Wednesday morning a group of the winemaking team (along with our two new harvest interns) met with Rudy to work on Prep 500. Known as cow horn manure, preparation 500 is basically fermented cow dung. It is the basis for soil fertility, and the renewal of degraded soils. It is usually the first preparation used during the change over to the organic/biodynamic system. Preparation 500 is made by filling a cow's horn with cow dung, and burying it in the soil.
This will be dug up next spring and will be used for the 2015 vintage. The preparation when ready after 6 months should have turned into dark humus and should be sweet smelling. It should be stored in a cool place and in glazed pots or in glass jars with insulation. It is sprayed up to four times a year and used in small quantities being dilluted heavily by water.
This is one of our principle preps that we use every year and it increases in all soil bacteria and earthworm activity. Absorption and retention of water is greater. International research has found that BD soils require 25% to 50% less irrigation than conventional soils and it helps to develop a deep rooting system.
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