This has been a fruity week for me.  I spent the day yesterday trying to make some sense of the grape vines at my mom's farm.  They have been neglected for years, and I'm trying to build an arbor to get them growing in a way that we can actually eat them.  Although the few grapes we had last year were almost inedible they were so sour.  I may be doing a lot of work for nothing.

This is not my first attempt at grape resuscitation.  I recruited some family members (names withheld so they don't shoot me) last year to help with the arbor.  They decided it would be a good idea to make a tarantula arbor.  What, you've never heard of a tarantula arbor?  Well, I hadn't either.  A tarantula arbor has a central point, and then spreads out in 4 directions like a plus sign. The supports for the arbor are long pieces of trees that you've just chopped down.  Now I'm all about recycling, so normally this would be fine with me.  The problem is, the grapes were growing up the tree, and it was decided to leave about three feet of the tree still standing (and therefore growing).  My complaints that the tree would just continue to grow, get bushy, and obscure the grapes once again fell on deaf ears.  

Needless to say, it is now spring and the tree continues to grow.  I do not know how to operate a chainsaw, or I would have fixed this problem myself.  The farm is a weekend place for us, and I'm sure the locals were all laughing at our arbor attempt.  City slickers?  Yep, but we're learning.  Slowly.

Today I spent pruning my raspberry patch at home.  Of all the things growing in my garden, I love the raspberries the most.  There's nothing better than going out to the backyard in your pajamas to pick the berries for your morning cereal.  At least nothing better to me, the neighbors might disagree.

These last few days have given me a new appreciation for farmers, as I know how much effort it takes to run my small vegetable patch.  I buy organic vegetables from a local farm, and I can't imagine how labor intensive it must be.  Never a day off, at the mercy of the weather, bugs, and bunnies.  I'm glad they do it though.

Speaking of bugs, I've found another one that doesn't fit into my vegetarian love of animals.  Grubs.  I despise grubs.  We never had much of a problem with them, until I brought home a bag of mulch one day.  As I emptied it on the flower bed, I was mortified to see a ton of grubs in it.  Hindsight being twenty twenty, I should have immediately scooped the whole thing up and thrown it in the trash.  Being lazy, I tried to pick most of them out, but that was obviously less than successful.  So now I have a yard full of grubs, and the moles that have decided the grubs taste delicious.  And little brown patches in my yard because I won't use chemicals.

I'd like to learn more about biodynamic farming, maybe that would help with my yard pests.  I know next to nothing about it, but what little I've heard sounds a little beyond belief.  If I've learned anything from this past year, it's to keep an open mind.  Maybe by this time next year I'll be building fairy houses.  Or maybe I'll just be rebuilding the grape arbor for the third time.

Cherry Valley Organics

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