Saturday, December 15, 2018

"Resilience is Fertile" - EcoFarm Conference Set for January 23-26

More than 70 workshops are scheduled for the annual EcoFarm conference for current and aspiring organic farmers, which includes viticulture and soil topics.  Sessions that include speakers from the wine industry or related fields include:

• Innovations in Biological Control 

Pam Marrone at Organic Grower Summit  
Biopesticide entrepreneur Pam Marrone of Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Michael Gilbert from Semios will provide an overview of emerging solutions in biopesticide and biostimulant inputs. Marrone famously introduced Regalia, a widely used biofungicide used against powdery mildew.  

• Cover Cropping for Beneficial Insects    

Houston Wilson  
U.C. postdoc researcher Houston Wilson worked on the groundbreaking project to improve biological control of the Virginia Creeper leafhopper, which affected organic vineyards in the North Coast. (Mendocino and Lake County's U.C. Farm Advisor Glenn McGourty was also a leader in this project.)  Wilson and Jessa Kay Cruz will be speaking about cover crops and beneficials.  

• Grazing Sheep in Perennial Crop Systems (including vineyards)   

Kelly Mullville of Paicines Ranch and Nathan Stuart of Tablas Creek Vineyards in Paso Robles will be will be featured in this session on how to succeed in integrating sheep year-round on winery properties.  

• Wise Words from Well-Seasoned Farmers    

Lou Preston
Winery owner Lou Preston of Preston Farm & Winery in Healdsburg (Sonoma County) will lead a session with Mimi Luebbermann, sheep farmer. Preston has an integrated and biodiverse farm and winery, growing wine grapes (and making wine), sheep, pigs, chickens, and more than 200 crops.  

See the full schedule here.

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