I know what you are thinking? “What will the Bingham’s try next?” Yes, we grow grapes and make award winning wines, but we are farmer’s at heart. On our organic acres, we have grown various products: wheat, peanuts, guar, sesame seeds, blacked-eyed peas, colored cotton, and cotton. Hemp was the new kid on the block last year for us to grow. In February, we planted a new crop. What would go well with wine? Yes, truffles!
We planted 1,000 plants of hazelnut and Hollyoak trees which have been inoculated by dipping the roots into a big batch of black truffle puree, so that hopefully truffles will be colonized among their roots. These will be little trees since they will not be fruit bearing trees themselves.
Each tree has an underground line to it for water as needed. We have received above normal amounts of rain this year, but we are supplementing the natural rain with irrigation water.
The trees are getting a good start as they adjust to the High Plains of Texas.
Rows and rows of these trees. We don’t expect to find truffles for four or five years, but we will keep you updated on this new adventure for us.
Things are sure greening up on the farm.
Things are sure greening up on the farm. Especially the hemp. The hemp is doing well with all of the rain that we have been receiving.
Organic farming on our farms has been an almost overwhelming task this year considering the pattern of rains. Yes, we are thankful for the rains, but the plowing and hoeing needs are increased due to the weeds that the rains encourage as well.
If you want to learn more about the Texas hemp industry the Texas Hemp Growers Association is planning a hemp field day at our farm on August 26th, 2021. Read more about this event for farmers and agri-businesses on our calendar of events here, Texas Hemp Growers Association Hemp Field Day.
If you want to encourage an organic farmer, you can consider purchasing some of our CBD products at BinghamOrganics.com. These products are made from the hemp that is grown on our farm in Meadow, Texas in Terry County.
Fighting Weeds in the Organic Cotton
This has not been an easy year for organic cotton.
First the year was dry making it hard to get a crop started in the fields, now there has been an abundance of rain. The rain is good for the cotton and the hemp, but it also encourages the weeds. We have been plowing the fields everyday that it is dry enough for a couple of weeks. Hoeing in the fields as well. The race is still on to see if it will be us or the weeds that win in many of our organic cotton fields.
This field looks better than most, but it shows you how the cotton is coming along.
Vineyards update for the week, but the photos are from the 4th. The crop continues to progress. The tonnage will be less than we hoped for, but the quality is there.
The plants in the tubes are young plants that will not produce fruit this year. The large cluster in the Dirt Farmer’s hand is Trebbiano. This was Cliff’s favorite grape to grow on the High Plains. It has been the primary grape in our Cloudburst dry white wine blend. We also have a varietal wine which is made from the Trebbiano grape. You might want to try both as you explore 100% Texas grown Trebbiano.
Several New Additions at the Winery
We have several new additions at the winery, and I am excited to tell you about a couple of those today. A new building addition and a new head winemaker.
Bringing the Presses Inside
We have made several building additions in the last couple of months. One was to build out the building structure over our press machines that used to be just out on the back porch of the winery. They were easy to get to when working with them, but not the best place to be out in the sun, wind, and other weather extremes.
This work was started the end of May.
Much work has been done since then finishing out the sides, ceiling, and insulation. The new building will have a garage door that can be opened into the old winery area as well as another large opening to the outside for grapes to be brought in for processing to make them into wonderful wine.
Our two presses here are two of the largest in the state of Texas at 18 and 35 tons. Daniel says that we once processed 43 tons through the larger press. This is how we are able to do custom work for other vineyards and wineries as well as our own estate wines from the grapes that we grow.
The sides and ceiling are now in as is the spray foam insulation.
More photos once the area is finished, cleaned up and readied for harvest which we expect to begin mid-August to end of August and continue through September.
Sam Jennings, Our New Head Winemaker
We are welcoming a new head winemaker at Bingham Family Vineyards. Daniel, our son, was our head winemaker, has decided to pursing a Master of Arts in counseling at Covenant Theological Seminary to become a LPC counselor. Thus we have searched and found a winemaker that we think will continue to lead our winery making quality wine.
Sam and Daniel will be working together to make a smooth transition to continue our quality production of fine wines for our friends.
Sam, Daniel, and Ro (our intern who is going to Texas Tech University) are filtering white wine to ready it for bottling. This will be our 2019 Windmill. As many of you know, our Windmill is an oaked white blend. Our 2019 will be a blend of Roussanne, Viognier, and Marsanne which was bottled yesterday and today.
More about Sam next Tuesday as we plan to share with you each Tuesday (#TeamTuesday) a different family or team member and what they do here at Bingham Family Vineyards whether they are in Meadow, Grapevine, or Fredericksburg.