A near lifeless vineyard in Touraine
Tell-tale signs of erosion on a very slight slope
The sole sign of life…..
The coronavirus crisis ought to be an opportunity to reassess. Regarding viticulture it is surely time to ban the indiscriminate use of weedkiller in vineyards. Completely blitzing a vineyard ought to be now completely unacceptable.
The horrible, shocking and sad photos above of a vineyard in appellation Touraine show a ground that is probably more dead than the Sahara Desert. No biodiversity – no balance.
We should be moving towards biodiversity in and around vineyards as Saumur-Champigny, for example, has recognised for a good number of years. Working towards a time in the near future when the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides are banned in viticulture. Since 1st January 2019 the sale of these products have been banned in France to individuals.
‘Depuis le 1er janvier 2019, les particuliers et les jardiniers amateurs ne peuvent plus acheter et donc utiliser dans leur jardins des produits à base de pesticides de synthèse, comme le glyphosate. »
Read the rest here.
It was good to see Moët-Hennessy announce in mid-February 2020 that they were discontinuing the use of herbicides in the vineyards in Champagne by the end of this year and by the end of next year in their Cognac vineyards.
Of course the owner of the sad vineyard above can fairly object that Moët-Hennessy can well afford to ban herbicides given the price of their Champagne and Cognac. A marginal vineyard in Touraine may only be surviving through blitzing all other plant life in its vineyards. However, I think the time has come to insist that if a vineyard cannot function sustainably, then it is time to stop.
Is blitzing a field before sowing
the next crop anymore sensible and safe?
The above photo shows a field that has been sprayed with weedkiller in preparation for sowing this year’s arable crop. Soon the field will be ploughed harrowed and sown – may well be with wheat or barley. The weed killered grass and any residues buried into the soil. If wheat is planted it could be used to make flour for bread etc., if barley also bread, beer, medicines etc. A process that continues year after year….. How can this be good practice?
Update: 21st April 2020 15.25
Same field ready for the new crop with the dead grass
and any weedkiller residues buried in the soil.
Is it too far fetched to wonder if some of those who have died from Coronavirus died because their immune system had been weakened by pesticide/ weed killer residues in their bodies? Given that there may a correlation between high air pollution and coronavirus deaths my question may not be entirely far fetched.
Research shows almost 80% of deaths across four countries were in most polluted regions
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