Monday, June 15, 2009

Young Oak Vineyards - Volume 34: School's Out For Summer!

Hi all:

Happy Summer everyone!  You'll never meet an happier person than a teacher after the last day of school!  And especially one that is not teaching summer school!  Woohoo!!

Well, lookey here! My hand is behind a couple of baby bunches of verdant grapes!  And every grapevine in the vineyard has dozens of them as well!  So, it looks like we will be getting a substantial amount of grapes this Fall, assuming we protect them from the birds! Hey, this means there maybe some grape stompin' at our Oktoberfest!  But what we really want to happen this growing season is for our newly established grapevine trunk to put out those lateral cane shoots we call "cordons".

If you didn't see it, my good friend, Keith Newman, posted a comment on my last post about goats & vineyards.  Keith says, "Michel-Schlumberger Vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley hires a shepherd with pygmy goats/sheep for weed control. The animals are too short to reach the cordons, so leave the grape vine undamaged. When Stacie and I took the vineyard tour we found some little tufts of wool snagged on the grape vine stems."  

Hey, thanks Keith!  I love it!  It sounds like they planned the whole scheme.  I do see that big commercial vineyards tend to construct their trellises very tall, over six feet high to increase the vine growth volume.  We got our goats as an after thought to starting our vineyard.  And unfortunately, I had already installed our trellis's first wire only three feet off the ground.  Also, my so-called "pygmy goats" can reach branches that are four feet or higher off the ground by standing on their hind legs, jumping, climbing on top of each other or on their poor mother's back!!  (I can never get my camera fast enough to catch one of the kids standing on all four on top of Mom!)  I'm just going to have to play with this idea a bit more!  Hmmm!!!  Might have to get taller grapes, ..., or, ..., shorter goats!

From down in the vineyard, Maaaaaaa!!!!  Hey, get out of here you pesky goats!

P.S. - My good friend, Keith Newman, is training for a marathon team to help raise money & awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  Keith is well on his way towards his goal, but every penny helps.  If you can help out, please use the link below to donate online and to learn more about the great things LLS does for cancer research, patients and their families:

Perhaps your employer has a matching gift program?  If so, please consider that option as well.  Donations to LLS helps accelerate finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma & myeloma. More than 823,000 Americans are battling these blood cancers!

Thank you, John

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