural farming with an overview that highlighted how everything from bats to bacteria can help you to maintain a healthy farm ecosystem. Beneficials play a vital role in helping you to avoid the use...read more
One of the most effective, responsible and long-lasting ways to reduce damage from pests is to introduce or deliberately boost natural populations of ‘beneficials’ – be they helpful predators, parasites or pathogens. Providing habitat and food sources for a range of organisms within the farm ecosystem is an important way of working with Nature to manage pests and avoid the use of pesticides and fungicides that poison the environment.read more
As Avondale’s vines and fruit trees fall into dormancy at the end of Autumn, we turn our attention to another Biodynamic practice which has multiple benefits. Tree paste, which is also used on vines and bushes is not one of the original practices offered by Rudolph Steiner. Rather it has been developed and used by later, influential proponents such as Maria Thun and is today, incorporated in the farming of many Biodynamic practitioners around the world.read more