Sunday, June 29, 2008

Taming New Frontiers

hazy early morning in what we refer to as lot 11, the vidal vineyard, or the east vineyard

Our frontier acre of vidal is looking a bit more tame—a sort of civilization of shoots is growing from the lunar landscape of the previous year. the frequent rain we have been receiving has been a blessing in making sure the tender vines make it through their first year, so we haven't had to worry about getting water up the big hill. its been a pretty wet season so far.

compounding the lack of blog posts has been our heavy scheduling of graduations, boy2's birthday, maryland vineyard field days/girl1's birthday, momma's summer grad class [information management!], and boy1 fracturing his toe in two places. our precious vineyard hours on the weekend have been getting chewed up from bleed over of our weekday life. west coast pete has arrived just in time to get the leaf canopy management under control.

here is the last image i have of work i've been able to contribute to the vineyard. right after the several weekend of weekday bleed overs, boy1 fractured his toe and was unable to go to the vineyard. yes, those are plastic ties. remember when i was part of the bamboo stake pounding brigade? now the vines are starting their disciplined life of training to stakes, wires, and trellising. i walked the vidal vineyard, twisting the plastic ties around the bamboo stakes and the first cordon wire.

that day gerald worked in the vineyard with me, reviewing the health of the leaves and training the tender shoots to the bamboo stakes with plastic tape. the plastic tape is gentle to the vines—it doesn't cut or tear into the vine—but holds them firmly to the stake so they have good support as they clamber up to the sky. boy2 and i will be happy to have boy1 able to be back in the vineyard again. boy2 will have his playmate again, and i will be able to participate in the vineyard more fully. right now, i've been limited to taking images and doing an occasional walk-thru. but its also been great hanging with the boys outside the vineyard, working on my coursework, and catching up on old hobbies.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Love is in the Air!

connie's post
spring is here, and with it comes the desire for procreation. even the ladybugs are getting into the act. hope you are in love this spring, too.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Paw Paws!

connie's post:
I can't tell you how happy i was to discover the young paw paw trees in the tall tree clearing. the clearing is a small circle of empty space and sits at the base of the far field and ends at a dry creek bed. it is nice to walk into, as the shade from the tall trees makes the little alcove cool and inviting.

paw paw trees are small, under canopy trees. in the early fall, they bear fruit that tastes like banana pudding. that is, if you can manage to get to the fruit before the squirrels do! i have been searching for a stash of paw paw trees for a while, so it was exciting to discover a patch right at the farm!

i was introduced to paw paws by my paternal grandpa. i remember when i was a little girl, we went on a little hike up the small hills next to the big river, where my grandparents had retired. my grandpa pulled a paw paw off the tree and with his pocket knife, sliced open the fruit. he must have known about the stash, since he pulled a teaspoon out of his flannel shirt pocket and scooped the fruit out for us to taste. by then, i was used to foraging for blackberries, persimmons, and walnuts—but i still remember the utter delight in discovering something so delicious to eat in the forest. it was like a little treasure.

i look forward to introducing the boys to paw paws. they were not initially enthused about persimmons and the pucker power unripe persimmons have. i do think they will enjoy the paw paws better.

bon appetit!