Earth Day has really important significance, now more than ever, most would agree.

Joy Sterling at Iron Horse Vineyards, when a significant speaker presents him or herself, has a merry band of Green Valley growers and producers gather at Iron Horse for a day of a charming celebrations. This year of 2017 is just such a year.

Before details, I’m sharing this picture taken by Lawrence Sterling, which recently came into my email inbox. It has the following explanation from Joy:

“Greetings from thoroughly drenched Green Valley. We have received 22 inches of rain since January 1. Green Valley Creek, which bisects the vineyard, is a tributary of the Russian River; and, that whole swath of the estate is in a 100-year floodplain.

“For several days you couldn’t see the tops of the posts on the bridge. We call that doing our part to replenish the aquifers.

“Of course we need the rain. A year ago, 43 percent of the state was gripped by “exceptional drought.” Now that figure is two percent. (Source: US Drought Monitor) And, after 40 years here at Iron Horse, we are seasoned at riding out a wet winter.

“We are very lucky that our vineyards are hillside and our sandy soils drain easily. The rainbows have been inspiring. But we are going to have to hustle to get the pruning done before bud break.”

Within a week of this photo, Jose and I drove to that flood plain, because we were in the neighborhood and very curious. Clearly 95 percent of the water had receded. It’s a remarkable transformation and a much needed cleansing of our earth.

The Future of Food

The theme for this year’s Earth Day event is the future of food.

The date is Sunday, April 19, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. Participating wineries include DeLoach Vineyards, Dutton-Goldfield, Freeman Vineyard & Winery, Hartford Family Winery, Iron Horse, Lynmar Estate, Marimar Estate, and The Rubin Family of Wines.

The keynote speaker is California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross.

Acclaimed San Francisco Chef Traci Des Jardins is on board to showcase the “Impossible Burger,” made entirely from plants, she has served it at the Paris Climate Change Conference as tartare.

Ronstadt Generations will perform live, honoring the family’s musical traditions with the Southwestern and Mexican songs of their heritage, blended with original material.  Special guest: Linda Ronstadt.

Imperfect Produce is providing a beautiful display of “ugly” produce as crudités.

We have enlisted Copia, a mobile app that helps businesses and events connect excess edible food to feed communities in need, instantly.

Joy is inviting you to join the festivities. Net proceeds will benefit Sustainable Conservation, a non-profit organization uniting people to solve California’s toughest environmental challenges, chosen by Secretary Ross, to be the beneficiary.