Spring feelings of joy and schizophrenia

The last two days of spring sun have filled me with spring cleaning energy and joy at daffodils, blossom, birdsong, at

Paquerettes at Chateau Feely

Paquerettes at Chateau Feely

bright green bursts dotted with playful ‘paquerettes’ (small white daisies).

But with Spring comes a side effect of almost all rural ‘paradises’ today – pesticides. Ellie got off school a couple of hours early so we said carpe diem and went for a bike ride. Our glee was cut short when we happened upon a tractor spewing plumes of chemicals in a plum orchard. We raced past to avoid it but could smell it in the air despite being over 100 metres away. On the return journey on a different road we came across the same menace. We had to keep going it was too late to go another way so we raced past but once more we could smell it. We showered when we got home. 

The following day Ellie and I walked down to a neighbour. A winegrower was weed-killing on the vineyard next to the property where her class takes place. Again we could smell it despite it being at least a hundred metres away. We are being legally poisoned. In two days we took in three unwanted systemic pesticides. I feel angry and powerless.

Sean was working up near Saussignac on a part of our vineyard that borders a small section with a chemical winegrower. The farmer pulled up with his tractor started spraying weed-killer right next to Sean without warning or giving Sean time to move away. No-one should be near that vineyard for 24-48 hours depending on herbicide he is using. Sean furious, left (of course) and had to change his work plans for the next two days. Fortunately for us (and our wine) this happens infrequently as about 80% of our borders with other organic farmers or our own wild areas.

I try to convince myself that we can make change happen when people have information. I can convince one person at a time to buy organic and inform others and people I have convinced can do the scaro_feely_chief_seattleame. If you buy organic the farmers will farm organic and we will stop the cancer, nervous system disruption and endocrine disruption.

But some days like today after being sprayed while innocently passing by I wonder if it is a lost cause, I feel like we are not making enough progress. Perhaps as Chief Seattle said ‘When the last tree has been cut
down, the last river poisoned, only then will you realise that you cannot eat money.’

Don’t wait to see cancer right up close to decide which choice you should make for your health and ours. You may think you can’t afford organic but for your health and mine you can’t afford not to.

See my top ten why celebrate supporting organic farming and an indepth three reasons to choose organic wine

Come and learn more about organic farming with a visit to Chateau Feely in South West France ; stay with us or do a multi day course or multi day tour . You can read about the story of our organic farm the series includes three books Grape Expectations; Saving our Skins and Glass Half Full by Caro Feely.

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