Burn Day

February 21, 2012




The property here at Amapola Creek is pretty large, just around 100 acres. Over the course of a year we collect a surprising amount of organic debris, some from the vineyards in the form of prunings, and some from trees that have died in the bay and oak forests that cover the remainder of the grounds. The volume of material we collect is large enough that it is impractical to haul it away, so instead we burn it.

The idea when burning plant waste like this is to start a fairly small fire and then feed more material into it as it burns down, preventing it from getting out of control. This was a really massive pile of oak branches before, but as you can see it is quickly becoming a thin layer of ashes.

Right now is a good time to burn, because the ground and surrounding forest are still relatively damp from the recent rain. Some components of the burn pile itself have been sitting around for several months, so it was dried out enough that it caught fire easily with just a few matches.

An advantage of burning our plant waste is that we can use the ash as fertilizer in our vegetable garden.

Once the fire has finished burning down we will gather up the ashes and till them into the garden soil. Wood ash is a good source of many soil nutrients, like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

This is what we like to think of as a form of land management. We would prefer not to see wildfires on the grounds, so we take care of removing and burning much of the dead vegetative matter ourselves. This kind of stewardship is exemplary of the kind of care we like to take with our vineyards and the surrounding environment.

To visit the Amapola Creek Winery main site, please click here.


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