Greg Schultz
 
November 16, 2015 | Greg Schultz

2 x 200

The 2 x 200 is not a new Olympic sport, but if it were, I think we have a good chance of making the team. After harvest, the vines get to take a much needed rest--but not so for the owners. While work does slow down, fall and winter are times for equipment maintenance, garden planning, and vineyard upkeep. We are currently tackling two big projects--star thistle removal and relocating rocks.

The "2" is for the two vineyard rows we work on each day for the purpose of removing star thistle. Star thistle is a noxious weed that crowds out native grasses and has needle-like heads that stick through our clothes. OUCH! Its seeds can remain dormant for many years, but once disturbed, like during our vineyard planting, will grow vigorously. Debbie did a great job of removing the thistle from the first 40 rows last year, making five passes on her hands and knees. We are about 1/3 through the remaining 60+ rows, digging the star thistle to get the roots, and using a 20 gallon can to carry them out to be burned at a later date. It takes a little over an hour per row, and we now have two piles each the size of a car.

Debbie stands triumphantly behind a pile of star thistle

After a short break, we start removing rocks--"200" of them. It sounds like a lot, and is, but it doesn't take long to fill the bed of the Gator. The vineyard is full of rocks that came up during vineyard preparation, trellis construction, and planting (see blog of June 2, 2015). We are starting with the ones that are on the surface, are easy to extract, and which can damage a mower. Our goal is to get these up before the spring rains cause the grass to grow so tall that we can't see the rocks, yet need to mow. We are moving the rocks to a low spot outside the vineyard near the creek.

The Gator is loaded with 200 rocks picked up off the ground


 

Our farm stand / tasting room is 99% complete. We've done some landscaping, planted three rows of garlic, have received most of the furniture, and are starting with final inspections. We know of several corrections that must be made and are progressing with those. It's looking great and we are very happy to be one day closer...

Just a few final touches remain to complete the interior

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