… and the vineyard springs to life
During the month of May, our vines have grown incredibly, jumping full force into early summer.
This means we have also been busy keeping up with the pruning. These past weeks we have been continuously strolling up and down the rows, taking off any sucker shoots to ensure that the energy of the vine is being put into the straightest, strongest, and most desirably placed shoots. For those vines that had already established themselves last year and were only pruned back to the fruiting wire, we have left three to four shoots at the top like in the photo below. Just in case… we also left one shoot at the bottom, should anything happen to the upper part of the vine.
Later on this season, we will begin selecting and training one or two of these best shoots to grow horizontally along the fruiting wire. We are using the vsp cordon training system, but are still in the process of determining for each variety whether we will use spur or cane pruning method. We still have some time to figure this one out and I’m sure there will be a more detailed post about all of this in the near future.
Of course, the vines have not been the only ones springing to life – so have the weeds! So, in addition to pruning, we have also been back to weeding. However, because of all the work we did last year, the weeds have not come back as strong as before. Amazingly, we have already finished one round of weeding the entire vineyard. Now, we just need to stay on top of it!
In addition to this, we also planted a new smaller plot. Here we are trying a row of Riesling, just to see how they do in this soil and climate. Although we just planted the Riesling a couple of weeks ago, they have already budded and begun to grow, which is an encouraging sign! The remainder of this plot has been dedicated to more Pinot Gris as they seem to be growing great so far in the other plot.
Lastly, birds have also been creating new little lives on our vineyard! A few weeks ago while weeding, we encountered a Killdeer who was not particularly happy with our presence. We were really surprised to see it in the vineyard because they are shorebirds, but apparently our little creek must provide a good enough shore for them. Interestingly, the Killdeer did a little ‘broken wing’ dance for us, which meant there was most likely a nest nearby. By pretending it had a broken wing, it hoped we would think it was injured and follow it, therefore leading us away from its eggs.
Because of it’s persistence, we realized there must be a nest in the area. This made us a little worrisome and be extremely cautious about where we stepped – Killdeer eggs are pretty well camouflaged and laid simply on the ground among rocks and blades of grass. So each time we went out to this particular section of the vineyard, we searched for the nest, while the two Killdeer would continue to try and persuade us to leave. It wasn’t until the following weekend that our friend Freya actually spotted the eggs! Thankfully, we then knew where they were and were able to section off this part of the vineyard in order to protect them.
Then, just this weekend… this is what we found!
Now they are scurrying around on their wobbly little legs throughout the vineyard.
We also had some Canadian geese nest near our creek… and last week we noticed these little guys!