Saturday, February 06, 2010

529 Dead, Dumb almonds, tractor art

6 Feb 2010
After finishing the pruning, it was time to change all the bent metal tutors and count all the dead vines so we can order their replacements.  A new exercise in my "agri-fitness" program, walking up and down, up and down the steep vineyard, searching for the telltale signs of death.  Last year, thanks to a snafu by our agronomist, we were never told our replacement vines had arrived, so they sat in a refrigerated vault 2 miles away for almost 3 months before I finally asked him where they were.   Why, here all along, was the response by the local representative.  Unfortunately, it is dicey to plant in May, so we recounted and now will re-order the vines this year, losing a year of productivity in the process.  We have moved on to a new agronomist and now will order 529 new vines of montepulciano, cabs, merlot, pecorino and incrocio bruni 54.   I placed a red and white banner at each "grave" so the planters can find those to replace when they arrive.  Raffaele made new signs for each of the borders between clones, so as you can see in the photo, this is the boundary of 2 types of cab. sauvignon.
Our ignorant almond tree has again started flowering in February with the 1st flower opening on the 3rd.  With wind chills coming along in the 20's soon, I hope we will not have another season with 3 almonds from 2 trees.   The artichokes are coming along, but they are on schedule and the rest of the fruit trees are rightfully waiting for a more opportune time to blossom.
The next big job of tying the vines will commence with warm weather, hopefully in early March.
Finally, a pic of Bacco with one of his toys and my new art project called "How many shapes can I make with the tractor and it's lawnmower attachment with our metal tutors".  I am working on how to shorten the title.
Happy February and don't forget your sweetheart next weekend!

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