Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Planting Party 2010 (and a 2009 Recap)

Temps hit 40, the birds are chirping, we are down to only a couple of inches of snow still on the ground, and starting this Sunday, we'll gain another hour of daylight.  Spring is just around the corner, which means, here at Schram Vineyards, we are preparing for our 2nd Annual Planting Party!

Have you ever been to a planting party?  No?  That's probably because it is a party Aaron and I invented to get free labor from our friends and family.  We figured if we just put "party" at the end of it, that would make it sound like fun.  And it works!  Since we don't have wine to sell yet, and thus low funds to monetarily pay for laborers, instead we sucker invite our friends to help plant grapevines in exchange for some Minnesota wine tastings, and plenty of beer on hand for a grueling, but fun day with good people. 

Come be a part of Schram Vineyards history as we grow our vineyard from 2000 grapevines to about 3300!  This year's event will take place on Saturday, May 22nd.  This is the only weekend in May that is not a holiday of some sort, so you have no excuse!  May 1st is May Day.  The second weekend is Mother's Day, third weekend is the Fishing Opener (yes, this is a holiday in Minnesota), and the last weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  So save the date...May 22nd.  And, just like last year, we will put a plaque up on a row you plant, named by you, after you...whatever you want. 

For those who couldn't make it last year, here is a recap of Planting Party 2009.  We managed to hold it on the coldest day of what was an otherwise very nice month of May.  Those of us who were out there at 9am, found ourselves clumsily planting with mittens on our frozen fingers!

This is my friend, Laura.  She is with child in this picture.

Her husband, Jeff, came to help too.  Hi Jeff! 

And Tommy and Holly, planting geer in hand, posed with my Dad.  This was in the morning, before Holly's knees started bleeding.  More on that later.

Who are these studs? It's Tommy, Aaron, and Steve.

Look at this cute couple!  Just one month before they were married, planting their future together. 

Last May, before we were married, I could say these clowns were just my fiance's relatives.  Now I have to claim them as my two sister-in-laws and brother-in-law.  I'm not sure what Angie is doing in this picture. Hmmmm...

Aaron's sister, Lisa, came from her Wisconsin farm to help.  She is the coolest girl I know because she can drive a tractor better than I can ride a bike.  And she was only 16 in this picture. I need to take some lessons from her. 

My brother-in-law, Mike, and our friend, Adam were rockstar hole diggers.  Notice Adam's green sweatshirt in this picture. 

Look at these good lookin' fellas on a beer break.  Now Adam has now stripped down to his white muscle shirt.  It was 50 degrees, but he had to work on his tan.

Even my city living brother, Eric, came out in his Converse shoes and blaze orange gloves and tried his hand at manual labor. He dug a hole.

But he brought a pretty cute kid with him..  Any time we needed a little pick me up, we'd watch Hank with his heart shaped glasses and engineer pants just chillin' in the swing. He's a cool kid.

There he is again, with my sister-in-law, Jill. 
Here's Holly again with another little helper.  She's smiling through gritted teeth.  What a trooper.  She was so determined to finish planting all the vines, she worked all day long and her knees started bleeding.  At least that's what she said. We have affectionately named a row in honor of her. "Bloody Knees" planted by Holly

Another little helper, Wyatt. Or is it Sawyer?  Oh, I can't tell!  They're twins and I can't see his face.  He decided to plant.... himself.  This soil does wonders for 2 year olds.  He grew a lot this year! 
Joe had fun swinging too.  I knew we kept that old swingset for a reason.

We grilled out for lunch on Schramihana. 

Although I will tell you grilling burgers for 40 people on a chilly spring day with dirt embedded in our pores was a little overwhelming.  I think we'll opt for more of the family style meal this year. 

This is Bob, appropriately wearing his John Deere hat.
And Scott working hard.  He is a fellow grape nerd.  He and Aaron get along swimmingly.

Overall, it was a really fun day!
We worked hard.

And played.  Fore!

Some got a few swings on our sudo golf tee.  Here is Adam again, now changed into...his evening farm attire.  We are very posh out here on the farm.  Three wardrobe changes. 

And then we drank.  Lots and lots of Minnesota wine.

And admired our work. 

Old friends, new friends, blog friends, family, have I enticed you enough to come this year? Or, to come back again?  I promise we'll have knee pads so nodody's knees will bleed.  If you are interested in more details on the Schram Vineyard's Planting Party, please leave me a comment or email us at and we'll put you on the email list where we'll provide more details on the event.  Keep your fingers crossed for a beautiful day this year!