It’s only in recent history that certain ‘intelligent’ animals—apes, dolphins, octopuses, and many others—have been scientifically acknowledged as having qualities that were once thought to be unique to humans. But do they have a ‘spirit?’ Many animal-lovers would answer yes, without hesitation. Try asking the same question about plants or soil; the general response won’t be nearly as confident. It’s a challenging idea, but for a growing number of biodynamic farmers, a necessary one to explore.
Robert Eden is the co-owner of Chateau Maris, a French vineyard dedicated to biodynamic farming and winemaking. After 17 years in the conventional wine industry, Robert bought Chateau Maris and started conducting experiments, starting with soil cultivation and culminating in the construction of a unique wine cellar. The surprising results of these ongoing experiments, in Robert’s words, “Woke us up to the spirituality of the plant.” The wine is pretty good, too.
In this episode:
+ The story behind Chateau Maris, and how what initially seemed like a bad purchase proved it’s value by pushing Robert to learn and innovate
+ Proof of concept: How a simple experiment growing carrots demonstrated the impact of lunar and planetary cycles on farming
+ Seize the day: Robert’s thoughts on why it’s important to live in the now and experience the workings of nature in real-time
+ Why biodynamic farming is not the easier route, but the more worthwhile one
+ How Chateau Maris’ hemp brick cellar passively regulates temperature and absorbs CO2, all while remaining fully biodegradable
+ How coming to recognize the spirit and soul of plants was a pivotal moment in Robert’s personal and professional life
+ Robert talks about his hero, Jane Goodall, and how her work with chimps caused a paradigm shift in the way we relate to nature
+ Why respect for environment and respect for human community are two sides of the same coin
“The plant is a living being with a soul, spirit equal to our own. All of sudden we weren’t looking at the plant from the position of the dominant species. We were looking at the plant as equal to us. We were looking at the plant and understanding its sensitivity.”Robert Eden