Due to an unexpected and unseasonable week of rain, it’s been two weeks since we’ve been up at the ranch. Things have changed in that time. For one thing, you can see from the photo at left, that the vineyards have finally been mowed. You’ll remember in this post, that the vineyard management company (read local freelance farmers) were allowing the vineyard’s weeds to grow rampant. Seems our soil was a bit too fertile and the vines were having too easy a time of it. Hence the need to allow weeds to suck all the excess nutrients out of the soil so the vines really had to struggle. Apparently, that’s what makes a good wine grape. But now the weeds’ work is done here and the nearly five foot high weeds were cut down. This was done by a mower, but I’m hoping sometime in the future, I can rent the local sheep mowing service (called Wooly Weeders) to do it in a more natural way.
If you’ve been following this blog, you also know that I’ve engaged myself in a project to document every week in the life of a particular vine from early spring through harvest. As you can see at left, the featured vine is bushy enough now to provide shade for a hot terrier.
Also flourishing is the Insectarium, which is a planting of fragrant native plants that are attractive to bees, birds and other beneficial visitors. The goal is to have year round color, fragrance and food, but the banquet seems to be laid out for summer.
Meanwhile, up at the organic orchard:
And down in the kitchen garden:
The wine progress is a post unto itself. But let’s just say, it’s passing the “sniff test”.