Monday, June 29, 2009

The Grand Canyon - Trees - Being Organic

At first these three things may not seem to have anything in common, so this is going to take a little bit of time to link together.

Every day at work I eat lunch at my desk and work through the lunch hour. I try and use that hours time to get in a morning walk and an afternoon walk instead. Most days I'm able to get in 2-3 miles around the little neighborhood at work. I'm hoping that those walks, with the gym training and our weekend hikes, will have me ready for our Grand Canyon trip next spring.

Every day I go by this set of trees. You can't really see this in this picture but I wanted to give some scale to the size of the trees

The trees are covered in Powdery Mildew. Powdery Mildew is our main pest enemy in the vineyard. It attacks the fruit and leafs of vines and trees. If left unchecked it will eventually kill the host (tree or vine) by shutting down all photosynthesis in the host. All of the green area is eventually infected and the plant can't process sunlight. Even a little on fruit can block flavor and sugar development.

It's a tough little mildew too. Once it gets started, or to an advanced stage like this, there's really nothing that can be done to stop it, or reverse the effects. Everything is in prevention. The mildew is actually fairly un-hardy. It doesn't like it too hot (over 90), or too cold (under 70), or too windy, or too damp. Those though are exactly the conditions you want in a vineyard. Between 70-90, with no wind and no summer rain or humidity. Powdery Mildew loves vineyards.

It spreads through spores that attach themselves to the green parts of the plant. That's why it doesn't really like wind. Too windy and the spores can't attach. The spores are hardy though. They can survive hot and cold spells in a dormant stage and then go active when the weather is right.

In the vineyard we use something called Integrated Pest Management to control the mildew. Basically that's putting a complete and complex system together that understands the life cycle of the pest and tries to deal with it with as few chemical applications as possible for complete control. The first step we do is to remove any infected plant material from the vineyard at pruning time. This removes a great many of the spores that would be present.

This is actually easier than it seems. If you've kept the mildew out of the vineyard during the year, there is no infected material to remove at the end of the year. When we take on a new vineyard though, there will be material to remove.

We also plan on short growing cover crops. The grasses and plants in between the rows can harbor spores so we try and select plants that grow short. Most spores spread by falling from above and attaching to a lower part of the plant. By keeping the vines the highest thing around we don't let spores fall.

Then we do all the thinning and have a pruning strategy to open up the plants to airflow. Since the spores like calm air to spread, we try and open the plant up to the wind. The idea is that a little wind will prevent the spores from attaching to the leafs as they fall.

The final part of the plan is to use sprays. All the available sprays do basically the same thing. They create a barrier on the plant surface that prevents the spores from attaching and or activating on the plant. Timing the spraying is key. You have to watch the weather closely. If it's going to be really cool, or really hot, you won't need to spray. UC Davis has a tool that will help a grower figure out when the mildew is dormant, and when it will go active. You need to spray before it goes active. You also have to watch for rain and moisture. Many of the sprays will wash off in the rain.

There are many organic sprays: sulfur, mineral oil, baking soda, that are effective. They work by creating a barrier on the leaf that 'zaps' the spores before they can get attached and going on the leaf. The in-organic sprays tend to work by getting inside the plant tissue and creating a barrier from the inside out. That means they generally won't wash off in the rain as well.

I always say "we try to be as organic as possible', and I know people usually wonder why I'm qualifying that, or what I'm hiding? Well, it's the trees. No big secret, it's just hard to explain in 10 seconds or less.

In our vineyards I prefer to use mineral oil and baking soda as treatments. I don't really like using sulfur if I can avoid it and I've found the oil to be very effective. These treatments are organic and I only use products that have been certified as organic in those cases. But in some vineyards we have had trees. Big trees, that hang over the vineyard. Big trees that were as infected with Powdery Mildew as the pictures I took today.

In those cases the organic treatments where just overwhelmed by the pressure from the trees. There was too much mildew to control with oil, sulfur and soda alone. It would have required so much spraying that I would have had to go over the maximum amounts recommended for each product. It really comes down to a simple choice; use something that can penetrate the plant and protect from the inside out or cut down the trees.

That's a very hard choice for most homeowners we've worked with. Usually they ask if the trees can be treated. They can, but it has to be done by airplane, which is not something you can do in a suburban area. So then I have to find an alternative that's as safe and low impact as I can. That's why I say "we try and be as organic as possible." As long as there are not infected trees, we'll be organic. If a tree gets mildew and overhangs the vineyard, we're probably going to spray something non organic to save the vines. That's pretty rare these days, we don't have any tree issues this year, but if it does happen we'll have to treat at least the overhang area, and that's why I qualify the organic statement.

Disclaimer for my friends at the SCC DPC - This should not be considered advice on treating Powdery Mildew, only a licensed Pesticide Advisor can give you advice on treating or preventing Powdery Mildew. This is provided as editorial comment on my practices only and should not be taken as consultation or expert opinion, which would require a license I don't have.

If some other government organization is concerned that I may be giving unlicensed hiking advice, or walking advice, or some other advice that requires a license and fee, that statement was given as personal editorial comment only as well.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Restaurant Wine Lists

As I listened to a restaurateur talk about her wine list the other day, she said something that made me wonder.

She said that she has a hard time selling a Santa Cruz Mountains appellation wine because the guest ordering wine can't be sure of what they will get. Could be awesome, could suck. And she's right. She also said that collectively and generally speaking, 2005 was a great year in Burgundy and so if she has that to offer on her list next to a SCM pinot for example, she'll sell the devil out of the Burg.


I mean, really. I'm asking, because here is what I was thinking while I listened to her. You picked the wine. You tasted it. You determined it to be of similar or equal quality to the other wines on your list. So then, why are the guests not trusting that? If they see a 2005 Burgundy that they are assured will be superb, why not assume or at least give the restaurant credit for the other selections as being on par with a known standard?

I think I know the answer, but I really wanted to put this out there for people to think about.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lobsters Everywhere!

I've chronicled my Ranch 99 exploits a few times:

This week fresh live lobster was $7.99 a pound. What to do?


I picked up seven of the beasts on my way home last night and we had a small group of friends over to feast. These things where huge! The biggest was over 3 pounds, and all were at least 2 pounds.

I like this picture because there's just one crawling around randomly in the background.

I usually give the lobsters names, but totally forgot to last night.

The claws were hand size, biggest I've ever had.

We did open a lot of wine, but I started with this:

Great night!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuck and Thin

For the last few weeks Rachel and Jerry have been busy in the vineyards with what I always think of as the last work of Spring. After flowering has finished in the vines they need to be tucked up into the wires and extra shoots thinned out.

It's not really hard work, or too technical, but it is critical to get us through the summer. The tucking will allow us to do some logistical things like get the tractor up and down the rows, and hang bird netting. Most important though it allows the sun to start working its way on to the new little grape clusters.

The simple way to think about the suns effect is that heat creates sugar, light creates flavor. That's the reason for the thinning. Fewer clusters and shoots means that the heat of summer will concentrate on the remaining clusters. In many parts of California that's not a huge deal as sugars get plenty ripe. But for our vineyards at high altitudes we can go into late October to get up to 13-14% potential alcohol.

The thinning also exposes the clusters to light. Not direct light, what we are after is dappled sunlight. Too much light and the flavors will get 'baked' or over ripe. Too little light and they will be 'green'. This is of particular concern at Chaine d'Or which can have green bean and bell pepper flavors in the Cabernet into early October.

It's really a balancing act. We want to leave enough leaves and shoots to get the alcohol ripe, but not too ripe, and we want to get the flavors past the green stage, but not get them to the baked or stewed stage. If we've done a good job now, it will show in the wine in bottle with good body in the wine, but no alcohol burn, and fruit flavors with complex notes.

There's really not a lot you can do once the grapes are in the winery to get those things right, you have to do the work right now, in the late spring and early summer. Get it right now, and the wine will just need looking after in barrel and not 'fixing' later.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Saturday's Hike - Sunday's Reward

I'll admit it, we have a gardener. He comes every other Thursday to do the typical suburban Mow 'N Blow. We had a terrible clover and weed problem in the grass in the back, so we've been treating it and alternatively adding a lot of fertilizer and watering like crazy.

The gardener came and went this past Thursday and the yard looked so great that I dinged Paul on IM and said hey, I have an idea for this weekend....

What if we hike on Saturday instead, and take Sunday totally off. Then we can fire up the smoker, put some music on, sip lemonade, kick our feet up, read, nap, relax, whatever. A day off. Sounds good yes?

We did just that. Saturday morning early, we headed to Grant Park (Joseph D Grant County Park if you want to look it up) in the Eastern foothills, paid the fee, found the parking lot nearest the trailhead of choice and hit the trail by 9:45.

Temperature was middle 60's, light breeze, and only three cars in the parking lot. It was kind of eery actually walking through knowing there weren't very many people around.

The trail we picked is a hard climb up for about 1,000 feet, which we did in just under an hour. We stopped at the overlook, stretched, took a couple photos and saw our first person go by, this one on a bike. The park is mountain bike friendly and after looking at some of the trails I think it could be fun to explore on wheels next time.

We cruised the rest of the way at a steady clip, it was moderately hilly and very scenic, super quiet, and mostly deserted. We hiked just over 3 hours, and just under 7 miles. We saw 5 people on the trail and five more that were in the campground.

We walked up the hill...

Made it to the overlook and stretched...

Looking West at the Santa Cruz Mountains...

Lots of old wood fences surround the property...

A unique view of Mt. Hamilton and the observatory (need to click on the photo to make it bigger to actually see what I'm talking about)
Paul taking a break...

Sunday's Reward:
I marinaded the leg of lamb for an hour in fresh lime juice, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Then it went on the smoker for three hours, and finished on the gas grill for 45 minutes.
Paul rubbed the beef ribs with his special beef pepper mix (he uses cinnamon, star anise, and cloves along with black pepper), and smoked those for four hours then finished on the gas grill for 45 minutes.
Opened a 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape Boisrenard, sides of steamed chard and wild rice.

Paul called his dad after dinner and I reminisced about mine while we ate the lamb...
It was a great Sunday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Birds and the Bees

No, not a blog about s-e-x, but real birds and real bees. BEES!

I took Paul out front lastnight (while the wine decanted) to show him two volunteer rosemary plants I spotted. I was doing my daily walk-through in the morning checking on each vine, and there they were, in the middle of the row.

It was probably around 7pm, the sun was low, and there was the usual evening breeze that blows in from the coast when we stepped out the front door. We both spotted the movement right away and exclaimed, Bees! Lots of them!!

The Crimson Clover was buzzing, literally. I spotted a couple of wasps too, hmmm, and we've had a couple of large bumble bees all along. Even our neighbor commented awhile back about the lack of bees in our neighborhood - ha ha! Not anymore, we are loaded!!

I recently put up the humming bird feeders, and the phoebe has made our backyard a local feeding spot for her brood. The mockingbird has been singing day and night and I think the doves have finally moved on. At least I don't remember hearing them through the night or into this morning. It's been a wonderful Winter and Spring with the birdlife that has come through our neighborhood but I'm definitely ready for Summer to kick off.

Happy Early Solstice and Welcome Summer!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sweet Pepper Relish

I made my own version of Pepper Relish yesterday. Unique ingredients that I add are fresh ginger, jalapenos, and serrano peppers. Typically I will use only sweet vidalia onions, but this batch got plain 'ol yellow onions (they were on sale!).

From the bottom up:

The Goods; Bells, Onions, Vinegar, Spices, Peppers, Ginger, Sugar, Lids, Rings.

The Kitchen Tractor in Action; Grinding up the green bell (also did the red bells, onions, peppers, and ginger).

The Simmering Pot; with spice bags full of turmeric, celery seed, allspice, cloves, mustard seed.

The Yield; 25 cups of sweet, spicy, delicious condiment

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Orange County Wine Competition Awards

We entered two wines into the 33rd Annual Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition and won!

Ok, we didn't win BIG, but still!

The two wines we entered were:

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Uvas Creek Santa Clara Valley
2007 Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch Mendocino County

Both won Bronze Medals!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Hiking

Last week we hiked the long trail at Calero Park. I carried in binoculars and my little camera while Paul hauled our snacks, water, first aid kit, etc.

We went back to Calero again today and did a shorter trail, only 6.2 miles (!). I carried my own pack again, only today I grabbed the rock pick, gloves, my phone (for the camera), and a pocket knife. Paul loaded me up with a couple gatorades too.

At first the extra weight from the bottles felt odd, but I got used to it right away. One thing I did differently today was I wore a wider straw hat, last week was a baseball cap, and I put on a tank top under my regular t-shirt. Once the fog burned off and it was hotter I took off the t-shirt and relied on sunscreen and the brim of my hat to shade my shoulders. I missed some spots with the sunscreen and I'm bright red and burned in a couple spots. It was a much better day though and I never felt over-hot.

We got a late start this morning. We had wanted to leave the house pretty early but Millie was coming by to pick up end posts for her home vineyard and I wanted to douse ours while it was overcast and cool. I ended up watering until 9:30, we got on the trail an hour later.

Go figure, the day I don't bring the binoculars, we spot a bobcat on the lower trail. We were up above on the connecting trail and stopped to watch her for several minutes. There are signs of cats all over, and we've spotted one other bobcat at the park before, but this was the first time we got a good long look. We thought she might try to sneak up and attack a wild turkey that was nearby but she trotted past along a well worn path to a grove of trees.

Before I forget - diet is an important part of training and hiking. Last week we had a proper breakfast before heading off on our trek. This morning however... leftover potato chips from yesterdays pouring event, and spinach dip on crackers. Let it be known that we both noted the poor choice of calories as we ascended the first hill. We were both huffing and puffing and felt like slugs.

We made good time up and over the hill, and chose to do the loop clockwise. Our first stop was at the pond and I took a picture when we got there. The reason I took the picture was to remind myself to mention the bull frogs. They were making the most absurd noises; it was comical. They actually sounded like pigs grunting and since there are wild pigs in the area I wondered if they were opposite the pond from us and we just couldn't see them. But then they frogs started to splosh and splash in and out of the water. Once the sounds started to repeat it was clear that's what it was.

I took a second picture at the same spot of Paul, I was trying to get the hills in the background to show where we had just come from. Upper left actually...

The reason I grabbed the pick for this trail was in case we found any good crystals. This trail is known for quartz deposits and I've found some great rocks before that are loaded with quartz bands and crystals.

Paul has a rule about me and rocks. If I'm going to pick them up and keep them, I have to haul them out. My pockets came home with just a few little pieces today, all really great, and at least two that Paul picked up (I should have made him carry those!).

The last picture is of a boulder I spotted off the trail about 10 feet - way too big to carry home, but full of crystals and quartz. It's awesome. I didn't think the picture would come out, I actually thought it might be blurry, but it seems to have come out just fine.

We spotted two deer today, tons of butterflies and a hillside loaded with tiny pink flowers.

Trail time to day was just over three hours, and even though we had a poor choice of breakfast calories, we did pretty good.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Open Tomorrow.

We will be in the winery tomorrow from 11 AM to 3PM for our summer open house. We will have 5-6 different wines to try and I will be cooking hot dogs for anyone who would like them. The field has also been mowed and you are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy the vineyard and view. Directions are at:

It is Vintner's Festival but we are not participating in that event, but we wanted to be open for people who've come in the past on the one 'open' day we have per year. We will not be open on Sunday, Stef and I are doing another training hike for our Grand Canyon trip!

We will have preview pours of our next Haut Tubee release as well as our 06 and 07 Syrah, and all the current Cabernet releases. We will have wine for sale and I may do some specials.

Stop by and say hello and enjoy the view and some wine. As always the tasting is free!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mourvèdre Vineyard

I keep promising updates of the suburban vineyard project, so here it is.

Below, a before photo during a rain storm before the vines went in.

Last November we removed the lawn, in February we "planted" the trellis (posts and wires) in March we put in the vines, and in April we put down the cover crop.

I tried to stand in the same spot to get the similar photo for comparison. This was just the other day and as you can see the crimson clover and wildflower mix is getting pretty tall.

Above, the street view from the corner during that same rain storm before the plants went in.

And below, the similar shot from the other day. I had Jerry help me move dirt from the far right under the windows (can't see that in this picture) so that it's level and ready for a redwood deck. Around the pathway I planted a bunch of lavender, pineapple sage, and rosemary. I'm still thinking about putting in thyme and oregano, but I'll fill in with those after we build the deck (I don't want it to get trampled).

I crossed the street to get the scale for you. Like, really, what does a front yard with a mini-vineyard in the suburbs look like anyway, right? It looks like this! I checked on my water bills compared to last year and the usage is up, but not a lot. I stopped watering the lawn last July when I made the decision to have it taken out to do this project. Even though it seems like I'm watering a lot to get the vines and cover crop established, I'll still come in under compared to a lush green lawn.
In the street strip I planted sage, lavender and rosemary. Once those fill in it will look really nice.
The birds and the bees are loving my landscaping and I couldn't be happier with it. The time spent puttering around is peaceful and I'm certain these will be the very best cared for Mourvèdre grapes in California!

Just for giggles, if you google our address; 564 Canton Drive, San Jose, the streetview photo is when we were doing some interior work and there is a dumpster in this view. Super.
Kind of cool though to see the original vines and Pauls raised planter bed that we took out.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Paul wants to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (GC), stay overnight, then hike out. I think he's nuts, but have agreed to sign up on this adventure. We've been gymming more frequently than before and got outside this last Sunday for a long hike.
We parked at the main entrance to Calero, an area we have hiked many many times before and decided to do the new back side. The Canada de Oro is a section of new property they recently acquired and we've only been over there a couple of times so far.
The weather has been relatively cool, a plus, and we got an early start (I thought). We got on the trail at 10:10 and had our first stop at 11. Paul said the suggestions for hiking the GC are to hike 50 minutes, stop for 10 minutes to rest and take in water. So we practiced that. Great advice actually.
Our first stop was a nice section of trail, not too steep a climb and mostly in the shade. I wasn't thirsty enough to drink as much water as I should have, and I made up for that on the way back.
We got to the trail marker for our descent down the backside and I took a couple of pictures from there. The down part was pretty steep in some sections and I thought for sure one of us might lose our footing. Incidentally, I've been trying various shoe styles for hiking and I always go back to my tennies - they are lightweight, they let me wiggle my toes and grip if I have to, and the tread is malleable but decent. Just sayin'. Boots don't work for my feet, I want them to, but they end up giving me more pain than support.
We walked through an abandoned walnut orchard, you could tell by the grid pattern of the trees...Paul teased me a bit about that when I did my typical, "are you sure?" routine. Yes, Stefania, trees in nature don't line up nice and neat like that... Are you sure?
At the bottom of the hike, we found ourselves at the other entrance to the park, a staging area for horses and trailers. They have a real bathroom there, not portables. We sat down at one of the picnic sites, ate trail mix and boiled eggs, slammed some more water and rested. We got back on the trail and had a nice stroll til we got back to the base of the hill and then I looked up.
From where we stood you could see the trail at the top of the hill. Brutal and it's getting to the hotter part of the day, and we're mostly exposed on this side. It was hot, dusty, and uphill, a lot uphill. Most of the pictures of Paul are the view I had, with him a good twenty feet up ahead while I tried not to die of heat exhaustion! I got a cramp in my left butt cheek that slowed me down, but I pressed onward and upward.
One of the pictures looking down has a scraggly tree in the center of the frame and the trail is right next to it, that shows a little bit of the climb in altitude if you can picture it. That was at the halfway point switchback. When we finally made the crest and turn to head back down we stopped again for water and stretching. There were three swallow tail butterflies flirting about when we got there. Very pretty.
Over the course of the hike we came across a family of wild turkeys and offspring, a young flicker just starting to show color in his tail, a whole bunch of people on horseback, two deer, tadpoles, a lizard, and buzzards.
We got off the trail at 2:20 and had a quick picnic lunch of stuff I threw into an ice chest before heading out. We stopped at the market before getting home and picked up a couple rib eyes, potatoes, and asparagus. I made a tomato and raw onion salad for a side dish and we gobbled it all down while the Giants game was on...couldn't tell you what time we both passed out, but it was early.

Paul calculated the mileage we hiked and it was just around nine miles!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bottling Done

The pictures are limited some by the fact I spent the entire time loading glass on to the truck :)

It had just turned 60 when we set out at 7:18 for Big Basin. We've had a snap of real cool weather over the past few weeks.

When we arrived at Big Basin right at 7:58, the temperature there was 51 degrees. Actually really great for bottling as the wine and glass would both stay cool during the 3+ hour process.

The three person crew getting ready to go. I took the picture from the glass dumping station. I picked up 215 empty cases of glass and started them on the line. Rachel, our Intern was at the end of the line taking the full finished bottles and putting them back in the cardboard cases. Jerry tapes the cases shut and stacks them on the pallet. When we get 56 cases he wraps them up and moves in the next set of glass.

Stefania is the stamper/runner. She stamps each finished case with the bond number and makes sure it has a label on it for ID later in the warehouse. She also moves empty cases so they are easier to lift and gets anything else done while the other three people keep the line moving.

Here she is adding labels as we got started.

And the cases start to fly. Since I was part of the crew this time I really could not take a lot of pictures. Things went very smooth and we finished up about 11:30. Enough time to get some lunch and drop off a few deliveries we had pending.

This is now our third run with this bottling company and we're super happy we found them!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bottling Day II

Tomorrow we will be up at Big Basin Vineyards to bottle our remaining 2007 wines. There hasn't been much drama building up to this bottling. That's mainly because Stefania did all the logistics and ordering at the same time as the bottling at Chaine d'Or.

I'll bring my computer up, but I don't think they have wireless in the winery, so I might not be able to post during bottling like last time. I will also be working the line loading bottles so there will likely be fewer pictures. I will get them up by Saturday though.

Joe is the assistant winemaker at Big Basin and he will be handling the forklift duties. That's a great relief to me. If all goes well we should be done by 1 PM or so. Joe and Bradley Brown are racking the wine into tank today so we'll be all ready to go. Bradley just checked in with me on final sulfur levels and that's the last step.

It will be nice to have bottling behind us for the year and we will be free to focus on the vineyard from here to harvest.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Suburban Vineyard Life

This morning after Paul left for work, I poured myself a cup of hot coffee grabbed a scone and headed out front to the mini vineyard.

It's cold and cloudy today, overcast with a minimal chance for rain. Feels good, like being on the coast in late fall. The air is crisp and chilly.

While I sat there munching and sipping, the phoebe came by with her offspring to feed on bugs. Another little bird that I haven't identified yet swooped in and pecked around the base of the vines. The mockingbird did a fly-by and a couple of doves padded around in the gutter.

The other day, two hummers came in and buzzed all around the clover that is blooming. The wires are a popular attraction for them to rest on before zipping all over. Normally they are feisty about who gets to feed where, but these two were on their best behavior and sharing the space.

Last weekend, Paul and I were at Chaine d'Or walking the rows looking for signs of gophers (a few), and to check on the two owl boxes for residents (none yet), and to turn on the drip irrigation system (needed minor repairs).

It was a gorgeous morning, light fog rolling over the mountain and low temperatures in the middle 70's. While we walked the rows I suckered here and there as needed - it was our third pass through for suckering and there weren't very many at all. It was tempting to tuck the stray shoots flopping in the center of the row, but the Chardonnay was still flowering in some sections and the Cabernet was just getting going, so that task will wait just awhile longer.

Chance of rain this week, but we're not worried about shatter - it's a minor "storm" passing through and doesn't have any wind coming with it.

Last night I grilled with charcoal! Alert the media!! This is news folks. I grew up grilling on coals and credit my dad for everything I learned. Then I discovered gas grilling and wine. No mess, no wait time, no handling of flaming coals, no problem. Drink a little wine, get a little fuzzy, no problem, just turn on a button, and voila, flame cooking. Yes, I acknowledge it's not the same, that's why I bring it up.
I used Kingsford Mesquite charcoal, built my OCD pyramid piles, a little splash of lighter fluid (the old man always used white gas...more on that another time), and waited for hot ash goodness before spreading.
The chicken went on, the martinis and cigars came out, and much enjoying of the back patio commenced. Great evening. Great food. Really good wine (Georges Vineyard Cooper Garrod) Awesome sunset...

Monday, June 01, 2009

All Hands in the Field - Except Me

Today everyone got to head outside and enjoy the nice mild weather. Everyone but me. I was off to my day job for a series of morning meetings.

Stefania dropped me off at work, we only have one car, and headed up to Chaine d'Or. She continued the work on the drip system. Jerry joined her up there and their plan was to have all the drippers checked out and repaired today.

Rachel came by the house at 8AM to pick up her supplies for the day. She would be working on getting up deer repellent which meant I had to search around to find the staple guns and staples. We staple up the fabric softener/dryer sheets on the end posts of the vineyards. I also picked up some cotton face masks for her since the soap smell can get to be a little much when you do it all day.

This is a time of year when it seems like there are more tasks than time to do them. I know I just need to be patient though and everyone will get through all the things we have to do. For Rachel and Jerry it will be a good month, their paychecks will be full.