Saturday, January 17, 2009

Young Oak Vineyards - Vol. 27: Goat Powered Lawn Mowers!!!


Hi all:

The vineyard is truly in fallow with only a couple of dry leaves left on the grapevines.  In the cold of our California winter [ah, ... wait a second ... you know, taken from my own personal experiences, ... we Californians are really wimps when it comes to the cold.  It's not cold here!  Its a bloomin' 70 degrees (that's 22 for you metric folk)!  Notice I am in a tee-shirt!  You could live in Finland!  Now that would be cold!!]... So, here in the "relative" cold of our Californian winter, the weeds have grown up, choking the vines.  Some of the weeds are taller than the vines themselves!

We had a nice visit from one of my oldest, longest (?) friends, Duncan MacKenzie & members of his clan, notably his son, daughter & the boyfriend, sister Ann & husband Doug (who took the pictures in this post!  Thanks, Doug!)  After an inspection of the goats, we adjourned to the vineyard where you can see my very healthy weeds.
I have attempted to let the goats wander down to the tall green grass of the vineyard, but they really want to stay in the northern pasture we have created for them.  I think Ellie, the mom, is being a little protective of her little ones.  So I will have to coax them down to the vineyard everyday until Mom is more comfortable with the new local!

Our bee man, Alan, checked out our hive this weekend and things are looking good.  The queen is working away laying eggs.  Alan thinks there are 80,000 bees plus in our hive with lots of new honeycomb.  I got to sample the honey, which was as clear as light corn syrup, but had a wonderful flavor.  Alan said that the clear color was due to only one flower being pollinated right now, although my rosemary, my neighbor's lavender and the mustard grass in the fields are all in bloom.

Hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather, at least those of you in California.  The rest of you guys, put another log on the fire and bundle up!
Happy winter, John

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