Today was a fairly boring day on the farm and in the vineyard. Due to the rain yesterday, our Moldovan workers took the day off. We spread compost in a new bedding area which will be planted on Monday with leafy vegetables. We are also working on spreading the 100 cubic yards of compost across our largest 200 ft bed. We're doing our best to farm without a tractor, but it's tough.
The vineyard is looking good due to the intensive hoeing of the Moldovans. We are getting ready to repair the plastic and we may or may not put down new plastic next year. Our plan is to eventually let the weeds grow up to the side of the vines and let them compete for water and nutrients. Our vines right now are growing so fast that we are having to intentionally slow them down. We shouldn't be harvesting grapes this year, but we left some on so that the vines could concentrate on producing fruit as well as leaves. This has been a great success. We will be harvesting our first grapes very soon. These grapes are very unbalanced and they have not ripened evenly, however judging by our crop this year, next year should be a great hit.
The birds have eaten a large majority of the grapes (and the little eyeballs and streamers do not work. neither do the fake owls). I can't wait until after harvest when my father and I can sit down and talk about getting a netting system. But this year, bird damage is fine, since we can't sell wine anyways!
The diseases haven't been too bad this season. Our grapes have been fairly dry and we have sprayed wisely. Next year a dose of lime sulfur before budbreak will be crucial. Otherwise, a little disease here and there has not hurt the quality of the majority of the grapes.
I hope this has helped explain what we're doing out there. Contact me if you're interested in buying vegetables. Tomatoes and Squash are up right now!