These past few weeks have been stressful, to say the least. After a month of little rain and hot temperatures, we've had about three weeks of moderate temps and rain almost twice a week! Some days in July were so hot that it was difficult for the plants to produce fruit. Consequently, we started running low on food about three weeks afterwards. It wasn't quite time for us to plant the fall garden, so, basically, we've been experiencing a shortage of food. We've decided to close the farm stand to the public until later in the fall. If you'd like to purchase any food, just email us and we'll get an order together for you.
The grapes will be harvested tomorrow!!! On Wednesday, the brix were at 21, so hopefully they'll be at 22 by Saturday. It's actually been a little cool for my tastes recently. I think we'll have good acid this year, but I wish the brix were a little higher. The reason we're picking now is because it seems like there will be a few rainy days ahead. The seeds are dark brown and crunchy, the sugar is ok, and I know that waiting longer could just allow the grapes to go bad. If there's one thing I've learned through growing grapes, it's that 'waiting for perfection' is an unattainable goal. In agriculture, the act of waiting can be very dangerous. It's like that bird in the hand proverb: grapes in the winery are worth more than grapes hanging on the vine.
Dad and I are going up to Raylen this morning to pick up our harvesting bins, then over to Charlotte to get refrigerated trucks. The employees are coming in at 1 to sharpen the clippers, wash picking baskets, and start taking the nets off. We'll start picking at 6am. We'll need all the help we can get tomorrow, so if you're free, come out for a few hours. We culled the grapes while still on the vine, so it should go fairly quickly.
I'll post the results of the harvest as soon as I get the results from the lab. Happy Autumn everyone! It's almost time to relax.