Friday, March 16, 2012

(a warm day to prune!)

In our homeschooling fruit farm household we don't experience "Spring Break" like the Public Schools, rather we have "grape pruning" break... which if truth be told is far from a break. Literally speaking, it is more like a frenzied marathon of pruning shears and square knots. You see for each grapevine we must prune everything away except for 4 fruiting vines and several buds per fruiting vine that will be the fruiting vines the following year. Then, using the versatile square knot, we must tie the 4 fruiting vines to the wires so that they grow in the right direction. Sounds easy enough, you think? Shouldn't take too long one would reckon.

The reality is it is pretty simple once you get the hang of it and it does only take about 10-15 minutes to prune and tie a grapevine. And, it is actually pretty fun! The kicker is that we have approximately 650 grapevines... so multiply that by 10-15 minutes and you quickly realize that is a lot of minutes. 

And so, here we are smack dab in the middle of grape pruning season. Only this year, we seem to be panting profusely as we run the marathon-- since we have to keep up with Mother Nature. This week long of 70 degree temperatures puts us in a flurry to get everything pruned before buds begin to swell and break, lest we harm those buds on accident while pruning. No buds = no fruit come fall. I'm happy to report that we have just shy of 100 more vines to prune. The finish line is close at hand, and when we get there it will be a wonderful thing!
(It was much colder last year!)

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