I found myself, once again, with a sledgehammer and rebar in the vineyard. Its a good thing—it means there are young healthy vines requiring a bamboo stake to scramble up straight to the cordorn wire. Sort of like vinifera training wheels.
Do you remember way back to when I spent a long, hot summer setting bamboo stakes in the Vidal Blanc block? The vineyard is a much different place, now. The Gishboyz set a blistering pace to follow. In fact, much of the Albarino and Merlot was already staked. When boy1 & I got to the blocks, they were working their way up the top of the hill, with maybe 8 rows left.
We all grabbed bamboo stakes and walked down the rows, throwing a stake down beside each vine. I tried to match the boyz pace and even the effort to push the stakes into the ground on their own. In some areas, the sandy soil would give way, but it was impossible for me in other areas. Boy1 brought me the sledgehammer and rebar and I set back to work, but my progress slowed exponentially in comparison to the young men’s pace. I finished my row, grabbed a pocket full of black rubber ties and fixed the stakes to the cordon wires. Finally done with my row, I checked boy1′s row and found most needed to be reworked, as he met little success trying to push the bamboo into the soil, too. I demonstrated how I made the holes for the bamboo and sent him on his way. By then, it was 11:30 and I needed a drink of cool water. I headed up the house, my head swimming with the heat & humidity and swearing I would drop all this weight I gained.
I met Uncle Pete and we discussed the Port of Leonardtown Winery labels. It felt so good to sit in the house for a little bit. We called the boys in for lunch. The Gishboyz shared their secret for pushing in the bamboo stakes. The Albarino & Merlot were mechanically planted, so Samuel would look to see the where the discs met in the soil. That area was generally weaker and he could push the bamboo in easier.
It didn’t help me much, since I ended up back at the farmhaus to rest for a couple of hours. When I came back, Ger set boy1 and me to leaf canopy management in the proofing rows. That went much quicker and felt much easier to accomplish, since we pull from the east side of the row and are shaded from the hot western sun.
I’m quickly entering this before Ger picks us up again to finish the Viognier. We were to get an early start this morning, but it was raining. We’ll finish the job in the heat of the day, instead. Makes a girl cranky.
So if you ever are staking a first year vineyard block that was machine planted, look for where the discs meet in the soil. And keep the weight off. And don’t leave the field to rest in the heat of the day, it will just make you crankier. And don’t let your husband let you sleep in since its raining when you would rather leaf canopy manage in the rain than the resulting humidity and heat later.
And keep a better perspective about life. Who wants to read a cranky post?