The Root 66 Garden is saving our old heritage Cucamonga Grapevines. Cucamonga is the oldest wine grape growing region in the State of California and is designated an American Viticulture Area. But the old heritage vines that once covered our vistas are rapidly being destroyed by development. The vine photo here shows over 100 Mission grape vines (possibly 80 years old and originating from Spain and the Spanish missionaries) that were rescued and transplanted just days before developers plowed the piece of land they were on.
The urgency of saving these vines compelled us to transplant before we had developed our water source - an old agriculture well that needs to be equipped with a pump (including electricity and/or solar power). Currently the vines are being watered by volunteers and the water is being supplied by folks around town who are letting us fill up a portable water trailer at their home taps. This will work for a while, but not into the heat of the summer.
Plus there are more vines to rescue and transplant in the Fall...before they will be destroyed by developers. We are also currently exploring the possibility of getting the City to give the old grapevines an historical designation...making it more difficult for developers to plow them under.
This heritage vineyard is only one part of a larger 15 acre community garden plan that will include plots for lease, a farmer's market, gardening classes, space to hold events, and so much more...maybe even an old Cucamonga wine made from the rescued vines.
We need to raise $100,000 to help in the development of the old ag well. This endeavor requires at a minimum a 10 hp submersible pump, an electrical line to run from the street to the well site, and irrigation pipes/lines to be able to provide water to the vines and the first phase of garden plots. In time we are looking to add a solar system to make the garden completely "green" and sustainable.
This Garden and Vineyard will be a true gem in the Inland Empire...providing food, education and heritage to the region.
Please help us fund our well!!!