Winter at the farm is a time of rejuvenation and preparing for the spring bloom. While above the ground the vineyard may be bare, below the earth surface the soil is teaming with life, all working to prepare for the burst of life in spring.
The Juice Beauty Farm has been farmed following USDA Organic guidelines for over two years and we look forward to an upcoming certification process with #CCOF (California Certified Organic Farming). Fortunately, when Juice Beauty Founder Karen Behnke and her husband purchased the farm, the land had already been certified at the highest level by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, and that made it easier to take the land to a higher level for organic certification.
Yes, it takes a lot more work to farm organically as there are over 10,000 vines and 300 olive trees on the property and each vine is touched up to 8+ times annually with our organic farming techniques… and that doesn’t stop even during the winter!
Why are we so committed to Organic Farming?
To keep it simple:
1) Organically farmed ingredients produce higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally farmed ingredients (goodbye wrinkles!)
2) Eliminating the use of toxic pesticides is better for humans, animals and the earth. It’s a win-win!
What’s Happening at the Juice Beauty Farm this Winter
1) Preparing the Soil
Following strict USDA organic regulations, we nurture the soil by using clover cover crops that both inhibit weed growth and rejuvenate the soil with nitrogen. With this manner of inhibiting weed growth, it allows us to avoid the use of harmful chemicals such as glyphosate. In the cold winter months plant growth tends to flourish below the soil, making it an especially important time to care for soil quality. Right now, the clover is growing a beautiful green between the vine rows and soon red, white and blue clover buds will form.
2) Pruning and Caning of Vines & Fruit Trees
Viniculture is a tradition and an artform! During the winter, we trim the vineyard and fruit trees, helping the plants to focus their energy on below the earth’s surface, so when spring arrives the vines will burst with new and vigorous life!
First, we prune (cut back) the vines to allow for fresh growth and the next step is to cane (pick the best-looking fruit and prune back the weaker looking growth).
3) Chip instead of Burn:
Founder Karen’s husband, Howard, is pushing a movement in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley to get farmers to chip their vines instead of burning them. Chipping allows for ground cover during the muddy wet months, and most importantly avoids burning in an area that is prone to wildfires while keeping the air free from pollution.
4) Inspiration: Juice Beauty’s Farm serves as inspiration for our team members, scientists, and chemists, allowing us to be more closely connected with our antioxidant-rich ingredients as well as providing inspiration for future innovation. We are also excited that we produced our first crop of antioxidant rich grapes that will be used in Juice Beauty products soon! Stay tuned for more on this exciting subject!!