Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The weather has not been very good this spring and we are about two weeks behind schedule in the growing season. The soil is very wet from all the recent rains and it's almost impossible to go in with the tractor!  But our vineyard team is very busy with the usual tasks of this time of year: weeding, mowing, suckering, etc. This new machine allows us to weed with a tractor instead of weed-whacking, which also minimizes fuel emmissions. The soil is "sliced" under the rows, so weeds are erradicated rather than cut up by hand. The Earthquake Block looks beautiful! You can imagine here the deep ravine we covered with earth, which after a storm in 1995 opened up and originated the name of the block!

This tender shoot and cluster of AlbariƱo looks nothing like Chardonnay - but it's very pretty!

We've had some frost again this year, shown here in these tender shoots that look like burned. A secondary bud will likely come out, but it will be much less fruitful than the primary bud.

bees - action shot
Setting up the bee hives was a fascinating project! Here Steve is shaking the cages where the bees came into the hive, while Mom sprays sugary water to entertain them

placing the bees
There were 10,000 bees in each cage!

This weekend we had a very fun project -- we set up our two bee hives! Steve, the "Bee King of Sonoma County", helped and directed us throughout. Of course we were not allowed to be around the bees, as Mom and Steve were worried that the bees might sting us. But we watched attentively from behind the fence as they set up the white-painted hives, took the bees out of their cages and shook them into the hives, then took eachqueen inside her cage and tied her to the board so the bees could get used to her. Then the next day we got the queens out and set each among their 10,000 subjects... they seemed to be getting along very well!

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