The field is ready to plant vines!
The field is finally ready to plant vines! We are tantalisingly close to having our very own vineyard! (you can watch a video of the early field clearance here)
Back in early December we had to abort ploughing as the field was just too wet. Plough-man George said to hope for some cold easterly winds as they are great for drying the ground before the sun is warm enough to do so (who knew?). The mini-beasts-from-the-easts in late winter did exactly that and we completed ploughing on the 10th Feb, phew!
Having never seen a power harrow in action, the difference it makes to the field is incredible. Up close a ploughed field looks more like an orderly war zone, deep ruts and puddles that require care to navigate without fear of injury. After the harrow has been over, even a veteran allotment owner would be pleased with the finish, George does it again!
The soil looks great. It is a red rich sandy loam full of worms and organic matter, clouds of insects shimmer in the sun and pied wagtails flit over the top in search of food. All of which are telltale signs of a healthy ecosystem that the vines will be part of, especially when managed in a regenerative way.
The vines, currently in cold storage, will be planted in May, the rabbit guards and support rods that protect the young vines are stored in the barn ready for Vineworks to do their thing. Now we just (fingers crossed) wait for the soil to warm and hope the local deer don’t feel too peckish.
It feels like an age ago that I wrote about the start of our vineyard project but now we are ready to plant vines and learning the ropes on the old vines, it’s starting to feel a lot like living the dream.