This was the very Adelaide view that greeted us on our arrival for a communal compost making fest. Ngeringa winery is a small boutique Adelaide hills winery owned by Erinn and Janet Klein, both avid sustainability champions and community minded couple and is sited on the old Jurlique herb farm ( a biodynamic farm for 30 years owned by Erinns parents, the founders of Jurlique). Our quest for the afternoon was to get a good start on the new seasons biodynamic compost pile, one that would be shared between both the winery for their vines and the newly established Adelaide Hills Community Garden; a part of the Transition Towns initiative. The land you can see behind the cellar door is pegged for development, 30,000 new homes to be built on this prime Ag land. needless to say, Erinn and Janet are part of the Stop Urban Sprawl movement , trying to conslidate growth into infill in the well serviced city areas and not cover this prime farming land in concrete foundations and asphalt roads.
A key component of biodynamic farming are the manuring processes and above you can see the tank which is full of biodynamic cow shit and water which has been nicely fermenting and fresh from Paris Creek biodynamic dairy and on the tray of the ute is a box full of BD cow pats from the dairy as well.
First task for us all was to mark the area with a layer of hay that Erinn and Janet grow for the purpose which had been sitting and drying a while. The area marked was 20m x 2m. Very thin layers are then built up to make a biodynamic compost pile. old hat, cow pat slurry (which we mixed like bakers in the box), newly cut hay from the big wheel above in the pic, a spray of slurry from the tank, a layer of old compost and then start all over gian. it took 8 adults five solid hours to get the pile just one meter high. The cows in the background are grown for meat, horns and their poo and are Scottish Higlanders, the most gorgeous cows I've ever seen!
Old compost being dumped from last years pile to be incorporated into the new.
Erinn sprays the cow shit slurry from the tank over the very small pile.
Spreading the old compost over the growing pile.
You can see why biodynamic farming produces such awesome results with such intense nutrition being nurtured in the soil stock and why biodynamic produce costs more!
All five kids had an absolutely grand day. Our little bloke didn't skip a beat despite missing his normal two hour midday sleep, declaring upon leaving in a blurry, somewhat battered state at 10pm that 'Jasper had a great day Mumma'
I haven't earnt a meal like that in ages. The wood oven pizzas were fantastic, especially as I wasn't in charge of this one!, isn't it a beauty? and the wine, well , it was quite mindblowing, the voigner/chardonnay blend, well, Im in! And the view on sunset was quite spectacular. It was great to be a part of such a community minded afternoon and evening with new friends, a hard days work behind us and feeling like we are moving toward creating a healthier future and consolidated community.
Pics taken on my phone- so 'scuse the quality!