Phillip, Gustavo and our friend, Robert Derryberry, applied an egg shell tea this afternoon to the soil. If you look inside an empty egg shell, you will see a thin white coating–this is silica. (Look below for the what’s and why’s of silica.) We’ve been collecting our empty shells over the past couple of months (shells from organically fed chickens–of course!) This morning Phillip ground up a touch more than 20 ounces of shells in my KitchenAide (they were ground up in small flakes, not a powder), put them in a pot with a small amount of water, brought the tea to a boil and simmered it for 30 minutes. We then mixed the tea with about 70 gallons of water and stirred it for 20 minutes in our copper stirring machine to aerate it. The tea was applied to all the vineyards (about 3.5 gallons/acre) and the woods in large droplets in the afternoon, after the earth’s exhalation period from noon to two. Phillip says it was a very interesting spray, as we’ve had strong winds this afternoon. He was actually able to use the wind to take the drops further, as he sprayed them up in an ‘arc’ motion.

Why and What is Silica? Oxygen (O2) and Silicon (Si) make up almost 3/4 of the outer earth’s crust. Silica (SiO2) is found all over the world in every type of soil, in plants, animals and humans. At this time, we apply silica to act as a catalyst to attract the sun’s power in the soil, to stimulate root growth over the winter. We will again use silica as a major force over the entire property in the Spring, as new growth emerges. It will then be in the form of horn silica, BD prep #501.

On a completely different note, not as romantic (or complex) as the above topic, but extremely practical: our winery building! Whew! Before 9 o’clock this morning they had the beams in place! Bede had his thrills, seeing the crane pick-up and place each beam, as they were swaying in the winds. I’m hesitant about the building, as with anything, I am accustomed to it NOT being there and it seems loomingly large at the moment. But it will be nice to have to have it completed. And with time, and some big trees, it will feel like it has always belonged to AmBythEstate.