Certificate In Applied Organics and Biodynamics in Marlborough
Taruna’s Applied Organics and Biodynamics course has just completed seminar three at our host venue, Lusatori Olive Grove. Taruna has been running courses in Organics and Biodynamics for 21 years in the Hawkes Bay and in its current format for seven years. The course, in Marlborough is the first time Taruna has ventured outside of the Hawkes Bay, and it came about through a request from Viticulturists in Marlborough to have a greater understanding of the principles behind Organic and Biodynamic Farming.
The course was attended by a range of Viticulturists, some with extensive organic experience already, others coming to learn about these principles for the first time but all of them motivated to develop a better understanding of how to enhance the environment to develop the terroir of the grape and ultimately of the wine.
Although hosted in a vineyard prominent region, there was a motivation to broaden the focus away from a traditionally monoculture perspective of wine growing in Marlborough and take a look at the eco-system as a whole and how it might be enhanced. There was good input about trees, and a variety of field visits including bee-keepers and a visit to Canterbury to look at a mixed pastoral farm.
One of the students, Logie Mackenzie gave me his perspective on the course. Here is what he took away:
“Looking at soil biology and how it fits into a biological farming environment was a key element to my learning. I also enjoyed a better understanding of the biodynamic calendar and looking at the influences of the sun, moon and other planets on plant growth, structural integrity and of particular use was a greater understanding of disease pressures during the moon phases. I gained a lot from looking at the biodynamic preparations and the theory behind these as well as the practical methods and reasons for making and applying them.
The Organic and Biodynamic course was a great personal journey for me, I was already a convert to the organic way of growing but this course opened my eyes and mind to new ideas and possibilities. Of special interest was the importance of developing diversity within the vineyard and looking at the vineyard as a whole living organism. I enjoyed being part of a group of like-minded people in a supportive and mentally stimulating environment.”
“ Taruna, brings structure, knowledge, energy, order and enrichment to its students the same as the preparations do for the compost pit. “