Archive for April, 2009

That’s me installing the ground line, my wife got my best side

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Galen usually does all the hard work around the farm anymore so I went outside in the rain and made the outside connections and soaked up some water. Last week today I was in Fla. soaking up sun and checking out way cool gators at The Alligator Park near St. Augustine! Great place I can recommend it.

We hope to have the live entertainment out in the pavilion this weekend if the weatherman is right. It is time to start the party OUTSIDE!!

Galen and Burt pulling wires in the pavilion behind the winery

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Too wet to get out and prune grapes today, it rained ALL day! But to keep things rolling we are getting the lights and outlets installed the the “Gateway Pavilion”. This pavilion was new last year and is sort of a gateway from the Market/Winery to the “Back 40” with activity areas, fields, and vineyards.

Later this week Todd hopes to get out and finish up the front field. We bottled the wine from that field a couple of weeks ago and it really turned out nice. Should be released in June for Ohio Wine Month. We will enter them in the “Ohio Quality Wine Competition” also. This is our first harvest of enough volume to put in a bottle and sell. We also sourced some nice fruit from OSU/OARDC Wooster campus which turned out very well.

Once the mud goes down we hope to get out and start digging up around some of our grafted varities too.

Gotta Have Fun TWO!

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

2007 Suzuki DL 1000 VStrom

2007 Suzuki DL 1000 VStrom

Two years ago now our family lost our wonderful Sister, my brother Tim’s wife, Mary Ellen Bakan to breast cancer. Among other things Mary Ellen was our “pumpkin lady” in the fall. Always making sure everybody paid for their pumpkins just in case they “forgot” when they were leaving the field. She was a wonderful school teacher and very sweet lady.

Years before I sold my motorcycles when we had kids. But with Mary Ellen leaving our lives so early I decided I did not know what was around the next corner. So in 2007 I bought a brand spankin new Suzuki DL 1000 VStrom!

Yea we work a lot here on our farm, market and winery but I try and always remember to have some fun two. The reason I say “two” the VStrom is one of the baddest, most kick but TWO cylinder bikes on the road. Or in this bike case off road too as it can carve the “twisties”, climb the gravel roads, then hit the pavement and run up towards 140mph!

I feel the Need, the Need for speed.

Kay plowing early veggi ground

Saturday, April 18th, 2009
Kay plowing early veggi ground

Kay plowing early veggi ground,
originally uploaded by FunTSAR.

Right behind our house is part of the original property that my wife’s family settled on. It dates back to the Monroe Administration. In fact the house we live in Michelle’s grandfather was born in. In the picture here her father Kay is doing some spring plowing with our John Deere 4050.

We used to have all sorts of bigger tractors and equipment but as we have made the transition to a speciality vegtable producer and winery we have down sized quite a bit. I don’t mind a bit I got tired of working on all that equipment and seeing the parts bill too!

Bill

Getting back into the “Work” groove.

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Tom Green, one of the "Moore" family planting trees that will be ready in 7-10 years, boy he will have even more grey in that beard by then!The "Moore Family" Christmas Tree Farm

Kay cleaning up one of our new hay seedings.

Kay cleaning up one of our new hay seedings.

Learning how to operate Word Press and blog publish, and try and take a vacation! I multi-task better with things like motorcycles and wrenches! Catching up with the work, then will try and get up to date on stuff “goin’ on, down on the farm”.

The pic on top is that of the Moore Family Tree Farm, they are planting new seedlings next door to the East of our place.

Next is Kay getting the hay off to a good start by trying to keep some of those dandilions from taking over.

St. Augustine Easter Parade

Monday, April 13th, 2009

One of the local's checking out our camper

One of the local's checking out our camper

ARRRGGGGGG!

ARRRGGGGGG!

My daughter Breanne and I were watching the “locals” case our campsite.
St. Augustine Easter Parade

Uploaded to Flickr using my BlackBerry Smartphone
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

One of our native american flower beds

Monday, April 6th, 2009
One of native american flower beds

One of native american flower beds,
originally uploaded by FunTSAR.

Last Saturday I took a quick shot of one of our Native American Flower beds we planted last spring.

The idea here is to get some perenial flowers growing. The plants we put in were growing in the Midwest and if we can get them established should last till the next ice age with a little bit of care.

It is quite a challenge to get them started and it is not cheap either. We have some plants coming back this year we just hope they can out compete the non-native weed species that have taken over the area.

If we can get them going it is just one more reason for you to come and see why Maize Valley IS the place to BE!

New Winery Equipment!! Chaa, dude….

Monday, April 6th, 2009

My 1952 Ford F5 work truck

My 1952 Ford F5 work truck


It’s Monday and it’s cold and it is trying to snow! So what makes you feel better than getting new stuff!! Thanks to all our wonderful old customers, and all the new ones too! Demand for Maize Valley wines have been really strong this spring so in order to keep up we had to upgrade and get a new wine chiller. Todd “Z” winemaker (we say, “Z” so we sound all fancy and french like, yea that’s us) has hammer in hand and is getting at his new toy! Todd does a way cool, good job making awesome wines and this can really help out more and make the wine chilling process go much smoother.

The chiller is used in the wine making process to “freeze” the wine or at least hold it at a low enough temperature for a period of time to get the solids that are in the wine to precipitate or “fall out” of the suspension. Mostly we are trying to get the tartaric crystals to fall out in our bulk tanks so they don’t end up in the bottom of the bottle. Native American grapes (Niagara, Concord, Catawba) tend to create a great deal of these crystals and are very prone to ending up with them in the bottom of the bottle especially if the wine goes through a number of cooling and warming cycles before it is enjoyed.

It depends upon the type of wine you are drinking as to the benifits or perceived problems these crystals in the wine create. Follow the link above to learn more.

Saturday I was happy to get out and finish up spraying the grapes that were ready for this summers weed crop. Weeds like death and taxes are sure to come. We still have some more grafted grapes to uncover yet to spray later. We try and not use any more crop protection products than we have to, but after I had to weed eat 7 acres of grapes for 3 days in the 90 degree heat of August last year I am NOT going to let our lovely little vines get choked by some nasty ole’ weeds!! I also cared for the Raspberries and Apple trees too.

That is all the wine news today, the more probably deals with Galen chasing a would be thief from our old dairy farm as he was trying to make off with some our our bakery racks we had in storage. Probably after the aluminum, as some copper pipe was also gathered near the door.

Also working on the trucks for our upcoming “Farmers’ Market” season too. Putting a new canopy system on my 52′ Ford F5 I think it is going to be way cool.

For me the FunTSAR Monday like many of you involves getting after new marketing ideas, ad approval and all that paper work stuff. My wife and I woke at 2:30am to hear our son Brett playing “Monster Jam” on the Wii! He is autistic but does very well, however he can’t tell between 2:30 & 6:30 he just thought it was time to get up and thought he would get a game in or two before school. Needless to say nobody got back to sleep very well after that for some reason, and he is home with a cold today from school.

Well gotta go and stop by grandma’s and pick up Brett and take him home so he can catch some ZZZZZZ’s, maybe I can too!

Hakuna Matata

Learn More about Ohio Wine

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

http://www.communicationsgoddess.net/2009/04/authentic-tips-for-marketing-to.html;http://travelswithwine.com/

Kay and the boys planting veggie seeds, Local Matters!

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

I am looking for things to do without going out into the cold yet, yea I am being whimpy but hey isn’t it supposed to be getting warmer out?

It’s cloudy and cool out today but it is time to start getting some more veggie seeds going in the greenhouse. Kay my wife’s Dad (that would be my father-in-law) has the Weisant boys helping him plant seeds in the greenhouse. Galen Weisant has worked with us for over 20 years and is a huge part of us getting all the work done on the farm. His boys help out to and this is just one way by growing local that we can help to provide jobs for kids in our area. When we really need a job done we put Galen on it!