Rain on the Farm, the Vineyards, and the Hemp
The recent rains are benefiting our organic hemp crop.
Rain is an interesting conversation on the farm. Soon after the rains subside, the phone calls start. Those living on different parts of our farms call in with reports to Cliff, our Dirt Farmer. Of course Cliff will head out to check the fields and vineyards to oversee what work can continue, and what work will have to be postponed because of the wet ground; but the phone updates are helpful.
This year we have had 15 to 20 inches of rain in the last two months. That is a lot considering last year, I think that we had 10 inches all year. With our organic row crops that means lots of work. Several workers plowing fields (that is usually what Cliff is up to this time of year) as well as workers hoeing in the fields. Nathan and Eric are kept busy plowing in the vineyards as well. Those little weeds have to be taken care of before they grow to impossible problems. And the soil plowed so that it will not blow during the next rain storm or high winds.
But even with all the extra work, the sight of our world turning from brown to green is a nice change.
All this rain has reminded us of the July rain in 2010 where we received 18 inches in 36 hours. Ahhh, that sounds like a good post for a #ThrowBackThursday for this Thursday.
Bingham Organics Tinctures Now Available at BinghamOrganics.com
As you may remember, we grew organic hemp last year on our farm. We are growing it again this year. The crop looks good especially after all this rain that we have had.
We have processed our crop from last year to produce our own label of CBD tinctures and creams. Check them out at our BinghamOrganics.com web site.
Now for more photos of the green hemp crop this year.
Construction at the Farm and Winery
We have been doing some construction at the farm and winery. We added a overhang and a mechanics bay on the the farm barn. Updated photos soon as well as of the new building for hemp extraction and the covering for our grape presses at the winery.
When we planted our first vines in 2003, we thought that those vines would last fifty years. But there are hazards to growing grapes on the High Plains. We were happy with about 200 acres of grapes, but as we have had a loss of vines, we are needing to plant new vines to replace some of our existing vines.
Continuing our Legacy of Quality Estate Wine
Quality wine starts in the vineyard. We want to continue to produce quality estate wine for our customers as well as providing grapes for our winery friends around the state. So planning must begin now for wines that will not be bottled for three, four, five, or more years in the future.
Newly Planted Dormant Vine
These photos show you that these plantings are a little different than our usual planting of vines.
Yes, this is what our plantings normally look like, little brown sticks.
Planting Live Vines
We normally plant dormant vines like the one above. But since we were not able to get the varieties on the root stocks that we were wanting in dormant vines, we planted some live vines like these that we were able to purchase.
These plants look a little more encouraging since they have a few green leaves.
New Plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Trebbiano, and Graciano
Rows and rows have gone in this spring. Approximately 22 acres. Perhaps we will get a few more acres in later this spring and a few more next year. This spring we have planted more Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Trebbiano, and Graciano.
Graciano is a newer variety of grapes for us to grow. We will be bottling our first estate Graciano in a few months from our 2019 harvest of grapes.
Team Work with The Dirt Farmer
The grapes vines are put into the ground much the same way as the dormant vines. You just have to untangle the leaves, hard work made a little harder.
Lots of team work going on here. The workers like putting in new vineyards because the results are tangible. They can see the results of your hard work.
After the grapes go in, the drip tape follows behind to water the vines. Our original plantings have underground drip, but we have used above ground tape for our recent plantings.
Here you see the new vines going up next to our older vineyards.
More farming news coming soon about our hemp and truffle projects.
Preparations for Main Street Days Reimagined!
Preparations are underway for Grapevine Main Street Days Reimagined for 2021!
Our tasting room is ready with tastings set up inside our tasting room, and space outdoors for you to enjoy a glass or bottle of wine with your friends.
The Craft Brew Experience is always a great center piece of the Main Street Days as well as the new additions to the Main Street area such as the Peace Plaza at Main Street Station.
All the businesses in Grapevine are also rolling out the red carpet for visitors to enjoy the great outdoors with Main Street being blocked off from car traffic, but open for people! The great wineries, restaurants, and stores in Grapevine invite you out either today or Sunday for this special event.
We Are Open Today After the Cold Weather
Now that Texas is warming up, all of our locations are back in action, Meadow, Fredericksburg, and Grapevine. The weather has brought much needed moisture to the farm.
The weather has also slowed down shipping as a choice, but orders will begin going out on Monday. So consider getting an order in this weekend, to add to your celebrations in the coming weeks.
You may wonder what all of this snow and ice means for the vineyards and the organic row crops. The short answer is that for the row crops this moisture is wonderful. We had been going into one of the driest springs that we have had in the recent past. Fields had already been prepared for planting because we were not sure that we would have enough moisture in the soil to get them ready later in the spring. Now we are ready to plant cotton, hemp, wheat, and whatever other contracts are looking good for year.
The vineyards on the other hand are an unknown. Today the Dirt Farmer (Cliff) and two of his daughters will be out in the vineyards gathering “sticks” as one daughter calls them. The buds on these “sticks” will be cut with a blade to see if there is any green life showing in them. If not, then they are dead and will not produce fruit (grapes) later in the year.
So we wait and see. Maybe later this weekend, we will know some news. In a few more weeks, we will know even better.
Still hoping and praying that all are warm and safe.
Thanksgiving at the Binghams
We hope that you all have something to be thankful for this holiday season. This has been a year of ups and downs and the very unexpected.
We hope that you and yours are safe from Covid. We have had five of our children or their spouses get Covid-19. Two are still recovering. We are thankful that vaccines and treats are on the horizon.
But we have much to be thankful for. We are thankful for our friends and neighbors. We are thankful for our great employees. We are thankful for our partnerships with our neighbor businesses Giddens Art Gallery in Grapevine Texas and Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters in Fredericksburg.
We are thankful for the six gold and silver medals that our team won with wines at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. We are thankful that we had a successful organic hemp crop. More news on that soon.
Even as times have been hard, we have had blessings as well. We had a hard time deciding between three great desserts to eat at our Thanksgiving dinner. Blueberry and Lemon pie, Buttermilk pie, or Pumpkin Cheesecake. We had Bingham 2018 Reserve Viognier, 2016 Reserve Carignan (a club member exclusive which is sold out except for a few cases at our shipping fulfillment center and each of our tasting rooms) , and 2019 Reserve Moscato Giallo for wine.
At least it was easy to pair the meal with the Viognier and Carignan, and then ending with desserts with the Moscato Giallo.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all and we pray for happy holidays for you all!