2017 CARES Recipient
Farm: Dogwood Vineyard
Location: Baker, Florida
Date of Origination: 2007
Commodities: Muscadine Grapes
David Youngblood, owner and operator, of Dogwood Vineyard, in Baker, Florida began growing muscadine grapes on his farm in 2007.
What started as a hobby of making wine has now led to growing muscadine grapes on 2.5 acres of land that are then sold to local stores and produce markets. Mr. Youngblood is a member of the Florida Wine and Grape Growers Association. Additionally, he also has an 8- acre fish pond whose water connects to East and Pensacola Bays.
In regards to conservation efforts, Mr. Youngblood feels BMPs are common sense and he is highly interested in sustainable farming. He utilizes cover crops to prevent erosion, drip irrigation to reduce water use, as well as soil and plant tissue samples to determine fertilizer needs. Unique to vineyards, Mr. Youngblood uses an under row mower to avoid the standard vineyard practice of herbicides for under row vegetation control. He also maintains green zones between cultivation and water drainage routes. He has even installed a 20KV Photovoltaic system to provide his own electricity throughout his farm. These practices, combined together, strengthen the longevity of his 2.5 acre farm and preserve it for the future.
Mr. Youngblood believes it is in his best interest to protect his land from nutrient runoff so that it does not negatively impact nearby waterways. He appreciates the natural beauty our water bodies provide and works diligently to ensure they remain that way for future generations to enjoy. With a variety of uses for Muscadine grapes, Mr. Youngblood is an enthusiastic farmer who loves the land he farms on and you can stay up- to- date with his operation through his Facebook page, Dogwood Vineyard. We are surely proud that Mr. Youngblood is a farmer cares and are proud that he is one of our 2017 CARES recipients.