Location: Fyee Wine Cellars, Corvallis, OR,
Featuring: David Buchanan, Fyee Wine Cellars
The Buchanan family has managed this farm for five generations since 1885, with a current total of over 80 acres of riparian habitat on the property. (Back in the 1950s, David’s father wouldn’t allow the soil conservation service to straighten the creek and remove the riparian trees). This habitat is also home to over 150 species of birds.
In this stream:
Large trees, root wads, and wood left in the stream provide shelter and shade to fish (and rearing habitat for young fish). The wood slowly breaks down over the years to supply food to aquatic insects (which in turn provides food for crayfish, fish and other aquatic organisms). Wood left in the stream also creates positive water flow changes and meandering in streams.
On these banks:
Established riparian trees provide shade and bank stability to keep the creek cool and keep sediment from silting up the stream. Clean, clear cold water is best for salmon and trout. Allowing wide riparians allows for natural meandering to occur in the stream.
The presence of fish in a stream is a good indicator of water quality and high biodiversity capacity. The salmon-safe farm certification program ensures this by focusing on six primary areas:
1. Riparian area management
2. Water use management
3. Erosion and sediment control
4. Integrated pest management
5. Animal management
6. Biodiversity conservation
How David manages his vineyards:
1. He maintains a cover crop under the vines year-round to sequester, conform, keep the vines in balance and prevent erosion.
2. Dry farms the vineyard, using irrigation only for frost protection in early spring.
3. Protects nearby creeks with native riparian buffers 60 to 400 feet in width that enhance habitat for native fish, birds, and wildlife. (David has planted over four thousand native Oregon oak, Oregon ash, western red, cedar, and Willamette Valley ponderosa pine).
4. Applies only minimal amounts of organically acceptable spray to the grapes when needed.
5. Used non-lethal scare tactics to discourage birds and wildlife from eating the grapes during harvest.