A Note on Sustainability
According to the University of California, sustainability in agriculture: “…integrates three main goals--environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity. Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, stewardship of both natural and human resources is of prime importance.”
It is worth asking how Boordy is doing in achieving this goal. On the economic front, Boordy has been a profitable – and hence sustainable – farm enterprise for at least two decades. The winery has revitalized the family farm, contributed to the regional economy, been a catalyst in land preservation, and provided a steady source of employment to a growing number of people – all during a time when family farms have been disappearing at an alarming rate. On the social front, Boordy is committed to paying a fair wage, does not discriminate on any basis, and welcomes diversity.
On the environmental front Boordy has achieved much, and has much yet to do. Vineyards are an inherently beneficial form of agriculture because they do not require repeated denuding and disturbance of the soil, and do not rely upon heavy applications of synthetic fertilizer. Permanent cover crops are used to stabilize the soil; waste products from wine production are returned to the field; tillage tools incorporate compost and raise organic matter content; plants are trained to promote natural drying by air movement, thus reducing the need for pesticides; weeds can be mechanically controlled; and tractors, mowers, and other vehicles operate on bio-diesel in the spring, summer, and fall to reduce pollution. Boordy’s wine bottles & boxes are recycled. And, critically, the Deford family farm, which has been in the family for many generations, is permanently preserved with the Maryland Environmental Trust.
We will continue to work on such goals as reduction of our use of non-renewable energy, of pesticides, and of waste in all forms, and we will promote a dynamic ecosystem in and around our vineyards. We view sustainability as a work in progress. It is not only a worthy goal, but a necessary one, and a challenge that we gladly embrace.