and our (Watertrough Children's Alliance) response since there has been none from THUSD
Q: Who owns the apple orchard located at 622 Watertrough Road?
A: Paul Hobbs Winery purchased the ailing apple orchard at 622 Watertrough Road in the winter of 2012/2013. Paul Hobbs Winery is a small, family owned winery based in Sebastopol.
Paul Hobbs winery is a multi-national alcohol company, working as a consultant on 30-35 other wines at a given time, in as many as six countries spanning three continents. Here is an article about his projects impacts on our land http://theava.com/archives/11113
Supervisor Efren Carrillo came out against Hobbs in the Sonoma County Gazette, (http://www.watchsonomacounty.com/2011/10/county/tree-clear-cut-sparks-vineyard-conversion-furor/ )saying: Paul Hobbs has shown a blatant disregard for Sonoma County, its resources, his fellow vintners and community...
Q: What are the plans for the property?
A: The property will be planted to vineyard. In the spring and summer of 2013, the apple trees will be removed, and roots will be excavated manually. Soils will be amended with compost and green manure and cover crops, including fava beans, sweet peas and mustard, will be planted. In the spring of 2014 vines will be planted on approximately 30 acres. A row of organically farmed apple trees will be planted between Apple Blossom and Orchard View Schools and the vineyard.
We have learned from the Agricultural Commissioner that Paul Hobbs has no intentions of being having an Organic Vineyard in any form. His conversion process has been mapped out to the officials as being the same burn, churn and kill the soil process that is generally used in conventional farming practices these days.(Not a direct quote of course form the Ag Commissioner). If he IS planning on amending the soil here, this will be the first time he has used these practices and cover crops as this does not exist in his many other vineyards.
Q: What are your farming practices?
A: We farm our vineyards sustainably. Our sustainable farming practices include:
Permanent cover crops include sweet peas, fava beans, mustard and clover
Amending soil with compost and green manure
Spray wet sulpher â€" to minimize frequency of spraying (organic material)
Water conservation plans
Energy efficiency practices
To learn more about sustainable vineyard management practices, visit:
Paul Hobs Winery is NOT a certified california sustainable wine grower. Nor does he practice sustainable farming at his current locations.
Q: Will you be spraying during school hours?
A: The vineyard will be sprayed much less often and with much more earth friendly materials as compared to the existing apple orchard. The winery will coordinate with neighboring schools to spray during non-school hours.
Hobbs Winery current practices are in no way aligned with any sustainable farming practices per pesticide use reports from the agricultural commissioners records dept. Please see the post related to these facts, Hobbs pesticide use is public record.
Current orchard at 622 Watertrough has decreased substantially since 1991 (via Agricultural Pesticide Use Web Mapping Service on California Dept of Public Health website http://www.ehib.org/tool.jsp?tool_key=18#dpr)
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