Saturday, July 28, 2007

600 bamboo stakes

Connie's Post
In the eastern vineyard, a whole acre of vidal is growing well, despite the drought conditions. many of the vines are coming along so well they are in need of staking, to keep the tender young vines off the vineyard floor. each individual vine will receive its own bamboo stake, impaled into the ground on the north side. we'll then tether the vines to the bamboo stake with gerald's plastic ribbon tape dispenser. Later in the season, we will set up posts to run cordon wires so future vines can scramble up the trellising with ease.

yep. there is no time like july to stake 600 vidal vines. there's no better persons to get the job done than your brother pete, uncle charlie and your wife. pete and uncle charlie has pounded their stakes into the ground during the week. the last few saturdays, i've hit the vineyard and have taken my turn. if i look a little hot and weary in the pictures kayleigh snapped for me, i can tell you, yes i am and it is very easy to over heat and become dehydrated. i can also tell you there are 29 vines to a row. in the lower part of the vineyard, the ground is very hard and compacted from the heavy machinery clearing the area this past winter. it took 40 minutes to work my way down a row. now as we have moved up the hill, the ground is quite a bit easier to work with. i got my time down to 30 minutes a row. its hot work, though, as there is no shade, just open ground to cover. boy1 is a big help. he takes giant armful of bamboo stakes and lays them out in the field for me, one to each vine.

i like the hot, hard work and being along in the field. i thought i would get a lot of thinking done, but lately i would have made the Dali Lama proud in that i've just kept my mind on my work. no extraneous thoughts. i hammer with my whole arm, not just from my elbow. after three blows, i work the rebar around in the hole, so that the ground gives a little and i can pull the rebar out when i'm done. i do this because the first time i just pounded the rebar into the ground all at once and then i had my doubts that i would be able to get it out. but i'm stubborn and i won. i repeat the pounding and pulling on the rebar about three times before i pull the rebar out of the ground and quickly push the bamboo in before the hole in the sandy loam collapses. i rap on the bamboo stake, give a little pull to make sure the stake is secure and then i move on. this work gave me the worst blisters of my life, despite having wore gloves through the task. giant, watery blisters on the sides of my index fingers, my thumbs and oddly enough, a blister that covered the entire pad of my baby finger. my hands were the talk of the monday production meeting as i clumsily tried to hold a pen and take notes.

i think i'm happy about doing the hard work because its about being strong and persevering when it would be so easy to say to my husband, "you'll have to figure out how to do this." i'm glad to have spent this past two years training with my marine friend. the work is easier because he's made me stronger than i have ever been. it makes this girl feel powerful and i like being farm strong, if not gym strong and Muscle and Fitness Her beautiful.

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