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TO MY FARMING BROTHERS & SISTERS: Purpose of this post is to propose a 5 year goal to make The Sonoma and Napa Valley wine regions the worlds first round-up (glyphosate) & herbicide free wine growing regions. Why should we wait for our friends in France or Italy to show us how to farm when we know damn well the right way? If our friends beat us then well done (Challenge France?). This is a call to education and action to do what is right for the environment and our health. Join the #TheMonarchChallenge to make this happen. Named the Monarch Challenge because round-up was introduced by Monsanto in 1974 and since its mass use in corn, soy and many mono-crops globally the Monarch Butterfly population has declined by over 90% (not to mention the Colony Collapse Disorder of the bees and amphibians that have gone extinct due to these herbicides and other Monsanto products like Neonicatanoids). We are far better than this in wine.
A few reasons why we should go Herbicide Free. * To protect our environment. (the soils, water ways, air and all the life that lives in these envionrments) * To protect ourselves. (glyphosate has now been proven to cause cancer) * To produce world class wine. Much better quality wines are made this way. My family has been farming and continue to farm herbicide free for 4 generations. * The Economics. Right now it is only roughly .16 cents per bottle to farm the right way (on the high). The only value I can put on this is life. The cost of gambling with cancer or the extinction of our pollinators are both tied directly to life and what is that worth?
From a collector stand point if you see a brown strip of dirt under a row of vines ask about it. Most likely it is Round-Up (glyphosate). If you see dirt that has been disturbed or broken by a tractor that is the right way. If you see a vineyard with plants and weeds and flowers under the vines that is good and acceptable and should not be considered messy.
Year 1 (Spring 2017) is about education. Educate yourself as a farmer. Year 2 (Spring 2018) is about the race to clean up (learn about cover crops & cultivating). Year 3 roundup free. #TheMonarch