Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Marking New Territory

Gerald measures and marks the new vidal acre.

Connie's Post:
Gerald had an ingenious way of marking the new vidal acre. he used chain link rope, since the chain link wouldn't stretch. he then measured out the feet between the vines and attached a plastic twist holder. i held one end and he stretched the chain link length out. then he went through and marked the field with orange flags, each represents a vine to be planted. after each row was marked, gerald and i went through the field, straightening the rows vertically and horizontally. i knew we had straightened the rows correctly, as the flags aligned on the diagonal, just as i remembered from my old marching band days. go fort zumwalt panthers!

having the holes marked in advance made it much easier for gerald's dad to start drilling holes with the auger!
600 holes for 600 vines. gooooo, dad!

Way Back Machine, March

Freshly pruned viognier vine weeps sap.

Connie's Post:
Midmarch proved milder and the quarterly freelance subsided, so momma and the boys ventured out with gerald and his father to check in on the freshly pruned proofing vines. i remember it was still quite nippy, but most surprising was the sap oozing freely from recovering vines. i don't remember this much oozing last year, but perhaps this is what happens as the vines mature. or i just got lucky to be there that day. its interesting to see the thickness of the vines get progressively thinner as you walk through the proofing vineyard.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Far Afield

The field beyond the vidal acre.

Connie's Post:
Briefly, as it is late on Sunday. I'm slowly catching up on the weekends. This image gives a good sense of scope as to the immense task of clearing a portion of the hardwood forest for near future development.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Way Back Machine, February

Ahhh. Gerald tells me he can feel how happy the vines are when they are pruned from last year's growth.

Connie's Post
The morning light is wonderful at the vineyard. everything looks both sleepy and hopeful as we drive up and jump out of the truck for a stretch. what a blessing it has been to have use of the home peter and lyrel purchased down the street. we can now drive down friday night, light a fire, open a bottle of wine, listen to my baubles, bangles and beads radio station from pandora and relax. then the next morning, gerald gets up early and heads over to the vineyard. usually, i stoke the fire, work on freelance and await the sleepy boys. once they have eaten their breakfast, we then head over to help gerald and record the day. february brought a pruning workshop that was attended by ger, his dad, the uncles and niece samantha. armed with knowledge and sturdy pruning shears, they entered the vineyard and brought order to last year's growth. this is one of gerald's favorite times--to see the lines of shorn vines awaiting the sun and planet's signals to start anew. he is happy to have the additional expertise in the proofing rows so that he can continue to make progress in other areas.

Way Back Machine, January

bitter weather keeps the boys and i at home while gerald perseveres and the new camera is sent in for repairs.
Connie's Post:
This is a shot from march, but conveys the feeling as best as an absent camera can. what can we say, boy2 loves hard. during january, the weather was bitter and windy and the wife was burdened with freelance, and so the boys and the old girl stayed home while the intrepid husband stoically ventured out with his father to tend the farm. arrangements were made for the far field to be cleared of trees for the new acre of vidal this spring. Each weekend small, steady progress was made.

Way Back Machine, Late December

A pan blur image standing inside the old tobacco barn. Son of Sony camera performs!

Connie's post:
New camera, new year and new adventures at the farm. and so its april already, four months without so much a passing glance at the blog. be assured, gentle reader, the farm and the people who belong to it have kept stepping to the rhythms of the season with their faces set resolutely to their upcoming goals. so sit back, enjoy the music from the vineyard, and catch up on the progress my husband and his family has made.

let's go in chronological order. according to the way back machine, in december we set up the two year vines with row posts and wire for them to scramble upon this spring. ger's brother pete came from the west coast to get'er done and the two brothers had many adventures in the set up, some of which ger prefers i just don't get into. i will say that the farm runs on a shoestring and sometimes the improvisation necessary to accomplish a task often becomes the task itself. the rest is a rich tapestry of comedy and chaos. so, gentle reader, you may ask, "how does one go about setting up end row posts and then subsequently wire them?"

1. row posts start off with two pressure treated pine posts. The pine posts are brought into the farm. locust posts are cut from the farm's hardwood growth. Here, gerald and pete cut the locust post to size.

2. the improv spinning jenny dispenses the wire that provides tension to the end pine posts, which helps keeps the wiring taut and the middle posts upright under the vine's seasonal growth.

3. gerald tacks the wire to the posts.
4. pete and gerald install the locust post cross bar (more strength and stability for the line)

5. as pete steadies the locust post, gerald starts winching the wire tight with help from boy2.

6. peter and gerald finish winching the wire tight.
7. viola! a nice set of end posts!