Adventures of Janey Grapeseed

A Labor of Love, a Taste of Joy in Life

Dry Farmed at Last!

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Weaver’s Hill News

We are officially dry farmed!

No carrying gallon jugs. No hauling hoses through the aisle maze. No overworked well. No aching back. Sometimes you just have to do the thing you have talked about.

This is a bit of a risk with the fungal stresses and herbicide stresses our vines have endured. So here are a few pictures of their progress.

IMG_20160724_vineyard 1

Meet Stephen, the lower vine needing more nutrients

Sharin and Jonathan are doing well

Sharin and Jonathan are doing well

Introducing "Happy Herbert" so named by Katrina. Nutrients will make him a bit more cheery I think.

Introducing “Happy Herbert” so named by Katrina. Nutrients will make him a bit more cheery I think.

Ryker bears good fruit in difficult times

Ryker bears good fruit in difficult times

Notice the diversity of vine color. Some vines are looking less healthy and more stressed than their brothers and sisters only feet away from each other. Canopy color and leaf fall will likely not occur simultaneously this year. ( There appear to be no more leaf claws in the canopy this year which means auxin health may be returning to normal. YAY!!!)

Berry sizes are quite different among the vines. Some of the berries on the discolored vines are larger than those on the deep green canopied vines. Some berries on the super struggling  vines are very small; these are also vines that bore the brunt of the 2-4-D fall out.

Shoot growth is not uniform throughout the vineyard.

Many of these changes I suspect are the result of the cumulative effects of Black goo stress, Water stress and the variation of nutrient availability individual vines experience. The weaker vines on the right side of the upper quadrant are also the ones planted out still sporting white roots instead of the stronger brown ones; haste makes waste in the vineyard too.

To aid them in their livelihood, I plan to #fertilize this fall but not with ordinary combinations of (nitrogen(N) – phosphorus(P) – potassium(K) . I plan to use Epsom salts (Magnesium sulfate), Borax (sodium tetraborate) and powdered eggshells (Calcium +). Magnesium and boron are scarce on our rocky well drained Northwest slope. They also fall through the soil at different rates. Of these last three, boron is the quickest to wash away with the rain. Calcium binds to these elements and remains in the soil longer. Because of these socially adept qualities, calcium enables the roots to take these other nutrients up as needed.

#Farming this bit of the Key is different than farming Eastern Washington because our soils and environments are different but it is not impossible. This outdoor classroom God has given me is teaching me so very much about the good stewardship of resources.

Yet my solution is an experiment of sorts, an educated guess. Can the lethal effects of #BlackGoo be reduced or cured by this new fertilizer combination? That would be a very big deal. LORD willing, next year we’ll have a much healthier  dry farmed vineyard.

Grow well,

Janey Grapeseed

Author: Christine J. Webster

The vineyard should be a place of joy and peace. What should we do if it goes sideways despite our best efforts? Here on Weaver's Hill, we planted, tended and hoped but it all went sideways. We have learned a lot and we still have a vineyard. God's prophet, Isaiah, charges his vines themselves to judge between he and his vineyard saying, "What more could have been done than I have done for it?" He then declares to them what he will do. What follows is not pretty but it is effective. Here on Janey Grapeseed we invite you to share our journey from sideways to upright in our small patch of vines that speak treasured lessons into our lives.

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