Thursday, April 29, 2010

Last week of April

The week was over before I knew it and I woke up today for my one day off. Brigitte, Sizzo, and all of the students were away this week. Sizzo and Brigitte went to the USA, where Sizzo delivered a lecture at a college. All of the students went on a week long trip to Venice, where they learned about Pound and explored the city. The days were spent working long hours and living at Brunnenburg with less people. I will list a few things that I did this week.
Every year it is expected that some vines will not survive. There can be many different reasons but in the end these dead plants need to be replaced. You do not want to waste the space that these plants take up but also you do not want a possible diseased plant to remain among the living. Jane and I were given the task to replace all of the dead GoldMuskateller with some new young vines that Nik purchased. There were about 30 dead vines scattered throughout the vineyard. One of the afternoons this week was spent putting 15 of these new vines into the ground.
Jane and I followed with all the supplies pictured below, including a watering can and blue bucket
To start off the task, Nik went through the vineyard and put a piece of metallic tape above each vine that had to be replaced. He also put some tape above spots that did not have a vine but needed one.
We would first dig up the old vines with a pic and shovel. We would carefully dig beside the vine and go as deep as possible without destroying it. It is important to try and get all of the vine out in one piece.
Once the vines were out, the new one could be put in. The hole had to be a certain depth, so the vines were almost completely covered up with dirt
Pouring water into the hole
Once the hole is ready you put the vine in and add a generous amount of water, filling the hole up. It is important to water anything that is newly transplanted to help give it fighting chance in this new environment. The water also helps the roots to grow into the soil and settle in for the long haul.
You let the soil soak up some of the water and then fill the hole up with dirt. Once this step is complete, you have transplanted yourself a vine. I also did this task at another part of farm later in the week with a different kind of vines.
A few weeks back the Students dug a trench through the apple orchard down to the main house system. Nik was tapping into another water supply to help regenerate their tanks when needed. This meant connecting a pipe from all the way up on the road, right down to the chicken coop. The trench was dug then Nik got the hose. Two workmen from the area, Walter and Alphonse were at the farm to help us with the task. We uncoiled both the hoses and led them down the trench. They had to go under the road and the path leading to Meran. Once all the connections were made, we could then fill up the trench with dirt. I worked on it with Jane and Nik sporadically through out the week until most of it was finished. There is still a small portion that has to be worked on at the very end.
Cement covering the hole on the trial
Hoses being covered with dirt
The trench, apple trees to the sides
Two small tasks that I also worked on were wiring trellising and cleaning up some fertilizer. Some of the trellising in the GoldMusakteller only had one wire going across, while they usually have three. I would stay at the end of the row while Nike went down the row with some wire. We would use the machine pictured below to help with the process. Nik would put the wire where it was needed and then cut it. These are the same wires that I had to clean and tighten last week. Nik also showed me how to tighten a few other wires that I did not know how to do.
The device held the wire and spins as the wire is pulled
The next few pictures that show how you would tighten the trellising, some of the pictures are poor quality.
You first undo the wire and make it loose again
Then you pull the wire tight against the post
After you wrap it around itself, making the wire tight
Here's Nik doing it
A picture of the post and the tractor in the back
A few weeks back we added some fertilizer to the GoldMuskateller, but the fertilizer was too concentrated on one spot. We went through this before with our hands to clean it but it was not enough. So we went through with some hoes and really worked the fertilizer out.
Three big hoes, a small rake, small hoe, and sickle
The vines are putting on leaves and growing
Close up of the vines

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