Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Animal Rescue of sorts

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Pork Chop enjoying breakfast

Pork Chop enjoying breakfast

Chip Chop and Pork Chop getting Breakfast

Chip Chop and Pork Chop getting Breakfast

You may have seen our lovely pigs on the website, There names are Chip Chop and Pork Chop. They came to us as sort of a “rescue of sorts”. Last summer a gentleman over the hill had a bit of trouble with the law. As a result he got to spend some time away from home. When he left on his “unscheduled vacation” the group of animals he had at home got left behind. Some of the people who came to help involved in “animal wellfare” found value in the chickens and other marketable and useful animals but these two pigs did not get any love and were just let go.

Well they lived right next to the vegtable fields of the “Hartville Swamps” and being summer they had quite the selection to chose from but the local produers did not like it so much, so they got ran off. I got a phone call late one Sunday night wanting to know if I wanted A pig. After twisting my arm I agreed and loe and behold one turned into two upon arrival and the rest is history.

These guys are so ugly they are cute and have found a home at Maize Valley’s Petting Pasture. The pics here show my wife Michelle giving them breakfast. They prefere white bread over wheat, and saved the Blue berry pie for desert.

Todd and Jessie were out in the vineyards yesterday tieing and pruning hope to have more about that later.

I gotta go get something done today! Awesome weather and I hope to get enough done so I can go out and ride the VStrom some this weekend.

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.

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