Andrea Granahan, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The California State Grange Master, Bob McFarland, is in Sebastopol this week for the annual State Grange Convention. He was willing to discuss what is happening on the national level with the venerable agricultural organization.
Is the National Grange suing the California Grange?
Yes. The National Grange Master Ed Lutrell tried to kick me out, but the California Grange membership that had elected me refused to do so. Then Lutrell revoked California’s 143-year-old charter and tried to seize the bank accounts, offices and other assets, but a court injunction stopped him. So he is suing us, and the trial will come up in late spring I think.
Why would Lutrell do that?
He supports industrial agribusiness, while in California we support family sustainable farming. We took a stand against GMOs and he favors it, saying there is no difference. He has done the same thing to the Wyoming State Grange, revoked their charter and tried to seize their assets.
via 5 Questions for Bob McFarland, California's grange master.
The new Permaculture Skills Center is a 5 acre site near Sebastopol that will teach the skills needed to create and maintain permaculture gardens, which are based on principles of systems ecology and sustainable land use.
A launch party will be held June 15 from 12:00-5:00pm.
2185 Hwy 116 South, Sebastopol
For more information, see the Center’s website at http://permacultureskillscenter.org/
Felicity Barringer, THE NEW YORK TIMES
For more than a decade, wine experts have discussed the impact of climate change on wine grapes, agriculture’s diva, a marquee crop nurtured and pampered around the world.
Now scientists are raising a new question: when grapes are transported to new areas, assuming warming weather and flagging rain make current regions unsuited to such harvests, what will the crop’s arrival do to the animals and plants already in residence?
via Scientists Question Impact as Vineyards Turn Up in New Places – NYTimes.com.
Phil Coturri, NAPA VALLEY REGISTER.COM
The days are becoming shorter and cooler, harvest is drawing to a close, and grapevines are shutting down for a long winter’s nap: Autumn is officially upon us. While the next four to five months are not normally considered the growing season in the vineyards, at the certified organic Oakville Ranch Vineyards, this is the time of year that we are just starting growing our cover crops, soils, biodiversity and ecological balance, elements of healthy vineyards.
As the founder of Enterprise Vineyards, for the past 35 years I have farmed exclusively organic vineyards throughout Napa and Sonoma County. I have always focused my goals beyond organic farming for its environmental benefits. For more than three decades I have worked to prove that organically grown grapes offer winemakers the most balanced fruit and allow most accessible path a vineyard’s terroir, a wine’s expression of place. This can only happen when the vines and the land are in balance.
via Grapegrower report: Organic practices make the difference.