As we move into Summer, the cover crops that have been so lush throughout the cold months are coming to the end of their cycle. We are busy either mowing or rolling them flat to make a rich mulch in the vineyards, and in their dying these plants go on to make their contribution to the ecosystem. Just as the cover crops protect the soil from erosion during the rainy season, so their mulch will now protect the soil from excess evaporation in the dry months. As a rich organic layer, the mulch also provides an ideal climate, a home and food for the micro-life in the soil. The feeding micro-life build natural humus in the soil. This is the healthy, balanced alternative to the scorched earth tactics of conventional farming where chemical additives such as herbicides kill off the micro-life and burn up the humus in the soil.