Most of the vines in the vineyard officially have leaves. Seeing the vines put forth their first tiny tender leaves is much akin to seeing a new littler of puppies or kittens, and often makes me go 'awww.' There is such possibility in those new shoots. Possibility to make a great wine, and possibility for a disappointing and diseased year.
We're doing all we can to make sure that the latter option is diminished. We've sprayed our vines with lime-sulphur during the dormant season to help get rid of anthracnose, black rot, and phomopsis. We then sprayed our vines with neem oil during the latter part of bud swell to keep away some nasty insects and to prevent downy and powdery mildew. We're still spraying by hand, which is a pain and hurts the shoulders, but we should be purchasing a tractor in the next two weeks. That can't come soon enough.
In the meanwhile, we're having someone till up the garden space to prepare it for the summer planting. This is going to take longer than expected, and I should have gotten on this sooner. Everything always takes longer than expected. We'll be putting our beans and corn in the ground as soon as possible and we're waiting on our pepper, tomato, and eggplant transplants to be ready at the nursery. We'll be starting our squash transplant on Friday.
The rain has continued to be perfectly timed, however I am dreading the day that this ceases to be. The produce is coming along well for the first week of the CSA (signup ends April 14th!!! Contact me if you're interested in purchasing a share!). The blackberries are also starting to put out their leaves. The onions are slow growing, and I am scared that they might be in vain this year. We're going to have to give all the plants a little additional fertilizer on Friday to boost their growth.
That's all for now!