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Published April 07, 2010, 08:05 AM

Biodynamic farmers connect to earth’s rhythms

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. — When vintner Randall Grahm chose the time and place to plant his new pinot noir vines, he weighed all the things farmers usually consider: drainage, soil quality and weather.

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. — When vintner Randall Grahm chose the time and place to plant his new pinot noir vines, he weighed all the things farmers usually consider: drainage, soil quality and weather.

Then he considered less orthodox factors, such as how cosmic and seasonal rhythms at play might help the clippings take root.

The owner of Bonny Doon winery, Grahm is one of a growing number of biodynamic farm-ers in the United States.

Sometimes called “organic-plus,” biodynamics encourages respect for the soil’s integrity.

It also includes elements that might make a few eyes roll — such as soil preparations made with manure that’s been stored in cow horns and buried for a season.

Grahm and others insist it produces better-tasting food without harming the land.

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