I love reflecting on the generosity of nature and nature’s own modesty. Respecting terroir is something learned from the vineyard land surrounding us in the wine country, in our own home gardens and at the Farmers Markets in Sonoma over 30 years ago. Where I again learned that wonderful and amazing feeling you experience when you are able to enjoy produce and botanicals grown in a healthy living environment. This is why regenerative farming practices are near and dear to my heart. It is the flavor that is best expressed from soil that is properly nourished and loved. A healthy terroir, with its own particular soil, topography and climate, is important and goes beyond a term that is historically used through the ages of time, reflecting the best that fields and gardens have to offer when properly ecologically farmed. When treated with intention, the terroir will continue to produce and sustain us.
Arriving in the Sonoma Valley in the early 1990’s allowed me to be surrounded by agriculture and vine farming, and I could not help but be infused with the love of terroir. Aligning farming practices with the best interest of the soil, nature and ultimately, the vines, trees, herbs, and plants to express the brightness, herbal and earthen flavors that will translate into beautiful food products. Regenerative agriculture starts in the ground with the seed, soil, pollinators and farming practices, raising food in a way that restores soil, conserves water, increases biodiversity, and produces more nutrient-dense, phytonutrient-rich quality food, all while making farmers happier and far more profitable, and our community healthier.
Join us by visiting your local Farmers Market (before you head to the grocery store) to find locally grown produce – fruit, vegetables, honey, nuts – in season, pasture-raised eggs, hand-crafted foods and skincare, and the best from our farmer friends and community. When you shop at Farmers Markets and support regenerative farming you are supporting a healthier earth.
Other great initiatives to support are Kiss The Ground, your local Bee society, Sonoma Biochar Initiative through the Sonoma Ecology Center, Environmental Working Group – such a simple immediate fix to toxins in our soil by stopping all pesticides and glyphosate being applied in volume going into our food supply. Please also join us to support a new film Director Brian Lilla, a Napa Valley resident and friend who just premiered a new film Children of the Vine at the Sonoma International Film Festival in April. Support your local FFA at your local schools.
Each Spring in Sonoma, in partnership with Brenda McNeill of Art of Leisure, a luxury real estate specialist who runs a children’s Nature club, and together with the Sonoma Mentoring Alliance, we provide free seed packet gifts to our local community each Earth Day to help sprinkle the love for our pollinator friends. The bees, pollinators, hummingbirds, and butterflies need nectar, so help us spread wildflower seeds this Earth Day with our community gift of seeds that when planted in the community attract these important pollinators as contributors to our larger ecosystem and farms. They create beauty and bountiful gardens.
It is aspirational, regenerative, impactful - a way of life, and truly delicious and beautiful to help make a healthier earth this Earth Day!
Demystifying Biochar: The Key to Restoring Soil
I spent the most incredible day at The Donum Estate learning and burning vines from the Biochar experts, Sonoma Biochar and Pacific Biochar. Biochar comes from vines, woody biomass and residues from softwood forestry and fire hazard thinning.
Biochar is a biologically activated superior soil building amendment that improves water retention to reduce stress, is highly porous to host microbes to support thriving microbial communities in soil, reduces nutrient leaching, and is a stable organic matter to retain carbon in the soil. It is a carbon-negative product. Blended with compost and applied for a permanent, 100-1000 years, solution for ecological sustainable farming practices.
- Karin Campion, Founder of Sonoma Syrup Co.
From left to right: Karin Campion, Sonoma Syrup Co., Raymond Balter, Director of Sonoma Biochar Initiative, Tony Chapman, The Donum Estate, Brenda McNeill, Art of Leisure
How Sonoma Syrup Co. Gives Back
Supporting Regenerative soil and pollinators proves more localized regenerative farming ecosystems are scalable and profitable. We play a part in growing the next generation of regenerative farmers and ranchers through Soil Health Academy’s regenerative ag schools and education programs. These programs provide farmers and ranchers with the knowledge, confidence and support to grow healthier soil, healthier food, healthier communities and a healthier planet—for all of us. We also support the Sonoma Biochar Initiative who provides education and sustainable production and use throughout California. UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center whose mission is to become the world's leading authority on honey bee health, pollination, and honey.