What-a-weekend! Michigan spring finally felt like Michigan spring. And for all of our hopes and adventures here at the farm, that means kicking it into gear. Getting into the typical farmers schedule, working based on the sun light we are definitely feeling it this Sunday. Over the past month we have been getting hammered with some serious wind. Knock on wood, minimal damage to the farm, a few spindles from the porch, our mini farm windmill blew over, and one of the grapevine post cracked nearly flush with the ground. So here is where we start for this weekends project.
We moved into the farmhouse with some very full and established grapes. We were so excited, they were concord and we have always wanted to harvest our own grapes. Doing a little more research we found these grapes are great for jams and jelly, and pick off the vine eating. Come August they there were grapes everywhere, however they never fully ripened. While from what I know grapes will not fruit every now and then, but I think the reasoning due to proper spring prep.
I’m completely new to this grape thing, but being a daily subscriber to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, it seems that grapes do their best when you limit their competition. Looking at a mature grapevine trunk, select 4 shoots, two going one way, and two going the opposite way. This is called Cane Pruning. When looking at one direction on the trunk, I found my high shoot and low shoot. From there get out a very nice pair of pruning shears and code back the rest of previous growth. It’s a little scary at first, but once you trace out one side, it becomes a little more comforting. We have five mature trunks, and three new sprouts, so right between each of the trunks things got a little hairy, just be patient and work your way from the trunk out. Once we got everything pruned out, we dug out the old post that was wired for the shoot’s to climb, and replaced it with a new cedar fence post. Letting that sit and settled a few days we will cut the top to match the other post height, and most likely paint all the post to save it from a little weathering. This is still a work in progress. After the post is set, we are going to run new wire down the entire vineyard line and let mother nature do the rest.
This year we are going to jam these grapes. Maybe a little tart, but definitely jam is in our future. Hoping this cut back and prep pays off this season, and we look forward to share our hopeful success, fingers crossed. Upcoming projects we have planned are getting our garden area cleaned out and tilled up, and reinforcing our fencing for incoming family members (2 lambs). Until next time, hope you had a great weekend and are receiving some nice weather as well.
Pictures from the weekend!