I can’t believe August is almost over and we get to usher in cooler temps soon and changing leaves and our birthdays! Did you know Dan and I are two years and 1 day apart? This isn’t so unique to me however as my sister Stefanie is two years and 1 day younger than me! So we celebrate 3 birthdays back to back from Sept 27–29.
Not a lot to report on home projects as we’ve been spending all our time on the vineyard but I did manage to paint our two interior doors over the weekend!
We chose to paint all the (future) window/door trim and baseboards a warm creamy neutral: Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige.
We experienced our first tropical storm (“Fred”) with vines a few weeks ago. We discovered because we hadn’t finished installing all our line posts (the metal posts that go in the rows between every 4–5 vines to support the wires and future fruit) a few of our long rows were leaning badly. So we ran out in the rain and installed the last few critical posts in those rows. The good news is they went in so easily because the ground was so saturated and thankfully no vines were damaged!
We now have top wires installed in 75% of the vineyard which was much needed! This helps spread out the canopy a bit so we can get better coverage when we spray for mildews. With leaves so thickly stacked on top of one another and intertwined we’ve struggled a bit with downy mildew and hope now we can knock it back. Below a picture of a row that is strung up to the top wire and one that is not.
Speaking of spraying, we’ve ordered our long-term $8k sprayer which has a lead time of 8 weeks. Sadly by then the season will be over and we won’t need to use it much until next year. In the meantime, with this unprecedented growth, it has been getting impossible to spray with our old method of handheld sprayer (Dan walking each row and me slowly driving the car with the tank). So *obviously* Dan rigged up a better system for us to tide us over! All this man has to do is sit and stew on a problem for long enough with his mechanical little brain and the solution comes to him. I’m so thankful I don’t have to suit up in 90 degree weather anymore! See below!
On another note, we were supposed to have a crew starting to work on clearing the next few acres of woods for planting next Spring. We reached out to them in June and locked them in for August. August first came around and we were told they were delayed and it would be about 3 more weeks till start. This week we called and they said another month! Whyyyy does this keep happening? If we had known a month ago we would have looked for someone else and here we are scrambling again to find someone last minute.
Good news though, we reached out to our favorite contractor last night who we were only able to work with a few days in the past because of scheduling conflicts and he said he can fit us in in about 2 weeks, maybe less, AND he said he’d honor the price our other contractor gave us which is amazing and honestly all we can afford right now! I’m forcing myself to be confident that this will happen; he said he’d keep in touch with us and communicate with us so we’re not worried about anything changing. Thank you God for small miracles! Last year we were in a similar situation and we struggled and rushed to get the ground ready by end of October. The lime additions really need to sit in the soil for a minimum of 6 months (ideally 9) to take effect, then you take another ph measurement before planting to determine if more is needed. We’re hopeful we wont be as rushed this time around by starting a month sooner. Also once you’ve amended the soil you need to get grass seed down to keep your topsoil which, past October is incredibly difficult to do with temperatures dropping.
Lastly a few pictures of vineyard visitors! We saw the two bucks early one morning, sticking to the weeds thankfully! And Ricky, our cat, nervously ventured quite far into the vineyard which was a first. He’s very unsure of his new, seemingly boundless surroundings.
PS We’re going to raise some chickens and our eggs from Alchemist Farm are shipping this week! We got a FREE coop from our neighbor and we’ll be getting it ready in the coming weeks. They will incubate for 21 days, hatch and then remain indoors (help!) for the first month.