Luckily, the forecast changed-and we didn't get rain OR wind. So we were able to spray out our vineyard rows with round-up. Check one more "to do" off the list!
Will preparing the sprayer. He put caps on the outer 2 spray heads to keep the width of spray 4 feet.
Will in action.
Checking out our vineyard rows.
Of course, the day involved fencing. Actually, day and night...
To do list for tomorrow... FINISH FENCE!
As May approaches, we are realizing we really need to kick it in gear. Every day that goes by we think by the end of that day we will be able to finish the fence... Not the case. BUT, very, very, soon. We did have to put the fence on hold for a couple hours, however, and mark out our vineyard rows. This seemed like a daunting task when we set out to decide how we would actually accomplish this. With experienced farmers in the family, this task was simplified...
Dad... Brilliant farmer, father, and equipment modifier, (amongst other things). We hooked up a row cultivator to a 8420 John Deere tractor and jacked up and chained all but two row units to give us the spacing of 10 feet between rows.
Saving us even more time - Seth, (king of technology), set up his auto steer GPS system in the tractor and locked in at 0 degrees (North) and 180 degrees (South), and tractor spacing of every 20 feet. To begin the row, the computer would tell us when the tractor was on the right mark, Seth would lock the steering and the tractor would basically drive itself to the end of the row. We were able to mark all of the vineyard rows in just about two hours going perfectly north to south and with a spacing of exactly 10 feet between rows. This would have taken us days to do on our own but with the help of family it went very smoothly.
Next on our list... We will be spraying round-up using a four foot wide sprayer attached to a four-wheeler, to kill the grass under the vines. We did receive our soil samples back from ISU, which were totally different from our first sampling, but we are waiting to receive our recommendations. Once we receive those, we will be able to apply our amendments and use a rotary tiller to incorporate.
Family of course. ;o) We are so lucky to have family close by, (within 5 miles). We did do some enticing with grilling, campfires, and s'mores.
The day started out somewhat moist and breezy, once we got working it turned into an absolutely gorgeous day, progressed into scattered showers, dark clouds surrounding us, with thunder and lightning about 10 miles away, and ended with the sun peaking through.
Family photo op.
(snapshots by Laura Marie Photography)
Basically more of the same, with many more hands helping---which equals, progress.
There is a chance of rain everyday for the next week. Hopefully that won't stall us too much...
Time to get out the rain gear!
This was the day of finding more efficient ways to do things... Will found a more appropriate crimping tool to connect wires, and I found a tool that makes wrapping the ends of wire T-post clips fun! ;o) ---used to stabilize the woven wire to the T-posts
Discussing the method to his madness.
The most simple, yet, amazing tool ever... Not that I don't love my pliers.
We've had our ups and downs while fencing, (going into our 3rd week), and we feel like we're gaining some momentum. The weather has been absolutely perfect, the trees are budding out and blossoming, the calves are playing on the pasture land across the road, and the air smells of freshly tilled soil... Can't get much better than that. On the 19th, Will and my dad set out the woven wire rolls and next step of the fencing began...
We have to thank our 10 year old nephew for the photography and videos, he did an awesome job---catching all of the details as he was running beside the truck, from the Ford truck logo, to the cowpies that currently can be found spotted throughout the property.
Gaining momentum, however, plenty yet to do...
After a decent day of work.
We finished installing the T-posts last night! of course we did hit a few rocks... We are finishing up the H-braces today, where we also had hit a few rocks and are having to post hole dig those. Next on the list, pour concrete in the holes around the posts, and stretch the woven wire...
We never knew how complicated constructing a good fence could be. It feels like we should have taken a class for it. Luckily we had a friend that was willing to loan out their hydraulic post pounder, which has been very useful and made the steps to fencing a bit simpler.
Our fence is to be 6.5' tall, with the goal of keeping deer out. We decided to use treated wood posts 5" diameter and 10' long for line posts every 45', with t-posts (metal) approximately every 15' with an H-brace on every corner over 20 degrees, (and there are quite a few). We will use 4' tall 2"x4" woven wire fence at the bottom hopefully to deter raccoons, rabbits, and other animals that could destroy the grape crop and vines in one night. We will also have and electric wire at about 3.5' for the cattle roaming the pasture acres surrounding the property. And to top it off, two 12.5 gauge wire. Hopefully that will be sufficient, but we will find out...
We've learned that fencing is a lot of hard work... But when finished, very gratifying.
If only they all went in that easily...
Our land consists of 4 different soil types. 33E, 401D3, 410C2, and 411C2. Mostly well drained clay-loam with a water table of over 80 inches. Our elevation is at 1400', which is 150' higher than surrounding areas. We sent 3 samples of each soil type, one at 0-6", one at 6-12", and one at 12-24".
The results were a bit disappointing as they were pretty unbelievable. Our organic matter came back at 8%. Very possible the error of the sampler, Will ;o). Even the highest humus soil my dad farms is only at 4.8%. So we have had to re-test our 0-6"samples and are waiting to hear the results.
Was a long winter, so we were very happy to finally see what was under the snow... Thankfully, no surprises.
This was back in February - Video is not of the highest quality... But hopefully you can get a general idea...
An idea of what the winery might look like...
... and floor plan.