Posts Tagged ‘Grapes’

Breanne, the second but “better” Daughter…

Sunday, July 24th, 2011
A leader on the field

A leader on the field

My Dad can be sort of tough on us kids, he keeps sayin’ “Life doesn’t grade on a curve” whatever that means. I get good grades, Mom and Dad are proud but they say that is not enough.

Last night I got to wash dishes till about 9:00. We do a “Wine’d Up Wednesdays” weekly event which is mostly a ladies thing at my families winery and I pulled dish duty. Not really “farming” I guess but work that needed done.

But growing up on a farm with a winery, vineyard and agritourism destination has meant

Dad out in a different field

Dad out in a different field

When I was eight years old and barely big enough to see over the wheel my Dad put me in Grandpa’s BIG 4 door diesel dually pickup and told me to “drive”! He was picking up round bales and didn’t want to have to move both the truck and loader by himself. He says I’ll remember that like a “Alan Jackson song”. Whatever all that means? But I do recall that day.

Basil

Seeding Basil

Nothing saz “Summer” like a Ruby Red Raspberry @Maize Valley!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
Red n Ripe!

Red n Ripe!

Last years crop of Red Raspberries just recently found its way into the bottle in the winery but it’s story didn’t start there. There was a great deal of work that went into getting that rich red goodness into that glass carrier of pleasure.

Red Raspberry Beds

Red Raspberry Beds

Well the snow might still be on the ground but we are getting ready for those long hot daz of summer! 🙂
Along with all the “good-for-you” vegi’s we grow at Maize Valley we also grow fruit. One of the most sexy fruits out there has to Red Raspberries. Especially when Todd my brother-in-law and our wine maker balances the sugar with the acidity and makes our Red Rasperry wine.

Visiting Relatives

Visiting Relatives

Like most things on the farm Rasperries take a great deal of work. The first years we pruned the berries we used a chain saw and walked down the rows all bent over and such swinging the saw back and forth. We then graduated to a weed eater with a metal saw blade on it. This was better but still not a whole lot of fun. Now we thing we got it down! I bought this 40 year old sickle bar mower last fall and what was old is now new again.

Maize Valley is Re-Loading for 2011!

Friday, January 7th, 2011
Stomp the Grapes 2010

Stomp the Grapes 2010

Cruise In July 22nd 2010

Cruise In July 22nd 2010

Pink Poker Run 2010

Pink Poker Run 2010

Cane Burning Par-Tay

Cane Burning Par-Tay

Hartville Radishes from Maize Valley Farms

Hartville Radishes from Maize Valley Farms

2010 was a great year at Maize Valley Farm Market and Winery, thank you! We really mean that. We are a family farm business that has been making a living with the soil since the 1800’s. Throughout all those year’s my wife’s family the Vaughan’s have been leather tanners, school teachers, carpenters, and all along farmers. You see you just did what you had to do to survive. As Dorie says in finding Nemo, “just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!

We grow about 52 different crops on about 700 acres but the most important crop is fun! Fun = memories and we try and build special events that cement those memories and last a lifetime. Our event calendar is loading up for 2011. We are working on making new events and adding and improving old ones too.

Look for our Vines, Wines, and Pines, cross country race to expand to include a “Farmathlon”, yea it’s gonna be cool! We are working on the half marathon and with any luck will be able to handle the expected growth up towards 2,000 runners.

The Pink Poker Run to raise money for Susan G. Komen 3 day for the cure will be back with a “Bike Rodeo” on the back side of it and hog roast.

We are pulling the plug on the Haunted corn maze and will be planting pumpkins in that area and making the woods part of the wagon ride paths. Plus the Pony Express is going to make it’s way back into the Corn Maze design.

The cane burning Par-Tay is gonna have a bigger pile, the monthly “Vintner Dinner” series keeps selling out so look for some new ideas coming there, the cruise-ins’ are every week starting in May and well wait to ya see the giant Hill-Slide we are building…..! Whew, and that’s not all! Stay Tuned!

At Maize Valley, We Make Great Wine…FUN!

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!!

Vineyard update Three weeks after frost/freeze

Friday, June 12th, 2009
LaCrescent vines 23 days after frost

LaCrescent vines 23 days after frost

LaCrescent Vines 23 Days after hard frost/freeze

LaCrescent Vines 23 Days after hard frost/freeze

If you have been following along we have had a few entries reporting on the condition of our front vineyard that has the French American Hybrid variety LaCrescent vines. They really got hammered back on May 18th and 19th by an extremely hard frost that actually turned into a freeze before it was over.

I was really heartbreaking because this was this vineyards third year in production and things had really begun to look good and we had good blossom set and the vines looked pretty good considering the winter they had just endured. They just got fried, we lost about 90 percent of the exposed plant tissue, a few blossoms on the inside of the vine that were covered by a leaf or vine escaped but not many.

In the video you can see the secondary fruit set. While it is nice to see the vineyard finally getting a green “cast” to we expect only about half the crop we would have gotten with the original fruit set, but oh well such is life that is why you get rich farming.

Also look for postings on the new alcohol taxes coming down the line. If you voted for change here it comes!!! And hang on to your wallet! http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=90372764563&h=GDvWQ&u=P7S5J&ref=mf

Do you know how you make a million dollars farming?? Start with Two Million!!

Traminette Vineyard, Training the vines and people

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
Traminette Vines

Traminette Vines

Thad putting in the bamboo poles

Thad putting in the bamboo poles

Well sorry it has been a few days since I put some news up via this here ole’ Blog I know. It has just been hoppin’ here at Maize Valley. I am trying my best to get er’ done, but some days it just is not so easy. Mostly because pretty much all the content that I post we actually do first.

It is not just like I go out and taste some wine and tell somebody about what I think about it. We actually grow a lot of the vines along with a lot of other things then harvest them then make them into something cool, then market them so others can enjoy them. Along the way life happens and God willing and the creek don’t rise we make a living too. At the end of the day I’d rather have a good Dark Beer, Oatmeal Stout or something like that anyhow, now that’s what I can BODY!

I help coach my daughter’s softball team which we thought was just going to be terrible this year and who would have known it but we are 6 and 3 now and on a roll (won the last four games). Two blow outs and two dog fights, one with extra innings even! The girls are smiling and touching gloves and learning how to work through the tough spots in life. And isn’t that what coaching is all about I guess? I hope the girls someday look back and say “hey coach Bakan helped me get through a tough spot and I can do it again”, been there done that. The season has a long way to go but we have already done more than anybodies wildest dreams.

I suppose wine is sort of like that in some respects, no I don’t mean drink to make your troubles go away but rather wine brings people together and the net effect is more than just drinking or tasting the wine or deciding how “correct” or “unflawed” it is. But rather it sets the stage for people to interact in such a way that things get accomplished, relationships are built and things are learned that help you down the road if you get in a tough spot some day.

I feel so sorry for those that look at wine as a “thing” to only be evaluated and studied for its comparative value related to others like it. No, it can not be garbage either but there is so little to be gained by tearing some down just to elevate another. Life is just too short. Judge it to help you dial in your preference but don’t dig on someone else’s.

Family Farming, Planting Veggies, Planning Corn Mazes, Tending Grapes, Marketing etc. etc.

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
Grandpa Bakan Mowing

Grandpa Bakan Mowing

We try and put the “Family” in family farm all we can, why??? Because MY Dad and brother work for FREE and they think it is Fun!! My father-in-law Kay provides the farm with most of the equipment we need and we are working on buying the land from him. On my side of the family my brother and Dad come down and help too.

When people first told me I needed to start a blog I thought what in the heck I am going say often enough that is interesting? Will I have the time, do I have content for 2 to 3 posts a week? Well right now we have so much going on “down on the farm” I am having trouble getting the story told.

Right now we are sort of in “Ag. 101” mode its seems. Different work at the winery and vineyard and farm comes at different times. Currently we are heavy into the planting mode at the farm with light work in the wine department. We are going to bottle tomorrow so I will have some news on how that goes.

This past weekend was real busy, the winery was packed Saturday night and we were busy in the fields too. I shot some video of the Fret Daddies playing and some other shots too hope to get them up soon so you can see that side of our Family Farm, market and winery!

The following video clip is about four minutes and shows my brother Tim doing some work in the vineyard.