Archive for the ‘Crop Progess’ Category

Wineries in the winter what’s going on?

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
LaCrescent vines sleeping

LaCrescent vines sleeping

What goes on in the vineyard in January, well not too much. These vines are very winter hardy and can handle temps. down to 30 degrees below zero farenheit. They had a good growing season last year with lot of heat and sunshine and not too much or too little rain.

July vs. January

July vs. January

We had a early harvest due to the good growing season. This allowed for the leaves to hang on a long time since we had a late “killing frost” also. The vines were able to load lots of energy via the fall sunshine and hopefully store some good energy in the root systems before they went dormant. This helps on these long cold days.

We prune these grapes later than most to see what and if any late frosts take away buds we may be counting on.

Reisling "on the bubble"

These reisling vines pictured above are not as winter hardy as the LaCrescent and we will see, this might be their last year on the farm. We may replace these with another French American Hybrid called Traminette.

So while the grapes are outside enduring the winter, our guests are inside enjoying the fruits of their labor from seasons past!

Scott Alan "The Island Dr."

At Maize Valley We Make Great Wine…FUN! Last weekend we had the Island Dr. aka Scott Alan in. We have live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night and this past weekend the Dr. brought the house down! Great guests desended to form a massive conga line, limbo and just a whole bunch of other Island style fun.

How low can you GO?

How low can you GO?

What’s comin’ Up down on the Farm in January at Maize Valley??

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
View from outside of the Greenhouse

View from outside of the Greenhouse

Ohh, Ohh, Pick me!

Ohh, Ohh, Pick me!

Plow snow in the morning pick a greenbean in the afternoon?

Plow snow in the morning pick a greenbean in the afternoon?

One thing you may have seen if you watch this blog and You Tube etc. is we are always trying something new at Maize Valley. I have to give credit to my father-in-law Kay. In his 70’s not retiring and always up for a new challenge. As we try to diversify he is experimenting with not only growing some different crops in the greenhouses, but even how we grow some “old ones”. We go to a winter farmers’ market that actually does as well in the winter or better than many of our summer ones!

Greenbeans, just "Hangin' out"

These beans are grown in hanging baskets just like you would flowers. We use a potting soil and all natural fertilizers. You can’t call them “organic” because we are not “certified” but we don’t use any snythetic fertilizers or chemicals either. We are more of a “Sustainable” farm business, that is we try and “sustain” ourselves to be around to do it again next year!

Fresh, Homegrown, Green beans in January!

Fresh, Homegrown, Green beans in January!

WoW look at all those wine bottles behind Chelle in the backround!! When you own a winery it is important that you constantly do product quality control testing! What wine goes best with greenbeans??? Well depends how you prepare them, lightly heated with touch of butter in a pan as Chelle did a nice light off dry white goes well.

Hey grand pa…whats for supper?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Spinach getting going

Spinach getting going

"Pole beans" B 4 the pole part!

"Pole beans" B 4 the pole part!

More and more people are asking not only what is for supper, but where did it come from? It is still not a huge amount yet but it is growing every year. In order to see if we can maintain our agricultural roots and adapt to meet an emerging market we have over the past three years begun to grow a wider variety of crops. From garlic to green beans, from cantelopes to carrots.

Almost all of these items we sell direct to the consumers and even incorporate them into our entrees’ served at our farm market and winery.

Two short clips below! The first one shows my “culinary roots” you might say the second actually has some views about what’s comin’ up, down on the farm.

Take care!

Vineyard views, if it going to snow it might as well be pretty!

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
Long view of the Reisling

Long view of the Reisling

Waiting for spring

Waiting for spring

Pretty Cool

Pretty Cool

Our old barn

Our old barn

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

Boy winter started early, like I think it was somewhere around last June? Anyhow we are seeing some signs of spring here or there. Days getting longer, still daylight at 6:30 Wow! Our vines so far so good. Despite all the snow and cold it really has not been as extreme as it was last winter.

Last winter we had significant die back due to temp in the sub zero teens for an extended period. We did not have that this. The trick will still be to get past that late frost in May however. You can look back on last years posts for that disaster. But that is what we roll with here on the farm.

We are planting more grapes this spring, doing new crops in the greenhouse and some other unique things will be coming up in the field too! Look for us at area farmers’ markets and of course at the main market and winery with tons of new special events and cool tried and true trusted ones as well.

Here are a couple of videos one of the vineyard itself and one of the drive out to the vineyard in my pickup hope you enjoy.

Remember at Maize Valley We Make Great Wine…FUN!!

Rounding Third and headed for the home stretch:#farm,#agritourism,

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
What's up Doc?

What's up Doc?

On the way to being Raspberry Wine!

On the way to being Raspberry Wine!

Cabbage Patch

Cabbage Patch

Pa, Pa, Pa....Peppers!

Pa, Pa, Pa....Peppers!

Maters' still going strong!

Maters' still going strong!

Vineyard view

Vineyard view

LaCrescent Vineyard

LaCrescent Vineyard

It has been a very interesting season. Weird weather to say the least. Cool, cloudy & dryish early, wet later, some heat now in Sept.? Yea, whatever we just roll with it and make the best of it and are happy to wake to see another day.

The Ohio Wine and More formal blog has been difficult to keep up as of late. My desktop crashed and was either sick or in the shop for almost three weeks. Then we are dealing with some family health issues as we head into harvest as well so my eye has been off this ball.

Been doing a lot more “Micro-blogging” via face book w/fan pages and such. Really trying to redefine my local marketing efforts etc.

I am also running for school board this fall, an election run during harvest? What was I thinking!!

Today my wife and I are taking a motorcycly ride on my V Strom headed down towards Harrison County Ohio. Cool gravel roads down there, most of them end in the word “Hollow” too! One of those “smell the roses” days if ya get my drift?!

Here are a few crop updates and general farm stuff from grapes to corn mazes.

Crop Progress/Update, Time to start Harvesting!!

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
Sweeeaaat Onion

Sweeeaaat Onion

Green Maters,

Green Maters,

Yellow Squash

Yellow Squash

Green Bell Peppers

Green Bell Peppers

A Trio of Cabbage

A Trio of Cabbage

Baby Watermellon on a bed of leaves

Baby Watermellon on a bed of leaves

Broccoli lookin' fine

Broccoli lookin' fine

Well it feels like it has been a long time coming but we are finally starting to pull some measurable product out of the fields. Sweet Corn started July 20th and about a dozen other crops are starting to fill in the gaps too. This is a long post, why because it rained today!!! It was a MONEY rain for us as it has been dry and we needed it. So I will cram a bunch into one day. Lots of words, lots of pics, lots of video. Hope you enjoy what’s comin’ up down on the farm.

The growing season has been strange this year. It has been much cooler and cloudy than usual especially for July. Great to be a human but not so much to be a corn plant. We have been using some new crop fertility products that go along the lines of natural I suppose you might say.

Basically they reduce the amounts of chemical based fertilizers and crop protection products we would use and stimulate the bacteria in the soil to breakdown the nutrients already present making them avaliable for plant uptake. We will see how it works, so far things seem to be working well as we have very good growth especially in our curcurbites with not so great weather. Our watermellons are about two weeks ahead of past years, just sort of strange, maybe this “snake oil” actually works??!! Go figure!

You see people always talk about “organic” and I just have to laugh knowing what I know about soil chemistry and plant fertility. You see EVERYTHING is a chemical or made up of elements in different combinations. Organic chemistry is powerful stuff and just to think you can simplify things and that will make all things all better is naive at best. Good crops come from healthy soil and that takes a balanced approach to how you treat them. You can just as easily mess things up going the “organic route” as you can mess things up by getting soils out of balance by going the “commercial” route.

All in all most of us eat pretty well in this country. It is mostly a matter of choices what we put in our mouths. It is mostly a matter of balance. It is still better to eat a piece of food that our bodies evolved on that has a part per billion of something that if hunderds of tons of it were eaten in a given period of time may be harmful, than not to eat it at all.

We have a marvolus food system despite some of its faults. It’s development and use has allowed we as a people to do things today we take for granted like only work 5-6 days a week, only 40-60 hours a week, take vacations, days off, run and exercise for fun or “health”, eat out, the list goes on and on.

All I am saying is thank you very much for supporting us at farmers’ markets and the like, thank you very much for appreciating the simple things in life that give a family farmer an edge but also remember you can hardly think of the last time you went hungry in this country.

BB

Crop Progess, Vineyard Update, Raspberries TOO!

Saturday, July 11th, 2009
Todd in Air Blast Sprayer

Todd in Air Blast Sprayer

Pumpkins starting to form

Pumpkins starting to form

Baby Rasperries

Baby Rasperries

Raspberry Patch

Raspberry Patch

WoW is stuff growing fast now, from Raspberries to pumpkins to corn we got it going on here are a few pics and video of what growing up down on the farm at Maize Valley.

Come on over and let’s do a little Pollinating!!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
Irrigation Booster Pump

Irrigation Booster Pump

Watermelon with blossoms starting to emerge

Watermelon with blossoms starting to emerge

Bee Hives next to watermelon patch

Bee Hives next to watermelon patch

There is a country song with a line that goes something like “come on over and let’s do a little pollinating”. Well I guess if a whole lot of “pollinating” didn’t go on in some form or another, none of us would be here nor would be all the goodies we get to eat would either.

All living things need a variety of things to survive, our school tours touch on that. While I was out filming about how we get water to the plants via our irrigation booster pump, I stumbled upon the pollination process, I was able to catch some bees pollinating some newly emerged blossoms or “flowers” in the watermellon patch. Some times it is tough to get the bees in the right place and I was happy to see them, well Busy as a Bee?

To be sure we get good fruit set we put bee hives right out in the field. The bees will travel up to two miles so we can cover just about all our fields from one spot if we have enough hives. As the bees move from one plant to another they pick up pollen on their body from blossoms. Some of the flowers or blossoms are Male and some are Female. As you move the pollen from the different blossoms from plant to plant you assist in the fertilization process which is necessary for fruit development.

In the video you can see how the bees legs brush against the parts of the flower and that is how the plant get the necessary genetic material it needs.

Field update; Do, Do, Do, lookin’ out my backdoor

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
Sweet Corn beginning to tassle

Sweet Corn beginning to tassle

Pepper Patch June 26th 2009

Pepper Patch June 26th 2009

Cabbage Patch June 26th 2009

Cabbage Patch June 26th 2009

Things have really been busy as our field crops are now beginning to get set to go into reproductive stages of development. What does that mean you ask?

In the case of the watermelons they are starting to put out blossoms as they vine out and cover the ground around them, the Sweet Corn is starting to shoot tassles, and peppers are beginning to flower. In the video you can see some of the pollen shedding off the tassle as it floats toward the “ear silks”. We should have Farmers’ Market volume hopefully by the second or third week in July.

Well here are a few videos that can say with a picture more than my word can in a lifetime. I am going to be putting up a few more blog posts that talk more specifically about some of the “Rock Star” crops like our grapes, sweet corn and pumpkins. These guys really tend to steal the show mostly because they get to go and do Fun Stuff with people!

Muck Sweet Corn Ground