While the new bride and husband were traipsing around the far reaches of the earth celebrating wedded bliss and finally settling into the domesticated life, the vines (and everything else) in our vineyard to the north were flourishing.
Dale Hollow Vineyardology: We fondly refer to the vineyard just outside Stover as the “North Vineyard” and the vineyard on Grey Bear Lands as the “South Vineyard”. It’s a very sophisticated naming convention whereby one vineyard is to the north of the one to the south.
Due to a mix of Asher working full-time, a mechanically challenged lawnmower, and abundant summer rain, we had ALL kinds of growth:
This was the scene at the vineyard for most of the summer; vibrant growth that we had trouble keeping up with, but we couldn’t complain a bit. We had rain in July and August. This is Missouri, and you can count on rain in July and August like you can count on a bear relieving itself in the city.
We worked quickly to get the vineyard back into top shape:
Grass was cut:
Spray was sprayed:
And earth was moved by the unreserved power of the skid-steer:
I even had the chance to man the helm of that beast and wish we had the picture of the joy on my face! You see, when we dug 1000 holes last winter, we managed to find some decent sized rocks (lesser men would call them boulders) and they have been sitting in the vineyard ever since they saw the light of day. We used the skid-steer to drive down each row, level the ground, and fill the bucket with these monolithic pieces of earth. We discovered that when your own lawnmower is in a state of rest, your father doesn’t appreciate it when you borrow his and attempt to mow a field full of rocks waiting like mines to devour the blades. I have said it before and I will say it again: lesson learned.
After all was said and done, we once again had a respectable looking vineyard. The plants were doing great through the summer and many were growing clear out of the grow tubes already. A number of the smaller plants that looked like they were struggling even had some leaves now. We noted an important lesson from this: don’t give up on the little plants just because they appear lifeless at first glance; you don’t know what’s going on underneath the surface as roots are growing deep and they are realizing their potential. Not dead, just in need of a little time and nourishment through sunshine and water.