Category: Giving Back
Regenerating the Future: How High School Students are Leading the Way with Regenerative Agriculture – Meet the Regeneration GenerationPosted on April 21, 2023 in Giving Back
There seems to be a barrage of negative environmental news lately, such as the alarming rate of losing a species on Earth every 10 minutes. Additionally, there is an estimation that only about 40 to 60 harvests are left while our current agricultural systems can provide a sustainable food supply. Unfortunately, there are little to no prospects for technological fixes such as genetically modified organisms and agricultural chemistry, which, despite their promises, have actually greatly accelerated the degradation of our life-supporting biological systems.
It would be easy to understand an attitude of apathy from young people based on tThe highly degraded commons of our life supporting ecosystems and a functional worldview that we have handed them, after the mildest climate and the great potential of human intellectual achievement in the history of mankind.
The birth of the Regenerative Agriculture Club
It would be easy to understand but not what you would find if you went into the Temecula Valley High School and other schools in our region. What you would find his students who in 2019 got together with supportive and innovative faculty members Megan Mahan and Toby Brandon and started a Regenerative Agriculture Club. While other students were working on their thespian, musical, or athletic abilities, these students decided to work on regenerating the future for all.
In 2019 students from the Temecula Valley High School got together with supportive faculty members and administration and said that they wanted to start learning about the concepts of regenerative agriculture which not only include the regeneration of basic life supporting biological systems but also includes all elements of the Eco, the whole house which includes biology, economics, politics, and social and organizational theory. The students soon realized that the best method of learning is hands on application, and the best application is in your own backyard. They looked to the hillside behind the Temecula Valley High School, which had been largely abandoned except for an infamously challenging cross country field trail through the disrupted soils that no longer even supported natives plant or animal species. They envisioned an the evolving learning laboratory in their backyard where they could see the application of regenerative principles develop over time in person and share with their fellow students.
Students Transform Abandoned Hillside into Thriving Regenerative Laboratory
These students, with assistance and guidance from high school Science faculty members Meghan Manion and Tobey Brannon, developed a concept for the hillside project. They reached out to industry professionals to develop this hillside regenerative agricultural learning laboratory. The students recruited assistance from Greg Pennyroyal, Professor of Viticulture at Mount San Jacinto College (MSJC), Vineyard Manager, and practitioner of regenerative viticulture at Wilson Creek Winery. Additionally, they sought help from, Tom Curry, regenerative olive Grove manager and local food entrepreneur, and Leah Di Bernardo, founder and owner of EAT marketplace, a farm to table restaurant, and champion of high nutrient density food and public health in our region.
During the 2020 school year, the students began conducting biological surveys investigating regulatory and technical aspects of developing their hillside regenerative outdoor laboratory project. They also began to gather institutional, political, and fiscal support for their proposal. Over the next two years, the students developed a systematic approach to learning what is necessary for a project of this scale, including the invaluable life skill of tenacity. They overcame numerous financial, bureaucratic, and technical barriers that any major project encounters, and did not let anyone interfere with their dreams.
Regenerative Agriculture Club Achievements
The Regenerative Agriculture Club has over 100 members, and has been featured on an ABC News segment. They have organized several fundraisers, and had a high level meeting with the staff of MSJC College, including with John Kemp and leading technical experts from Advancing Eco Agriculture. The club has received funding from the Specialized Secondary Program grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The high school now has an approved curriculum for a regenerative agriculture high school science program and is coordinating with the development of a program offering an AS degree in regenerative System theory for entrepreneurs and social change, and Regenerative Agriculture.
During Spring Break in May 2023, the land clearing was finished, and irrigation and infrastructure systems are being installed with the direct involvement of the students, who are involved in all aspects of this project.
A basic tenant of systems theory-based ecological science is that nature constantly innovates, launches, reevaluates, and re-innovates. This is the essence of an organizational theory called Agile Management, which like many things we “discover” are actually just processes of nature we have wisely learned to adopt. The organization and execution of this project follows this basic environmental principle and will be constantly adapting, learning, and improving. The founding members of the regenerative AG club are also evolving and learning. They have all been accepted to Berkeley or Davis to study environmental sciences. Their acceptance is largely credited to their innovative work on the regenerative AG hillside project.
Inspiring the Regeneration Generation
Wilson Creek Winery’s chosen charity for the holiday season is Oak Grove Center.
Oak Grove Center Gift Collection for Children without Families
Oak Grove will be housing 67 children during the Holidays this year; 24 are without families such as foster children. For children in care, the Holidays can be a difficult time being away from their families or reminded of families lost. To help bring love, joy and cheer, Oak Grove is collecting gifts to provide to the children on Christmas morning for those living at the Center. Children living at Oak Grove range from age 8 to 18 years old. The most commonly requested items for the younger children include dolls, Barbie dolls, Lego sets, and sports equipment. Teens have been requesting MP4 players, gift cards, make up, cologne and clothing. Working with the community, Oak Grove is able to help them create positive memories, start new traditions, and celebrate.
Individuals interested in helping a youth this season can contribute any of the items on the wish list. Gifts must be new and come unwrapped. Items can be delivered to Oak Grove Center’s Culinary Creations next, 41923 Second Street, Suite 104, Temecula or in our tasting room here at Wilson Creek. Gifts are needed by December 19th.
Founded in 1989, Oak Grove Center is a nonprofit Residential, Education and Treatment Center (with multiple campuses) for children throughout California with mental health, emotional and behavioral problems and special needs. Oak Grove Center’s mission is to rebuild the lives of at-risk children and their families through educating, healing, restoring relationships, building character and instilling hope.
The Holidays are a time for family and friends, a time when many people think of Joy and Hope. Yet, for a child living in foster care, the Holidays can be heartbreaking with constant reminders of broken homes and families lost. Oak Grove Center is asking for your consideration to help provide gifts for the 76 Residential Youth. Your support can help bring the youth joy and hope, and reminds them that they are valued.
Here is how you can help:
Gifts accepted from December 1st-December 19th.
Emmanuel Community Demonstration Garden, Fullerton, planted a small vineyard called the ‘Back Forty’ in 2014. With approximately 100 vines, four rows of Merlot and four rows of Zinfandel, this vineyard serves more than just wine drinkers. After two years of growing, we had our first vintage in 2016. Our aim was to produce sacramental wine for the Church along with wine for our Guild members. We had reasonable/drinkable quality wine that continued to improve each year.
However, during the 2018 Harvest, we noticed that several bunches of grapes had dried up like raisins and the leaves were blotchy thus turning red and dying. The harvest in 2019 wasn’t any better! The vines contained many red colored leaves, which dropped off the vine and brought along the shriveled-up grapes with it. So, we set about finding answers to our problem. After much research and consideration, we thought it was a possibility that we had Pierce’s Disease. What is Pierce’s Disease you may ask? PD is a disease that affects grapevines and is prevalent across the US spanning from California to Florida. The contents of this disease infects different plant hosts and negatively affects the yields of many economically important crops-many more than just grapevines!
Through our research, it was recommended that we join the Temecula Valley Small Wine Growers Association. During the first session we attended, on Zoom, they were talking about Pierce’s Disease. Greg Pennyroyal, Vineyard Manager of Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula, and leader of the association, had instructed concerned grape-growers to drop off samples of their vines to be sent off and tested for this deadly disease-PD. After receiving a plethora of samples, he promptly sent them to their testing site in hopes of being able to salvage vines for the concerned vineyard managers.
A few weeks later, we learned that unfortunately, all of the samples had PD. Although the disease is not harmful to man, it is a death toll for many vines. Because there is no real way to stop this disease from overtaking the vines, the only alternative was to dig them all up and plant anew. This time, we made sure to plant a disease resistant vine that would last and not be overtaken.
We arranged to meet Greg and his foreman, Pedro, at Wilson Creek Winery to discuss our situation and to get their expert advice. Greg shared that he and Pedro had some work planned in Rancho Cucamonga in a couple of weeks and that they would be glad to come and visit our vineyard before returning to Temecula.
Greg was pleasantly surprised with what he saw, saying that it was one of the best designed private vineyards he had ever seen-which meant the world. As they sauntered through our vineyard, Pedro began brainstorming how they could help. He concluded that they would send a group of skilled vineyard workers from Temecula to come and replant our vineyard with vines known to be resistant to PD. We set about preparing our vineyard for replanting.
On March 28, 2021, a Wilson Creek truck appeared in our church parking lot. Before we knew it, we had a crew of 12 helping us revitalize what used to be our prized possession. They worked like a well-oiled machine, each worker knowing precisely what to do. With few breaks, the crew finished the job just before 1pm. Not only had they planted 100 or so vines; they had tied them up to newly placed stakes and modified the watering system for the entire vineyard.
–Emmanuel Community Demonstration Garden and Vineyard
#NationalWildlifeDay focusses on endangered species, preservation, and conservation efforts around the world. Zoos, aviaries and marine sanctuaries provide a variety of ways to get involved, so we want to share some information about our partnership with Global Conservation Force.
Global Conservation Force is dedicated to saving wildlife from extinction through education, anti-poaching and conservation efforts. It is the 11th hour for many species of wildlife and GCF is stepping in to make an impact working with local and international communities to pursue success in its missions.
Here are 2 new articles to read about their Anti-Poaching Units
JOIN US FOR THE 4TH ANNUAL WILDLIFE GALA
Global Conservation Force is hosting their Annual Gala here at Wilson Creek on October 5th. Enjoy a beautiful evening celebrating wildlife protection and conservation efforts around the world. An evening of fine dining, live music, wine, live auction, and a short presentation by the GCF team providing updates on past, current, and future projects. More Information Here
With every purchase of our Special Labeled Global Conservation Force wine, you are supporting “front-line” wildlife conservation efforts to literally protect and defend rhino, elephant, giraffe, vultures, and many other species at risk. See below for a peek at our Wildlife Wines and a little info on the animal it helps protect.
Honey Badgers are one of the most fierce creatures in Africa, yet they have a sweet tooth. The Ratel, as it is known in Afrikaans, has been known to take down lions and cobras. Although they are not commonly sought after by poachers, we like to symbolize the ferocity of the honey badger as we fight to protect other endangered species within their home range.
Elephant tusks are highly sought after by poachers. The social history of ivory has created a deeply sentimental market that is devastating to the elephants of the world. We are currently losing an elephant every 8 hours to poachers. Global Conservation Force works alongside rangers fighting to protect elephants from extinction.
Rhinos around the world face the same challenges: poaching for the international rhino horn trade, habitat loss, and civil unrest. Only five species of rhinos remain in the world. Many cultures believe a rhino’s horn has medicinal properties or it is used a status symbol; however, rhino horn is composed of keratin, the same protein that composes human hair and fingernails.
Giraffes also face challenges from civil unrest, and human encroachment on their habitat. The main causes of giraffe population decline are habitat degradation and poaching. The giraffe’s global population has declined more than 40% population decline in 15 years.
Vultures are natures ‘clean up crew’, ridding the environment of diseases on nearly every continent. Vultures serve as a barrier to prevent diseases from proliferating in dead animals and spreading. No other animal can perform this service quite like a vulture can. They are now the most threatened group of migratory birds on the planet.
Combo Packs are available if you want to collect them all! Get 18% off when purchasing all 5 bottles together (usually a $98.95 value)! Contribute to saving the honey badgers, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, and vultures all with one purchase!
Global Conservation Force (GCF) is dedicated to saving wildlife from extinction through education, anti-poaching and conservations efforts.
We have the unique opportunity to help save and protect the last 67 Javan Rhino. Global Conservation Force is partnering with the Ujung Kulon National Park Authority and Friends of Rhino Foundation to help protect the Javan Rhino. The goal of the project is to create secure conditions for the marine and terrestrial biodiversity in and around Ujung Kulon National Park. The formation and implementation of a marine protection unit (MPU) will help deter illegal fishing, coral fishes poaching, rhino, and bird poachers and protect sea turtle nesting sites.
GIVING BACK AND HAVING FUN
Help support the Global Conservation Force at our amazing Scottsdale, Arizona Concert with Nate Nathan and the MacDaddy-O’s on February 16 with open wine bar and light bites!
GCF will have a booth with fun stuff to purchase and support in saving wildlife from extinction!
This is a FREE Wine Club Event, Join Wine Club and Reserve at 951-252-8523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wilson Creek Winery is dedicated to helping our community here in Temecula Valley, as well as communities around the world.