Saturday, February 26, 2011

Love at first sight

Is it possible to love a steel structure? I think so.

Several weeks ago we began construction on a new structure on the property: the barn.

And today, as we rounded the sand dune half a mile into the property, we saw this.

And my heart went pitter patter.

I mean really, is she not gorgeous? And that rustic red, holy smokes. It's just perfect.

Seriously, who doesn't love a big red barn?

Thump thump. Thump thump.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A new level of respect

I love organic food stuffs. I love buying a jar of (fill in the blank) and knowing my purchase isn't filled with chemicals. I don't even mind paying a bit more for it.

Today, however, I feel a new level of respect and admiration for organic growers. Exhibit A: The mountainous paperwork.

Are you kidding me?

This is not just a fill-in-your-name-and-sign-on-the-dotted-line application. There are affidavits and system plans and buffer zones and site visits and soil samples and umpteen ways you must prove everything you're doing and have done (for the past three years!) is according to organic standards. This is not for the faint of heart.

So to all you organic growers out there, I salute you and thank you for your steadfastness in filling out all those forms. And fair warning: I may be calling you in the next few days with questions about propagation materials and pest management plans.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The sandy soil on the High Plains is excellent for grape growing. However, it’s not ideally suited for overloaded caliche trucks. More than once we’ve had to pull a truck out of the sand with a tractor. Many thanks to the Bingham's for the use of their tractor.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The brain trust

We are basically starting from scratch on our 640 acres: drilling wells, laying pipeline, setting up electric lines, building roads, moving sand dunes, etc. That means there are lots of conversations happening on the property and via cell phone with wise folks about best practices. 

How do we best partner with the natural environment? Where do we run overhead electrical lines? Where do we run underground electrical lines? How big a pump do we put in the well to maximize sustainability as well as profitability? Where will the future house and barn be? Where do we need to build roads? Should we get guinea hens?

Time is drawing short. There are just a few precious weeks until planting begins and the foundational infrastructure must be in place. Maybe we'll put the guinea hens on hold.