Sunday, February 14, 2010

Young Oak Vineyards: Volume 54: Valentine's Day Edition

Hi everyone!

I hope you get to enjoy this beautiful day with the ones you love. It was a wonderful misty morning here in California, which quickly turned sunny & warm (our condolences to you folks on the Eastern US seaboard and our son in Helsinki!). Well, we were really surprised to look out our window this morning and see a couple of little goats nursing under Ellie!

Yes, the prolific matriarch of our goat herd, Ellie Mae, had two babies this Valentine's Day morning, one male all white and the other a cute black & white female! So, I spent the morning cleaning out the goat barn and putting down fresh straw to fix up the place where these little guys can nurse and sleep.

I'm thinking the male could be named "Rudy" (after Rudolph Valentino and because of the day) and the black & white female, well, ... I'm open to suggestions. If you want to come by and visit our new little goats, please drop by as I will be home all week (Yeah! - Winter Break, a.k.a. Ski Week!)!

Happy Valentine's Day,
John

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Young Oak Vineyards: Volume 53 - Now That The Super Bowl Is Over....?

Hi all:

Haven't the goats done a great job in keeping the weeds down this year. I have to reward them with some alfalfa (also, they are starting to nibble on the grapevines as there are fewer weeds to eat!) As you can see the leaves are all down on the vines and they are ready for their winter pruning.

And now that the "Super Bowl" is over ... (Wasn't that a great game, by the way! Great if you were rooting for New Orleans!). Well, now that the "Super Bowl" is over, we are really going to spend a good deal of time on the vines this third year. They now all have well established trunks and we will focusing on pruning, staking, adjusting the trellis system and tying the lateral cordons shoots to the trellis wires. Also, we have to replace about 30 vines that were lost to gophers or watering difficulties or neglected or just plain died! Also, we have to start composting the cuttings! And now I can't blame not getting anything done on football. All I can say is thank goodness for basketball!

Yours reluctantly from down in the vineyard,
John

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Young Oak Vineyards: Volume 52 - YOV Technical Update!

Hi guys:

Part of writing a blog is learning how to upload photos, videos, music, make website links, etc., making your site interesting, entertaining & "cool". Many others do a much better job than I do, appearing more professional & polished, but I am still learning. Also, when relying on other links for added content, there can a bit of maintenance involved.

For instance, I had been using Imeem.com, a social network for music lovers, where one could create public playlists for the enjoyment of other users and also where I could "embed" songs into my blog from my Imeem's playlist.

Well, that all suddenly changed when MySpace bought Imeem and completely reformatted its function to fit the MySpace format. Overnight, where songs were embedded in my blog, appeared ads for ringtones & links to the music section of MySpace!

So after a little "Googling", I found MyDataNest.com, where I can now plant my selected music files and embed them back into my blog for your un-interrupted enjoyment. So, please excuse the obnoxious ads in my past blogs, while I clean up the mess left behind by the MySpace-Imeem acquisition!

Well, this gives me something to do while we are being pelted by the numerous rainstorms we are experiencing here in California!

Yours from down in the YOV Computer Center,
John

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help Haiti

From one of the blogs I follow:

Details are coming out from Haiti as the day begins, but yet again that small nation has been beset with injury so disproportionate to its size and wealth. An earthquake of a 7 on the Richter scale struck the island yesterday.The non-profit
Network For Good lists several NGOs to which one can contribute to help the survivors:

AmeriCares
Doctors without Borders
Mercy Corps
Oxfam America
Partners in Health
Save the Children
UNICEF

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Young Oak Vineyards: Volume 51 - Happy New Year!

Hope you have had a most enjoyable winter holiday with family and friends! With last year's wine aging away down in the cellar, its time to start thinking about the vineyard again.

Here is my "2010 Vineyard To Do List":

1) Plant roses at the ends of the vineyard rows. These are more than pretty decorations! The roses act like a "canary in a coal mine". If a disease or a pest is going to affect the vines, it will attack the roses first. And, as the vines are more hardier, this gives me a chance to fight back before it attacks the grapes!

2) Winter pruning of the vines (every year). Got to get them into the proper cordon shape for maximum grape production!

3) Mulch the cuttings from the vines as well as from the rest of the garden with my new chipper/shredder I got for Christmas! Gotta keep it green!

4) Deal with the gophers! I lost six mature plants to these varmints last Fall! But I am trying to embrace the little buggers as they are really good for digging up the compacted soil, like mini-rototillers!

Well, that ought to keep me busy for a while!

From down in the vineyard &
"Wishing You & Yours the Best for the New Year!",
John