Growing up with a grandmother who made it through the Great Depression had (and still has) its advantages; many of them having to do with being sustainably sound; i.e., growing all of her own foods for the summer, winter, and spring months… from growing to canning, freezing, pickling, and making jams and jellies. I even remember her making her own soap, in the basement of their three story house in Maine (really four stories, because they had a basement, too). It was a big house that she keep immaculate as a homemaker, sewing all of her (and some of my) clothing. My grandparents went square dancing, and she made matching outfits for my grandfather and her… She was a hoot, who thought cowboy and Indian movies on TV were violent, but didn’t stop us from watching them. She just voiced her opinion.

I lived in her garden during the summer, eating as many strawberries and raspberries as I could find, wondering “Why does she grew so many marigolds?” Today, my garden is also full of marigolds, to keep away the aphids.

One time my grandfather gave root beer a try. The bottles of root beer exploded all over the basement one night, so she kept him out of the sustainable efforts after that… Except that I have many memories about wild berry picking with him, which he’d bring back to my grandmother. Part of them went into a berry cake (instant gratification), while the rest went into jams and jellies.

Meanwhile, I find myself thinking much the way Mimi did. If it’s not a natural product, I don’t need or want it. GMO products really anger me, for instance.

So, getting a very quick email, not one filled with frilly press release hype, just a simple, “Looking to get the word out on our new pruning sealer, Safecoat VitiSeal. Here’s our site Can you help?”

It really made me curious. Of course I thought, “Okay, what’s this about?” I clicked on the link and found the title:

Vine Health Made Simple
A Revolutionary Treatment for Grapevine Diseases

Safecoat VitiSeal™ is the ONLY Biological and Natural approach rated 4 stars – “excellent and consistent” – in efficacy against Eutypa in UC Davis’s recent “The Conventional Approach to Disease Control – Fungicides, Bactericides and Biologicals for Deciduous Tree Fruit, Nut, Strawberry and Vine Crops 2012.”

Ah yes…. A biological – bio + “logical” and natural…

I’m all for sustain+ability, and wish there were more old souls out there to also help protect and preserve our planet, so my hat’s off to Safecoat VitiSeal™, and I’m really pleased to advocate for Jay Watts, who reached out to me.

This is not an advertisement, it’s an endorsement, because our mutual principles are intertwined…. From the site: “Excessive fungicide use can negatively impact the land and lead ultimately to disease resistance.”

For my vit friends:

Vineyards world-wide are afflicted with ascopores, air-borne fungal pathogens. These fungi infect over 80 plant species around the world. While Eutypa has historically been the most predominant canker causing grapevine trunk diseases, in a recent survey of cankers found in vineyards in 21 California counties, Botryosphaeria spp.was the most commonly isolated fungus. (Urbez-Torres et al., 2006).

Bot cankers and Eutypa lata infect grapevines through pruning wounds during the dormant season by means of ascospores released from perithecia after rainfall. Canker diseases inhibit production and ultimately render the vine or tree useless. If cankers are not removed, the entire vine eventually dies.

Please head to VitaSeal’s site to read more; or, Email for more information.

Please consider the environment, for the sake of your (and my) great grandchildren…


Vitiseal International Introduces Unique Crop Management Tool, Breakthrough In Vine Health Science

Safecoat® VitiSeal™ is a natural waterborne co-polymer emulsion with other NOP approved ingredients designed to assist growers in the battle against grapevine canker diseases, which cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and crop loss each year. Vineyards worldwide are afflicted with air-borne fungal pathogens which harm the plants and inhibit production, including infection by Eutypa lata (also known as Eutypa dieback) and Botryosphaeria canker. Bot cankers and Eutypa lata infect grapevines through pruning wounds during the dormant season by means of ascospores released from perithecia after rainfall, and ultimately render the vine or tree useless. Significant fruit and income loss occurs during this process. Traditional synthetic fungicides typically used to treat Eutypa dieback and Bot cankers must be reapplied every 10 to 14 days during the pruning season, as well as after rain, incurring prohibitive labor and product costs. In addition, excessive fungicide use negatively impacts the land and can lead ultimately to disease resistance.

Safecoat® VitiSeal™ is not a toxic fungicide, but rather a unique crop management tool that creates a protective resistant barrier against the typical point of entry for wood canker diseases including Eutypa dieback and Botryosphaeria Canker. VitiSeal™ is applied, typically only once per season, either through painting, daubing or spraying directly over pruning cuts onto vines, trunks, and tree bases. The proprietary formulation is water based, environmentally safe containing no hazardous materials or HAPs (hazardous air pollutants), has no re-entry wait restrictions after treatment, and presents no risks of bioaccumulation.

Reporting on over two years of both in vivo and in vitro testing in the plant pathology labs and test sites at UC Davis, the most recent UCIPM report on “Fungicides, Bactericides, and Biologicals for Deciduous Tree Fruit, Nut, Strawberry, and Vine Crops 2012” listed Safecoat® VitiSeal™ as the only biological and natural product deserving of 4 stars – “excellent and consistent” – in treatment against eutypa in grapevines. VitiSeal™ has similarly been tested on cherry trees, receiving the same exclusive 4 star rating rating. See p.36 (grapevines) and p.32 (cherries),

“Safecoat(r) VitiSeal(tm) RTU consists primarily of natural and organic materials, Safecoat(r) VitiSeal(tm) should be suitable for use by organic and biodynamic growers.”

Safecoat® VitiSeal™ is available either in a gallon concentrate, which can be diluted in the field to make 10 gallons, or a ready to use (RTU) version, consisting primarily of natural and organic materials.

Safecoat® VitiSeal™ is available through Crop Production Services and Wilbur-Ellis. For more information, visit

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