A plant's resistance to infection and insects, is affected by the different phases of the moon. In the 48 hours leading up to a full moon, there is a noticeable increase in the moisture content of the earth, and the growth forces of plants are enhanced. The influence of the full moon provides favourable conditions (associated with increased humidity) for the growth of fungus on all plants. There is also an increase in insect activity.
Biodynamic farming is about anticipating the impact of these and other changes, and applying natural remedies to prevent harmful effects.
Organic farming (en bio), is the removal of synthetic chemicals from the vineyards, although it often goes hand in hand with the application of one or more of the principles of biodynamic farming.
The use of synthetic chemicals reduces production costs and enhances the profits of the winemaker. It requires less time in the vineyard and fewer employees. However this all comes at a price – not to the winemaker, at least not in the short term, but the ecosystem, the long term sustainability of the land, and the quality of the end product. The vines become dependent on the chemicals, lose their natural resistance to harmful influences, produce grapes and wine which lack life and vitality, and bear no relation to the unique ‘terroir’ in which the vines are planted.