Tuesday, April 29, 2008

weeding with Raffaele, grape formation, bacco and Scotch broom?

29 Aprile
After a 6 day recovery from my last finger cutting, I can now type again with my Rt index finger. As my associate has kindly pointed out for the 2nd time, it is better if I don't try to cut things when i am tired from hoeing. I made a really nice protective splint made out of a little crescent wrench which served me well for 2 days. This wound took about 20 minutes to stop bleeding and I must thank Larry and Brian for the supply of steri strips they sent me. I used a pack and a half.
It was a good excuse not to hoe and since Raffaele knows how fretful I get when the hoeing is not getting done, he took a turn in the field.
I have been back in the USA this past week (figuratively) as we have had our Kansas City guests, 2 americans who live in Rome and a guest from the English Slow Food master's program. She was there while i was in the Italian master's and she has brought 3 friends, so we are speaking english here at Nascondiglio. That will all change next week when we will be again full of italians, but it is nice to actually see some soldi travelling into the coffers instead of always out as our season starts up again.
Our agronomist came by today and said my hoeing was not adequate (not wide enough) and I had some choice words in italian for him, seeing as I have been doing this for over 3 weeks now and he hasn't said anything prior. The problem we have is too many rows of vines with too many fast growing weeds. As I finish 1/2 of the vineyard, the 1st rows need hoeing again. I have waved the white flag and asked for an army of helpers so we can get ahead of this perennial called erba medica which was in our field the last 3 years and refuses to die.
The old vineyard has been putting up some little grappoli as you can see and in my spare time I am weedeating around the old vines to keep the rows clear. Also with 2 acres to mow and weedeat around Nascondiglio di Bacco, I stay busy.
Bacco has a friend this week as Linda from Slow Food has brought her border collie, lab mix to the agriturismo and Bacco is so excited, he quit eating for a day and a half. He is back to normal today. You can see a nice picture of him above.
The artichokes are really wonderful and I am picking them before they develop their chokes. I cooked up artichoke quiches in little ramekins as part of a dinner we are serving for our neighbors who do all our tractoring and treating of the vineyard tonight. These will be in honor of Damon who 1st showed me real men can not only cook, but also eat quiche.
I wish him well as he is recovering from a stem cell transplant.
The pool is coming along, although the pictures probably seem the same. The wall for the waterfall is being constructed right now.
The mystery bush has 2 guesses from my friends Erika and Sabrina who thought it might be forsythia or gorse. I think because the woody part is green and the leaves are sparse, it is Scotch Broom. Still looking for word from my plant expert Lorie to chime in or whomever has a better background than me in plants of the Med basin.
Finally, we are looking forward with great pleasure to seeing our lost friend Rebecca this Friday as she is making a trip from Venice to see us!
A dopo

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