Compost and Drought

Compost and Drought This last week our compost arrived: all 60 tons of it for our 6 1/2 acres of grapes. We had it dumped at the end of the grape rows, and then tucked four sets of compost preps into it to help the soil integrate its forces. The compost itself smells a little… Read more »

Fire and Farming

Fire and Farming This morning it is evident that the fire in the eastern most part of Napa County is less contained that it was yesterday morning this time. A large plume of smoke spreads across the sky at first light. The orangish light is alarming and reminds us to think about animals and evacuation… Read more »

Barrel Compost and Drought

This summer of the fourth year of drought, we are liberally using the Barrel Compost we made on site in December (see post, Making Barrel Compost). Each fruit day (moon in fire signs) we spray the ground under the grapevines and orchard,  and each flower day, moon in air signs) we spray the aromatics. The vines looked… Read more »

Respect of Water as a Living Entity

Visiting friends in Guanajuato, I experience what a different relationship these people have with water, at least from us in California— and United States, for that matter. Respecting water is so much more immediate and personal. If water is short, it is turned off by the city. You are left with what is in your tinaco, or roof… Read more »

March 22: World Water Day: California’s Crisis

Today, March 22, 2015, is World Water Day, a day designated by the United Nations in 1993 to celebrate Water. Being in our fourth year of drought, there never has been a time that Californians are more aware of water. Many of us may be joining the 780 million people of the world who do not have access… Read more »

Spring and Drought

Spring and Drought The days are stunningly beautiful, and the meadow and forest verdant green, even in this fourth year of severe drought. The news is hard: California has a year of water storage left. What then? The drought is like a zen teacher, whacking us into consciousness: water is precious. Do not waste it… Read more »

Climate Change and Protecting Valley Oaks

Climate Change and Protecting Valley Oaks We mark the seasonal data in a small notebook that I keep on an altar table in our home: first milkmaid of the year, first Valley oak leaves, the day the upper pond fills, first shooting star wildflower, first blue-eyed grass—and so on. First milkmaid: January 5, 2005; January… Read more »

Drought is a Zen Teacher: Rain and Climate

Drought is a Zen Teacher: Rain and Climate Sometimes when it starts raining, it just keeps going. So it seems now! In the last week and a half, we have had over eight inches of rain. Now the projection is a another six to eight inches by the end of this week. A growing cloud… Read more »

Charlie Toledo: The Earth is Alive!

This week I had the good fortune to interview water activist Charlie Toledo about the upcoming election ballot measure Proposition One that provides funds for alleviating some of the water problems in California. We are in our third year of drought. Suddenly the general population is acutely aware of the implications!  There are some big… Read more »

Interview: Charlie Toledo on California Water Legislation

              Interview: Charlie Toledo on California Water Legislation Charlie Toledo, Executive Director of the Suscol Intertribal Council in Napa, CA, spoke with me this week about the upcoming election’s Proposition One, on Water. Charlie helped author the Watershed Development plan for Napa County in its seminal years, 1992-1995, and… Read more »