Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thank the Microbes, This Is a Good Malbec - Allison Eck

Microbes, Terroir and Vineyards

Wines are said to get some of their flavor from terroir, or the peculiarities of the region in which its grapes are grown.

What do wine, coffee, and chocolate have in common?

Besides delectability, their flavors are derived in part from terroir, a loanword from French which roughly means “a sense of place.” From a scientific standpoint, terroir refers to the combined effects of geography, soil, local climate, and plant genetics on certain agricultural products. French winemakers put great stock in terroir, though not all of their American peers have been sold on the idea. There’s little data to define what terroir is. Testing the concept is incredibly difficult—there are almost too many potential variables.

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Here's the scoop on chemical and organic fertilizers


Spring is the time for thinking about fertilizers. Organic options are a great way to go.Organic fertilizers such as manures, compost or bone meal are derived directly from plant or animal sources, according to Ross Penhallegon, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. Inorganic fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate or ammonium phosphate are often called commercial or synthetic fertilizers because they go through a manufacturing process, although many of them come from naturally occurring mineral deposits.

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Lab Results

Third-party lab tests on the Be-1 pellets.

Below is a series of three tests that were performed to illustrate the importance of using compost and teas that are pure and untreated.  In the testing procedure, Be-1 pellets are activated with water, then after a 4-day growing period, samples are taken.  Under a microscope, microbes are counted and diversity identified. 

Read more: Lab Results