Here are some of the results of planting grapes.

Eeeuuu, the children tell me the blackness usually washes and wears off before too awfully long. These are the hands of a cellist. I almost cringe at the thought of those talented hands in such a condition. But there is something about hands-on work in the field that helps to enhance the discipline needed to also learn music. And something about music practice that enhances brain functions. And something about enhanced brain functions that help the children think through problems in their hands-on work in the field. Perhaps it is just a healthy circle of life even if it gets a little dirty at times. But then again, the music teachers start to complain about the children not getting their music practice in, and their mom starts complaining that the trash isn’t getting taken out. Let’s just say the whole idea doesn’t always flow too smoothly. But we usually seem to carry on in spite of all the mistakes.

Here is another new idea we have been trying, two planters on each plow.


The guys all think that My Honey came up with the idea of adding a second seat. But he says someone else probably came up with the idea. This planting day from last two weeks ago, we used two tractors and two “planters” on each plow. Notice there are five people on the plow. The guy’s job that is closest to the tractor is to cut loose the bundles of plants. He then hands them to the other two guys (or gals) facing us. They are the ones who get a large handful and then hand the plants one at a time to the two planters in the luxury recliners with their feet propped up. The planters relax back in their easy chairs and alternate placing one plant at a time into the ground. All of this efficiency allows the tractor to move along at a faster speed.

They learned that it was helpful to have a sixth person riding on the back of the plow and coaching the two planters. My cellist is doing that job on the plow above. Comments such as “Planter 1, you’re a little late,” “Planter 2, you’re a little early”, “Your rhythm is off,” or “Your rhythm is good, but you’re a little late.” Someone has to go behind the planters and check each plant to see if it is sticking out of the ground the way it should. Even though they do look like sticks, they really do have to have their roots in the ground if you want them to grow. When they had a “coach” helping, they didn’t seem to have to reposition as many plants.

These plants you can see if you look for the little white tags on them. Spacing with GPS accuracy is the goal.

Here’s the vineyard that Tyler takes care of right next to where we were planting. These are one year old plants. The plants are growing up the bamboo stocks. They used to alternate the plants growing up the metal poles and then a bamboo pole, but there was a slightly greater risk of damaging the vine growing up the metal t-posts when driving tractors and machines through the rows. So the guys continue using the metal poles for the strength of the trellis, but only growing the plants up bamboo rods.

Here’s My Honey. This is one of the reasons I love him, getting everyone going and then finding time to hug my baby.

I think she loves her Daddy too.

The children love going farming with Daddy.

Actually you never know how many helpers are going to be on a plow.

Here’s the baby on one telling everyone what to do.

She knows how to get her way pretty easily.

Here they are off. It really is just a lot of team work.

When we have two tractors moving along at this speed. You can get a lot of vines in the ground that way.

Our last day of planting for this spring is waiting on this work. The oil company is cleaning up and tapping off this old abandoned oil well. Then we’ll be able to put something as permanent as a grape vineyard in.

The dirt (piled up from the ditches made to put the drip irrigation system in) shows you we have anywhere from 18 inches to four feet of red top soil over white caliche which makes for good soil to grow grapes in.

I don’t really like daylight savings time at this time of year. It just adds one more hour to the work day whether you really want it or not. But is really is beautiful when evening finally comes.

Blessings, Betty

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