THE PROPER USE OF SCIENCE IS NOT TO CONQUER NATURE, BUT TO LIVE IN IT.
—Barry Commoner, renowned environmentalist
“Sustainability” is often poorly defined, but it’s more than just a buzzword to us. We see it as a philosophy that guides everything we do.
From the methods we use to build up and maintain soil health to our business practices and the ways we compensate our employees, we believe that every decision should be made to sustain the longevity and health of our business, our people and our land.
For us at Grapery®, sustainability means being a good steward of ... well ... everything.
Sustainable growth from the ground up
Our philosophy of sustainability starts with the soil itself. We apply prodigious amounts of compost under the vines every year. After several years, a thick mulch full of fine feeder roots builds up.
We sustain the health of the vines by spoon feeding fertilizers mixed with humic and amino acids. Grapery applies lime, gypsum and dolomite within the water to build healthy calcium levels. We drip irrigate and use both electronic soil moisture probes and NDVI images taken by drones to fine tune our irrigations.
Our team uses seaweed in our sprays and in the soil along with other foliar nutrients that enhance vine nutrition. We carefully manage our canopy to increase air movement and position our branches to reduce fungal diseases.
All of these efforts strengthen the immune system of the vines and help them to ward off disease and pests. Plus these efforts improve the flavor of the fruit substantially!
Protecting crops protects employees and consumers
Unfortunately, sometimes even these strengthening efforts aren’t enough. When this happens we judiciously use plant protectants at low rates using electrostatic sprayers to both minimize doses and to prevent drift. The materials chosen are the lowest toxicity to mammals and break down rapidly to ensure there is as little negative impact as possible.
We evaluate each pesticide, organic or conventional, for consumer safety and for minimum impact on our workers and the environment. Our team also tests our grapes to ensure there are no detectable residues on the fruit, which helps us ensure there’s no ‘drift’ from neighboring farms.
At Grapery®, we aren’t certified organic. All organic food grown commercially uses organic pesticides. We use as little pesticide as possible and choose organic materials when they meet our sustainability criteria in order to keep our plants healthy and the fruit safe to eat. Sustaining our crops using the safest, most appropriate methods available is important to all of us.
We believe that by using “medicine” appropriately when necessary to protect the crop, Grapery® protects the livelihood of our farmworkers and the local economy. When a crop is wiped out by disease or pests, workers don’t work and communities suffer. That too is a critical part of our philosophy of sustainability.
We are dedicated to growing our exceptional grapes by sustainable means and through safe and fair labor practices. Together, this creates and supports a vibrant local and regional economy for many years to come.
Sustainability is the foundation upon which we've grown and maintain our Grapery® business.