Our dear friend, Sherman Smoot, took Phillip up in the air a couple of weeks ago for a joyride. In the picture above, you see 2 of the 4 vineyards on AmByth Estate: Mark’s Vineyard (on the right) and StoneCross (on the left, separated by a row of olive trees). If you look closely at StoneCross (don’t forget, you can click on the picture to enlarge it), you can actually see the rows of olive trees separating mostly the white rhone varietals we have planted. You can also see the 2 valleys of oak trees, our steers are living in the north valley.

The picture below shows AmByth from the distance, look right of the wing of the plane for the road going up the spine of the hill. This is a great photo to show the hills we live in, our highest elevation sits at 1,450 feet.

We are slowly pruning all the vines, only on Fruit and Flower days according to the biodynamic calendar, and mostly when the moon is in its descending cycle. Fruit days are optimal days, as these are the days you work with fruiting and flowering plants (vines flower). Why/What is the descending moon? The moon has a path around the zodiac where it travels higher in the heavens at certain periods, and lower at certain periods. The sun travels the same path, but in 1 year (creating the seasons), whereas the moon travels this path every 27 1/2 days (every month!). The descending/ascending moon is NOT related to the waning/waxing moon. When the moon is ascending (shining from the highest parts of the sky), plant sap is rising more strongly, filling the upper part of the plant with sap. This is a good time for HARVESTING, as the fruit is full of goodness, but not for pruning, as we do not need this sap weeping from the cut canes. The descending moon is when the sap is moving slower and more pressure is being put onto the plant, and this is the ideal time to prune, (as well as felling timber, transplanting, applying compost etc.)
We also planted nearly 30 fruit and nut trees this month (13th), on a fruit day, during descending moon.
Bees and their hive have been ordered! We expect the arrival of the bees in April, just in time for spring flowers. It is said the bees are ready when the dandelions bloom.