Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Buns of Steel ...and Winners!

Anyone who wants to challenge that vineyard maintenance is not an amazing workout, consider this:

We have approximately 3500 vines in the ground.  These vines are at three different developmental stages due to their three different ages and require different types of care and maintenance respective to their stages.

The oldest vines are coming along beautifully. Over the weekend Aaron worked on cleaning up all the vines that were dragging on the ground and training them up on the wires.


After.  Much cleaner.

He also mowed the vineyard over the weekend, so now it actually looks like a vineyard and not a place where monkeys should live.  Amazing what cut grass can do for aesthetics and visual appeal!

Many of these older vines get confused and they still try to grow shoots from the bottom of the trunk.  So I have to squat down to snip those from 220 vines.

Our second oldest vines had a lot of rigorous growth this spring.  They sprout all sorts of vines from the trunk and it is our job to cut off those out-of-place shoots and keep only one or two shoots to train it into the VSP system.  Again, this requires squatting down to prune all these from the bottom of the trunk on all 1800 or so of those vines.

We also get weeds around the vines that we need to clean up if it is too close to the vine to spray.  This requires squatting down to pull up any weeds or crabgrass interfering with the vines' growth.
And then there are our newest vines.  The other day, I put growing tubes around these to protect them from outer elements like wind and critters since these vines are so delicate the first year.  This requires bending over, squatting down, and placing the tubes just right around the vine.

Most of the other newer vines are ready to start growing up on bamboo poles.  This gives them something to grab on to and grow up on to give some structure rather than flopping over and dragging on the ground.  We have to carry around large bundles of bamboo and sticking them in the ground next to their respective vines.  Don't worry, they weren't too heavy.  We have to do this to the 1200 or so newest vines.
Once the bamboo is in, I have to squat down and tape up the little vine to the bamboo so they know where to grow.  Poor little vulnerable vines get lost otherwise. 

As I am working, the dogs follow me around.  As soon as they see me glance their direction, they'll roll over paws up and and wait for a belly rub.  I'd be heartless if I could resist that, so being the softy that I am, I stop periodically to squat down and give them a good belly scratch. 

It's either something like that, or a distraction, like when they discovered a toad and thought it was the most curious thing in the world.  The played with it, pawed at it, sniffed it, and cocked their heads at it for 10 minutes before I had to stop what I was doing and rescue the poor toad by gently tossing him over the fence where the dogs wouldn't give him a heart attack. 

Have I mentioned my OCD of pulling random weeds because I can't stand the sight of them and don't have the patience to wait until the weather is perfect enough to spray them?  No?  Well I do.  There is nothing more satisfying than yanking out a weed out of the ground, roots and all.  When I see one, I can't help myself and I have to pull it out!  I'm trying to get help for this. 

I got a high out of pulling these suckers out.  Yes!

The last several weeks, we've been working all weekend long and nights after work.  I think it is fair to say that I've gotten to each vine over the last several weeks and each vine has gotten at least one squat held for 20-30 seconds while I complete the work for each vine. 

Clearly, I am not counting accurately, but if 3500 squats are why my hamstrings hurt every time sit down and why my bum feels like I've been doing Buns of Steel videos...then I'd say that's a pretty good work-out, wouldn't you?

And, it's cheaper than a gym membership!  Not that I have any time to go to the gym anyway. 

Lastly, the four winners of the wine stoppers were determined by Random.org.  Thanks for all of your nice comments.  It is great to hear from all of you!

The following numbers were winners:

#25 Yahres
#9 Lindsay
#21 Jensamom23
#6 Murdock's Mama

Congrats winners!  Email me your full name and address at schramvineyards@gmail.com and I will mail out your wine stoppers!

Thank you!