Of course, there was quite a bit more, (hours, sweat, preparation, concern, soil temp. increase, root growth, photosynthesis...), involved in the journey to emergence for their new little leaves. Some are moving along quickly through the stages of growth, some more slowly, and a few---not at all, which we will be replacing ASAP.
| Click here to view a document by MSU discussing the stages of grape vine growth.|
|File Size: ||755 kb|
|File Type: || pdf|
We are seeing: dormant, early bud swell, late bud swell, bud burst, and 1-3" shoots.
We finished watering the vines a second time on Saturday (5.22) and should not need to water again for another couple weeks. (Introducing our makeshift hydrant in the upper left picture.)
We are currently re-setting some of the vines that settled a bit much after watering, and taking inventory on vines that had some issues, (e.g. no green tissue), more than likely, prior to planting.
We are getting pretty anxious to get the remaining fence up considering we now have growth on the vines and deer will be interested... We haven't seen any damage or footprints of deer yet, however, if anyone is missing a horse---we did see some tracks about the vineyard. We didn't have any damage from that. They got very close to the vines, but curiously, didn't step directly on them...
Three of the many hand collected rolls of barbed wire by Will while taking down fence along the road.
We have begun pounding posts for the fence along the North end of the road and we are in discussion of where to position the South end.
Say goodbye to the peaceful green pasture and hello to the bulldozer, for the moment, that is... And that may be a bit dramatic. Just a bit shocking to see our precious topsoil pushed to the side in preparation for winery building, and driveway construction.
But... "It's a good thing..." The building will have a beautiful design complimenting the pastoral setting once everything is put back in it's place.
R.L. Wulf Ltd... Robert knows how to get things done, and done right...
Black soil... One of the best smells on this earth... That, and freshly cut alfalfa.
He first moved the top soil to the side, to be put back in place when building is finished. He then grated the building site level, built up the entrance and driveway, made a drainage ditch behind the building so water will drain away from the building to the ditch and through the culvert.
Building progress to be continued. We are still waiting for some numbers (prices, bids) before we can dig the utility basement, but, hopefully we aren't too far from that step.
And the fencing begins---again...
Yes... More fencing. Will's favorite thing to do. He has also learned, while taking the old fence down, that barbed wire is a lot of fun to roll up. The picture above is actually of posts for the vineyard, which is a whole other project.
The county road grater was able to come out and push down the soil ridge that was along the fence line. This will help them, and us, by reducing snow drifting/accumulation on the road in the winter.
The weather has been perfect the past couple weeks the vines have had their feet in the ground. We received nearly an inch and a half the days following the super successful planting party. It started sprinkling just as we were finishing giving the newly planted vines their first drink, where that water came from, however, an issue in itself. Turned out that rural water had in fact NOT finished the job, and water was not available at that most crucial time. Thanks to the minds and muscles of the Bahnson and Kimberley families, we were able to put together a new plan. As Dad searched his yard for water tanks and trailers, the Kimberley fam. started up a bucket brigade. We became more efficient after my brother let us bring his semi-trailer filled with large water tanks to the site, and Will and Co. modified, (we love modifying machinery), a tank to have three output hoses.
Back to the weather... After the cool, cloudy, and moist days following the planting, the sun came out to warm up the soil.
In the next couple weeks we will be adding some vines (30 of each variety), to the test vineyard. These are promising cultivars that we hope to plant in the future... Click on cultivar name below to view research sheets provided by ISU extension.
We are also in search of an Tom Plocher cultivar named, 'Petite Pearl', a seedling of 'St. Croix' for the test vineyard, but it may have to wait until next year...
Ed Swanson, from Cuthills Vineyard and Winery in Pierce, Nebraska also has our interest in some cultivars he has been working on and we are awaiting their release...
We are currently in the process of watering the vines a second time in preparation for the warm and windy days ahead of us. It is so exciting to see some green on the vines that once looked like a stick--- We look forward to the next couple days of warmer weather for bud break!
This was the weekend the vines were to be planted... Friends and family would be driving from as far away as Oklahoma and Kansas City, Montrose and Luverne, MN, to our supporting community.
Our future arrived in six beaten up, medium sized boxes.
Our first vine was planted.
The Kimberley boys modified a trailer to carry water tanks... In the dark...
Friday night the clouds rolled in, the wind picked up, and we worried about the turnout for the planting on Saturday.
The temperature got down to 35 degrees F Saturday morning. This is a picture of frost on the seat of our four wheeler.
Despite all of this, the sun came out, the wind died down, and our first dedicated planter arrived a little after eight ready to move some soil.
Giving a "how to" speech.
...and the crew grew.
Our brother-in-law, Cory, was on planting quality detail.
We found out we have a PERFECT site for kite flying as well!
We finished planting the 2,250 grape vines in six hours. We figured this would take all day and into Sunday. With our family and friends this only took six hours.
A toast to you... Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We could not have done this without you. For the memories, the laughter, and the success... Cheers.
We thank Tim K. for many of the pictures from the event.
Calico Skies Vineyard and Winery, Inc. 712.441.5547 1366 Able Boulevard, Inwood, IA email@example.com
The rows have been marked, the soil amended, vine rows tilled, and now, rows ridged.
Dealing with our previous issue of the soil spreading out to five feet instead of the 3.5 to 4 feet we had tilled---we used a blade to push the soil back to the middle of the rows. This ridging will also improve surface drainage away from the plants and rows and into the row middles where we have established sod.
Rural water rolled in and finished the project in less than 5 hours.
Marking where the vines will soon be planted.
Probably not the most efficient method... But the only one that we came up with that worked...
Originally Will was thinking he would be able to follow the 24 foot row marks Seth had made, and drag 3 chains attached to a pole, to mark every 8 feet. This failed miserably as it didn't leave as mark as shown in the video below.
No worries... We're not afraid of manual labor. We cut a PVC pipe to be 24 feet, and followed the marks Seth had made and marked every 8 feet with spray paint and moved to the next 24 foot line. Lots of walking...
This was early in the process... The x's turned into dots later in the day.
What our diet has been consisting of...
The auguring started off great! It was taking about 30 seconds from beginning the hole, to moving to the next.
That is, until it broke down...
Will stopped in to Caswell Plumbing in Inwood to pick up more PVC. Will told of his woes of his broken down skid steer... The gentleman at Caswell's offered their skid steer for us to use!
And again, we were movin'.
Dad brought over his telahandler, and we were really moving.
We rented a five foot rototiller to break up the sod, and incorporate the soil amendments. We removed the outer blades on each side to give us a three and a half to four foot area. While doing this, however, it still spread the soil out to five feet, (a dilemma we will have to come back to). This worked... for a while. That is until the PTO broke. Thankfully, we have some dedicated businesses and mechanics in Inwood and we were up and running the next day to finish the first go.
Another issue. Not deep enough... Back to the drawing board. We once again looked to the row cultivator for a solution. Will added six thick washers to three of the sweeps on the top bolt to give it more of an angle for a deeper dig.
This worked relatively well, mainly cutting in the center of the row. We the did another round with the rototiller-which loosened the soil down to about six inches.
Will's fighter plane.
Marking off the end rows, as a farmer would say.
...or "row ends" as Will calls them. We left 40 feet at the end of some rows and 30 at others. This will give us some room to turn tractors around when working in the vineyard.
How many vines can we fit?
Walked the vineyard rows measuring the length. From our calculations, we should be able to fit 3000 vines on property (eventually), with 8 feet (between plants) x 10 feet (between rows).
Calico Skies Vineyard and Winery Inc. 2010 1366 Able Boulevard, Inwood, IA 51240 712-441-5547 firstname.lastname@example.org
We have decided to designate our fencing accomplishments in stages so we can actually say something is done... Fencing the land between ours and our neighbors---DONE (basically... we still need to put up the high tinsel wire on and the wire for the electric fence... But, we'll just stick to the positives for now.) The main push was to get the woven wire up so that we would be able to fertilize the land without bothering the neighboring cattle and calves.
Last piece of the current puzzle right before it was put into place...
We received our soil test recommendations in the nick of time. Results: good on the organic matter, a higher than recommended pH, low phosphorous, and low zinc. With these results, the recommendations from the Iowa State University Extension fruit specialist, and a joint effort with a gentleman from the Inwood Farmers Elevator, we were able to put the rates and product together as a dry/granular fertilizer, and spread the next afternoon and finish the following morning.
More machine modification. This time we used the row cultivator, the John Deere 8420, and the GPS auto-steer, to mark where the vineyard posts will go. We removed the sweep on the center row unit, (the part that digs into the soil), and lowered the disk by 5 inches. This allowed us to make lines every 24 feet going East and West without tearing up the soil.
Picture of what the vineyard posts and end posts will look like. This picture was taken at a vineyard in central Iowa at residential school for a Viticulture class at Des Moines Area Community College.
Progress?... Progress indeed...