Archive for the ‘Spring time things to do’ Category

More than wine and grapes are getting planted at Maize Valley!

Monday, April 27th, 2009
Kay Planting Sweet Corn

Kay Planting Sweet Corn

Here comes the sun!! WOW what a couple of days of awesome weather eh!! Looks like rain on and off this week so now is the time we are getting a lot of different things done on the farm. Purning grapes, pruning apple trees, plowing working ground and planting all at the same time.

This early sweet corn is a bit of a gamble because it is prone to frost if we get hit in mid to late May like we often do. But we have to roll the dice because if we miss it this High organic black muck soil produces some awesome sweet corn. Plus it can really accumulate heat units rapidly compared to our high ground soils and really move the crop along to early maturity and have great flavor and high quality.

See how much rain we get but we hope to get out and finish up “unhilling” and uncovering the graft unions on some on our last vineyard field block later this week.

Video of some last spring season vine pruning

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Finishing up the winter pruning

Finishing up the winter pruning

Here is Todd Vaughan the Wine Maker at Maize Valley doing some late season vine pruning. He is finishing up some work on our French American Variety “LaCrescent”. It is hearty white grape that is good to temperatures down to about 20 degrees below zero F.

Todd “Z” winemaker in the vineyard

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Todd getting our vines ready to Rock and Roll

Todd getting our vines ready to Rock and Roll

Hey check it out Todd our winemaker is almost done with our spring grape pruning. Actually Todd has been great doing almost all of the field work this spring. I killed the weeds, he knocked down the hard work of cutting the wood! I actually shot a bit of video with him working with a little of the how-to’s but it did not want to load so I hope to have that up next week.

Basically what Todd is doing is cutting back some of last years growth and getting ready for this years blooms. We waited a bit longer this year to do some of this work because it got so darn cold last year we were not sure how much “die back” we had so we waited till closer to bud break, now we hope they slow down because we are not out of the woods yet for a frost ane we don’t need those tender little buds hanging out without a coat on!!

Stay tuned for the video,

Later

FunTSAR

Rich Top soil and High ground too, plus some wine info…. WOW

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Galen's boys picking up rocks behing my house

Galen's boys picking up rocks behing my house

Freshly plowed ground ready for sweet corn seed

Freshly plowed ground ready for sweet corn seed

As you see we are getting ready to plant, Kay my father-in-law has been busy with Galen and the crews getting ready to start putting some seeds in the ground.

We do no-till, minimum tillage, and conventional farm techniques at Maize Valley. For the early vegtable crops we go pretty much conventional or the “old School” plowing and working the ground. We do that because that helps to warm the soil up and dry it out and that is really important to us early in the season. We go to farmers’ markets and for our own market our season is so short we have to try and get a crop to market as soon as possible.

We do plant “winter cover crops” such as winter rye as much as we can till it gets too late in the fall. They help hold the soil in place over the winter then we either let them grow up and bale the straw, or we plow them under as a “green manure” to add organic matter back to the soil. But you can’t let the rye get too big where you want to plant sweet corn because as the rye gets bigger it releases a chemical into the soil that is harmful to sweet corn! So when you hear about “chemicals” always get the rest of the story as a famous person used to say, mother nature has some too!

I also have a neat link in here I got off of twitter about the Ohio wine history, be sure to check it out.http://www.thesecondglass.com/features/they-make-wine-there-ohio

Here comes the sun!

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Do you eat small birds?

Do you eat small birds?Maize Valley Destination Health“. Part of Ohio Wine and MORE is the fact that we are much more than a winery. We are a agricultural destination and part of that is production of healthy fresh grown produce. Time is one resource none of us can make more of and by taking care of our health we can make the most out of what we have. Stay in touch as we help to create a destination that is real and balanced in respect to helping live a more “time capturing” experiencing of life. I am not talking about being a bark eating, tree hugging, bug squishing extremist or anything. I mean health and exercise that fits well into your life and can become part of your lifestyle on a consistant basis that makes sense and is fun.

We are working with the great folks over at Aultman Hospital in Canton Ohio to merge our strengths to create a unique destination for health. Say tuned for updates.

Hopefully we can get back out into the vineyard tomorrow as the clouds part and finish up pruning on the later grapes. Lots of meetings coming up, planning for our Celtic/Beltane Fest. our 5K race, the Civil War Re-enactment. etc. etc. etc.

Later

BB

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.

Bit Chilly in the Vineyard today

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Greetings from the FunTSAR at Maize Valley!

Coming up to speed on providing meaningful content for our Ohio Wine and More Blog from Maize Valley. I had hoped to get out a bit early and get started in the vineyard working more on some of the weed control I started the other day, but it a bit too cold yet.

Todd my brother-in-law and our wine maker, has been busy working his way across the varieties pruning last year growth and getting ready for bud break this year. We start with the grapes that we know we won’t have a issue with winter kill and work across the blocks of grapes. This past winter was really hard on our Reisling. We are not sure yet how they are going to emerge as we had an extended period of very cold weather in Jan. The plants seem ok, but the buds look shot. We have a about an acre of newly planted Traminet to uncover yet too. They look good but the first 2-3 years are tough for them, once you getting them going they are usually good to go. Our native american and French American Hybrids all look good and except for some primary bud die back we should be okay as the secondary buds should fill the gaps.

We are also getting some really cool trucks ready to go in our shop for our farmers’ markets this year and I will have pics up soon. One is a 52 Ford and the other is a 51. They look way cool and our fun platforms to sell off of. In the fields they have been getting the vegtable ground ready when the rain gives us a break. They are putting the final touches on some equipment and doing odd jobs that slipped through the cracks this winter.

Looks like a busy night to be had in the winery tonight with a great band, and one group of 30-40 already on board, plus some other smaller groups and walk ins should be a busy night. That’s cool, not much fun growing and making the stuff if nobody enjoys it!

Well gotta go take my daughter to the high school, she has a track meet today then I hope to get back out to the fields, work on my trucks, etc. One cool thing is I really enjoy my “job” and in as much never think of it as “work”.

F.T.

Getting ready to spray grapes

Friday, April 3rd, 2009
Getting ready to spray grapes

Getting ready to spray grapes,
originally uploaded by FunTSAR.

Yesterday the weather was great, got a jump on this year’s spring work!