Regenerative Farming

December 20th, 2019

What regenerative farming means to Pridham Viticulture and our people

We have discussed this extensively amongst ourselves and with our clients and continue to evolve our thoughts collectively. It means different things to different people but most of us agree we can’t keep farming the way we do as it degrades the very landscape we live from and in.

There are many existing technologies and methods that can be used in different ways and with better timing as well as new techniques to regenerate our soils.

What it means to our global community

McLaren vale is part of a global farming community network. Many of us have travelled and conversed with farmers in many other countries. We have the WEB to remain in contact and further evolve our relationships globally. Good ecological ideas can spread fast if we want them to.

We are in the age of sharing ideas, knowledge and experience which has been for so long locked up in organisations at a considerable cost. We now have the ability to mobilise change at a far greater pace than ever before, so let’s use it to repair and regenerate our soils for a resilient future.

Our first step -understanding what affect our farming activities have on the ecology of the soil.

The difference ground cover makes

Don’t be fooled, bare soil is not good for the water cycle in our farming systems. We talk about soil water retention, but it cannot be done without healthy plant growth. Plants create a carbon/humu

s sponge that is the most superior method at retaining water thus fuelling soil biology and nutrient recycling, plant growth and vine health.

The photos below show how well ground cover works after rain.

This photo shows a section of soil with no cover.
This photo shows a section of soil with no cover. 5 hours after a rain  period the soil surface was dry. Beneath the surface the soil was almost completely dry. Most of the moisture simply evaporated before it could penetrate the surface. No plant matter on or in the soil creates compacted soils.
Soil under vine with remanent plant & root residues protecting the surface.
Soil under vine with remanent plant & root residues protecting the surface. This photo is taken between drippers 5 hours after rain. Notice the colour difference that moisture makes.
Same as above but under vine at dripper outlet.
Same as above but under vine at dripper outlet. Notice the moisture holding just below surface.  The plant residues are creating the sponge affect so water hangs around for longer with less evaporation to atmosphere.
Vineyard mid row bare surface section.
Vineyard mid row bare surface section. This is 5 hours after rain. Notice how dry the surface is. Most of the rain has evaporated before being able to infiltrate.
Vineyard mid row, next to bare surface area that has surface plant residue pulled back to expose moist soil surface, 5 hours after rain.
Vineyard mid row, next to bare surface area that has surface plant residue pulled back to expose moist soil surface, 5 hours after rain.  Notice the colour difference to photo above.

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