When I was working full time as an engineer I often used Gantt charts as a way of planning out a project. In those days I would use sophisticated software such as Microsoft Project. Today as a self-employed farmer my tools are pencil, paper, straight edge, and eraser much like Mr. Gantt used 100 years ago when he developed the technique. It's a great way of looking at the many pieces of a project on a time line so that first things get done first.
Our project for 2019 includes many pieces of which planting 2 acres of Burgundian varietals is most critical. Not that everything else is not important, but when you are expecting 3,3oo vines to be delivered on June 1st, you need to be ready. The trellis systems are installed and the underground irrigation piping has been installed. We still need to install fence posts and irrigation emitters and drill holes for the plants in the new block while tending to the 6 acres of vines already planted. In order to be as cost effective as possible, we will remove the metal pencil rods from our most mature vines and re-use them for the new plants. Our good neighbors at Walport Family Cellars are allowing us to use their grow tubes this season since they aren't using them. We are very thankful to them and our entire vineyard community which is so supportive of one another here in the Applegate Valley!
Our LIVE certification was renewed last year, and we have been farming organically, although not certified, for 2 years. We employ some biodynamic principles and are considering applying for certification next year. We believe that in caring for the soil we will produce higher quality fruit and better wines. It's a part of stewardship which we take very seriously. Chickens scratch around under the vines and take care of many insect pests. Weekly, we move our flock of Babydoll Sheep to the alleyway between 2 rows to mow and fertilize. Happy sheep!
To learn more about biodynamics as applied to wine and wine grapes check out this blog by our good neighbor Craig Camp from Troon Vineyard.