“Get smart and give the earth the dignity that it deserves. This is just how it should be.” -Gigi Bissonnette
An upside down triangle with a horizontal line through it caught my eye when Gigi handed me her business card. When I inquired what it meant I was drawn into a trance listening to her passion for connecting a sincere care for the earth, or soil, to agriculture and viticulture (growing grapes). This symbol is from Ayurvedic medicine, Sanskrit for “life knowledge”. This practice uses plants for medicine and integrates a healthy lifestyle (including yoga) as illness prevention and treatment.
Gigi believes that fruits and vegetables should be planted using biodynamic agricultural practices. I’ve heard biodynamics described as organic planting on steroids. It goes beyond avoiding pesticides. Gigi described that biodynamic farming follows the cycles of nature, specifically working with the calendar. There are certain days to plant both fruits and vegetables depending on cycles of the moon. There is even a calendar that indicates which days wine should be tasted! Everything in planting and harvesting with this philosophy uses and respects all parts of nature. For example, when a cow dies, its horns are used to hold ground quartz and rainwater, and also cow manure – highly effective field preparations! Biodynamic agriculture encourages plants to follow its innate urges. This reminded me of what I learned during my yoga training at Shrimath Yoga – that humans should follow cycles of nature (waking up with the sunrise and sleeping when it’s dark as a simple example of following the flow of nature).
I found out that Gigi is a sommilier of wine at a wine bar called Philemon in Montreal. She connects growing grapes as a crucial step to care for the environment. I love seeing a variety of professions see the value in connecting to the earth. We are all connected and depend on it, so we should take care of it! Gigi’s passion to connect others to the earth in a responsible, healthy manner inspired me. Thank you Gigi.
Thank you to Bill Whiting, Banfi Director. He gave me more interesting information on biodynamics, which inspired me to learn more, and of course later blog what I learn!