Saturday, January 21, 2012

A year

I'm reminded by the calendar we've been here almost a full year. Arrival day was January 31: in the wee hours of the morning after driving through an ice storm.

In some ways a year doesn't seem possible. In others, it feels more like three years have past.

This was our landscape early on in the process.

This is that same location today.

To say we've learned a lot in a year is an understatement.

We learned, for instance, that plants can actually live at 118 degrees . . . but it takes a heavy toll on their fruitfulness.

We learned this is West Texas, home to a slower-paced culture. Whatever it is, it's going to take longer than anticipated.

We learned that for this city girl to retain her sanity and her love for West Texas, I need to travel on a regular basis. But I will do so wearing my work boots because they're a part of who I am now.

We learned farmers do community like no one else, sharing expertise and equipment readily and without hesitation.

We learned Lubbock desperately needs a Panera Bread. Seriously folks.

We learned to always always have a back up plan on the vineyard because something will break.

We learned my sister should always be in charge of building the outhouse. The rest of us can't follow instructions properly.

And perhaps most poetically, we were reminded this year that no matter what bleak forecast is presented--say, the driest, hottest year on record--that there is always a way through.

Here's to year number two.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Round 3: BSV versus the deer

During exhaustive conversations about our grape-loving deer friends, a biologist relayed that once deer get a taste for grape leaves, they just keep coming back. Regardless of the 24-hour guards, regardless of the electric fence, regardless of the rye planted nearby to satiate their appetites. 

Oh goodie.

So January sees construction begun on an eight foot high deer fence to surround the current and future vineyard. 

No one ever said viticulture was dull.