Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Where did May go?

Baby Villard blanc vines getting sprayed with kaolin clay
This Spring just flew by! It seems like only yesterday we were putting our first lettuce plants in the ground and worrying constantly about freezing temperatures! Now we are getting ready to harvest our first cucumbers, green beans, peppers, and squash. May was a busy busy month with an event almost every weekend: Festivals, Wine Parties, and Farm Tours. We have now sold out of our shares for our CSA and the Farm Stand is open every week with all sorts of locally produced goods.

The vineyard is looking great. After last year's Pierces Disease, and then the cold winter, we now have a strategy for rejuvenating the vineyard. We are going to attempt to cane prune this year instead of spur prune. This will let us get large sections of the vines out which are no longer producing. We are also simultaneously training up replacement trunks for the vines. With a few new sprays, I hope to have the Pierces Diseased portions well under control in two years. Nothing is a quick fix in this business.

Baby Cab Franc

The 10 Cabernet Franc vines we planted this year are doing well. We have yet to decide what to plant in our next field. Remember that trip I took to Texas? And how we planted two test plots of Blanc du bois and Lenoir from Texas? Well, from what we can guess, thanks to all the rain last year, the vines did not grow as much as they should, and they did not harden off properly before the winter. And when it got down to 6F a few times this winter, that just did the little fellas in. We had a 60% loss in one vineyard and a 90% loss in the other. I haven't given up hope for these varieties, but I am now very skeptical about their winter hardiness.

The Vineyard Garden
Right now, dad is putting on the second coating of kaolin clay. The berries are beyond pea size, so harvest is not too far away. About one more month till we will put the nets on! I simultaneously await and dread that week.

The garden is looking good. By far the best job that we've ever done in the Spring. It's all about timing: getting the ground ready in the winter so that when the rains come in the Spring you're not delayed due to soggy soil. The hottest item this year? Peas! I will plant half as much lettuce next year and twice as many peas. They are awesome, delicious, and in high demand.

Our First Bell Peppers of the Season
I've already seen my first Squash vine borer adult flying around. Those little bastards. I wish I could catch them and smoosh them, however they always seems to evade me.

It's hard to believe that only a year ago, we were just opening up our store with hardly any produce inside. One year later, we've got plenty of things for sale and we've already had one of our best months ever. We are truly grateful for all the support and blessings we have received. Now if this rain will only stay away until the kaolin clay dries!

awaiting tomatoes and tomato sandwiches