Remember, keep it in mind, THIS is the goal. Sometimes we get distracted by the fog, the mud from the rains, that moist dirt balling up. Sometimes we get so caught up in our problems that we even loose sight of the ultimate goal. Wow, I do that so often in life. But here is My Honey and some little plants reminding me that even in this fallen world there is a future, there is a hope.
We may look like we know exactly what we are doing when we are planting grapes. But then the guys seem to be trying new ideas all the time.
In this field, drip tape was laid in the ground and then rye was planted to keep the sand from blowing. This idea in itself is a good idea, but then how do you get those little sticks grape plants in the ground with the planter. The idea at first was to take the busters or shear plows off the back of the plow and put disks on instead.
Here is the planter with disks on.
Looks good to me. I probably would have just left it at that, but not for My Honey. It wasn’t working well enough. After about 10 seconds the soil would start balling up because the soil was too wet.
More work trying to get the plows adjusted.
I think I forgot to tell you how foggy it was that morning. I wasn’t even sure they could plant at all that morning. Here come the sticks grape plants.
Another reason for the rye is that even when the field is wet, the rye gives you traction when you get into the field with a tractor. The Rye gives you a sort of a cushion instead of just sinking into the mud.
Oh, back to the plants. It looks like we have quite a crew here to unload them.
It was a little disconcerting the first year we got any plants. After paying as much money as you have to for grape plants, it is a little let down when you first see them, just bundles of sticks.
Here is a bundle.
Hmmm, which side is up and which side is down. My eight-year-old reminded me that the lighter colored, stringy things are the roots which you put into the ground. The knobby parts are the top of the plant which you need to see above ground after you get the roots planted.
Easy enough. Let’s get back to setting those plows.
Measuring tape, wrench (is that a wrench?). I get a little confused on tools. They are just not my area of expertise. My Honey forgot to ask me before we got married if I knew the difference between a wrench and some other tool, soooo now he is just stuck with me.
Here’s ol’ Bobby Cox looking things over. He is talking with Nick. Nick is our nephew that we are helping put in his grape plants. Nick is putting in 20 acres this year. Rousanne, Tempranillo, Viognier, and Orange Muscat are the grape varieties that he is putting in. He is a really great guy. And yes, girls, he is single. Sometimes it is just hard for a farmer guy to find a girl when he is out in the field all the time.
Back to adjustments. Sometimes I wonder when we are ever going to get the planting started. Hey, guys, I came out here to take pictures of you planting not fixing the planter plow.
Now Nick is over here too. Everyone is putting in their thoughts.
This is a pivot circle system. Usually on the High Plains, underground (or above ground) drip tape is used for watering the vineyards. But when we first put the plants in the ground we like to irrigate the plants with plenty of water. If you are lucky enough to already have a circle system on your land that you have been using for row crops, then you can just use it to irrigate the new plants. Currently this circle pivot actually has LEPA drag hoses attached. You leave them on if you want to row water the plants in. You take them off if you want to spray water on the plants.
Here’s My Honey again with Nick, checking out the plow.
Guys, I am getting really bored with this. But I guess this is really their area of expertise not mine. It looks good to me; can’t we start now?
More adjustments. Do you ever have a day like this where you can’t even seem to get started?
Still not working.
I think everyone is getting a little anxious about when we are going to get started.
More adjustments still.
I really think that Nick wanted me to take pictures of his vineyard being planted, not just pictures of the plow being set.
While we are here though, you can get a look at those two luxury recliners that they have there for the planters. Between the seats is a planting buster that digs a nice hole for the plants to go into. With this setup, you can actually have two seated with each alternating putting a plant in the ground. That speed the process up even more. Pictures of that tomorrow, or the next day, or whenever I get them up.
Here you can see that blade cutting through the moist soil. That is very nice moist soil for the plants to be going into. We just have to figure out HOW to get the plants into this moist ground.
Maybe you can see the planting buster better now.
Here we are loading the plants on to the plow. See the box and the blue tub.
My Honey says that they put sawdust in the boxes of plants to hold moisture to keep the plants moist. I tend to think they just put it in there so my kids can track it into my car.
Bundles of plants ready to be taken apart and then planted – one by one.
Some of us just wear whatever work clothes are handy. But my niece, Traci, comes very stylishly dressed. Don’t you think? I wonder where she got those designer boots?
Yes, yes, we are supposed to be concentrating on getting the planting started, not being distracted by designer boots. But this is getting a little old. Here is My Honey seated in one of the planter seats trying out the planter.
Bobby checking this out.
I think I see one little stick in there.
Finally it has taken so long that the sky is breaking through the fog.
Jennifer, that is not who you think it is on the plow. Remember I promised to keep Bobby OFF the planter.
He doesn’t look too bad off in that Lazy-boy recliner though. I think he just wanted to get in the pictures. There is my niece’s husband, Anthony. He could be a banker if he wanted to; he was for a while. He has some sort of MBA or something, but somewhere along the line he has caught the grape growing fever, too. So he is helping Nick out with his vineyard and planning his own fields of dreams.
There, there it is! Look really close. I can see one plant in the ground. We just have 27,999 more to go today!
There it is. Is it Ok now to plant, big guys? Wait a minute. — They finally got so fed up with the disks they just took them off. — Good idea. We’ll just try them another day, since the first goal is to get those sticks plants into the ground.
Looking good, more of those little sticks plants in the ground.
Now we’re going. Two planters are going now. Yea!
(I stole this picture from Traci’s facebook. She took a really nice picture, didn’t she. I didn’t get a picture of this because I was off eating bonbons or something. Actually I might have been getting lunch together that day for all the planters.)
Here is another idea that had to be adapted some. The first five acres were flooded as an initial watering. That is Bobby Cox’s favorite way to do it. This was taking way too long so the last fifteen acres were just spray watered with the circle pivot system. We usually always do it by flooding the rows, but the soil was so moist to begin with that the guys decided it would make a good experiment plot to see how the last fifteen acres do being spray-watered in.
I just loooove seeing all those sticks plants going into the ground with all that rye there to protect them from the wind. The rye also keeps the soil from getting so compacted when the tractor goes over them when planting.
I guess there really is hope even when I am so very discouraged. Keep reminding me of that, God. I do so easily forget.