Last year, the 4 to 5 rows closest to a long wall of cyprus trees were decimated by local fauna whose little hands picked fruit out between the small openings of the bird netting.
it seems that our love and attention has caused havoc in the vineyard. By making sure there is food and water for our feathered friends, they have decided that this is the place to be. And just about the time Kosta Browne wants our fruit, when the grapes are ripe with sugars, the birds have decided they want our grapes, too.
Spring is here, and Mother Nature is gifting us with her bounty: Our artichokes, strawberries and blueberries are all making an appearance. Unfortunately, so are the gophers. Mother Nature does not discriminate.
We recently got a "Happy Birthday" email from our fantastic vet, the VCA Forestville Animal Hospital, that reminded us that February will mark two years with our wonderful vineyard dog, Jake.
What better way to enjoy Halloween in Sonoma County than to take the kids to California Carnivores, the largest retail carnivorous plant nursery in the United States. We took our grandkids this summer, and were blown away by the alien-like plants housed in a large greenhouse in Sebastopol that doubles as a carniverous plant museum.
As well as being the bookkeeper, gardener and co-owner of Gantz Family Vineyards, Celeste Gantz has taken on the job of being the vineyard's gopher hunter. Here -- with help from her trusty sidekick, Jake -- she gives hints on how to identify, trap and dispose of the little buggers.
Now that we have moved to the ranch, he has struggled to find a location on the property that would serve the same purpose. We finally decided to take a small barn once used for kiwi harvesting and turn it into a dedicated winery for his work.
The task of controlling the weeds on the non-vineyard property has come to me. I attack about 1.5 acres with a weed eater, whacking away weeds along the fence lines, trees (not too close!), around the house and barns. Then there’s hands-and-knees work, pulling weeds around the roses, blueberries and newly planted fruit trees.
In the last year, Jake has certainly become a member of the family, with his own quirks and attributes.