Prepare Vineyard for Ludicrous Growth!

….. “Fasten all seatbelts, seal all entrances and exits, close all shops in the mall, cancel the three ring circus, secure all animals in the zoo! “

Spaceballs is to Star Wars what we are to conventional vineyard practices. I say this not as a negative thing; far from it, Spaceballs is hilarious and a timeless classic on its own merit. Although it wasn’t entirely original, it added a little creativity and a splash of humor to stand on its own. Fasten those seatbelts as we demonstrate how we fit this analogy at Dale Hollow.

Exhibit A:

IMG_3675 IMG_3677 IMG_3678

Our initial plan in the North Vineyard was to use a cover crop in lieu of the traditional fescue seen around this great state. There are a myriad of benefits to using cover crop, none of which we reaped last year. Along with the proposed benefits of rotating a grass other than fescue (clovers and rye grass and such) come with the added headaches: long grass, added expense, and probably a few dozen more deer than we will already have! So, we shelved this idea for another time and the pictures above show the beginning of Plan B: fescue. With this efficient little disc, we tilled up the ground and spread everyone’s favorite grass. Why fescue? While it doesn’t provide the nutritional benefits of some other cover crop choices; it’s much easier to care for, simple to plant, and darn it, it just looks nice. Naturally, the disc wasn’t quite heavy enough to penetrate the soil as well as we would have liked, so for many of the passes Asher captained the four-wheeler while I straddled the disc. To any passerbyers I’m certain we looked like Don Quixote and his trusty sidekick, Sancho. Unfortunately there is no picture of this feat.. As you can see, the disc doesn’t have what one would consider a “formal” seat, in the traditional sense, and sometimes I’m actually doing something and can’t take pictures. Anyway, with a little luck and some routine maintenance, the vineyard should look a little greener and well-kept this summer!

Exhibit B:


After more than a year of this working in the vineyard stuff, one might think we would learn to plan ahead.. One would be wrong. It is really easy to plot out exactly where holes need to be dug when planning a trellis project, but a little trickier when plan becomes action. What do you do when you arrive at the vineyard with all the paint, tape measure, string, and whatnot but need to have everything “perfectly” square on a windy day? Grab a nearby Christmas Tree skeleton looking thingie that is over six feet long, of course (try to find that line in a “how to build a vineyard” book). Utilizing this masterpiece in modern vineyard technology, we were able to lay out the grid for all 80 end posts for the forthcoming trellis.

Exhibit C:


First Quarter 2014 Officer’s Meeting. Yep, right here in the kitchen with the people we love. Good food, good wine, and even a little time to talk wine business. What could be better?

I could always say that we will change our ways as we get more experienced, but after a year or so of this, I would probably be kidding myself. And what would be the fun in doing everything the conventional way? And what would I write about? It’s like Dark Helmet always says, “even in the future nothing works!”.




One thought on “Prepare Vineyard for Ludicrous Growth!

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