Wow, the vineyards are alive! I must confess, this is my favorite time of the year. The trees are all leafing out, displaying the most gorgeous colors of white, light pink, dark pink, and red flowers. The almonds are in bloom across the hills of Templeton and the walnuts are soon to be showing their glorious display. Our new baby fruit and nut trees are under way, little flowers and leaves are budding out, it is just gorgeous! The weeds in the vineyards are reaching 2 feet in some areas, as we look out onto Mark’s Vineyard and StoneCross, it is like a carpet of yellow and white. We are very, very thankful to see a strong presence of Ladybugs in the vineyards and home garden. Just this afternoon I saw quite a few while I was weeding and gave a quick “hi” and “thank you for being here”! All of us have noted a good quantity of earthworms while we’ve been working the soil. Honestly, they’ve been missing over the last couple of years. We’ve talked to other Biodynamic farmers about this, and they’ve noticed the same on their farms. It is a disappearing act, and it can be quite disconcerting to notice they’re not there. But it is a natural cycle of farming and we’re happy to have them back. (The presence of earthworms are important to a BD farmer, we rely upon them to aerate and bring light and warmth to the soil).

This morning we finished replanting all the new vines, thanks to the help of Lee Morwood (shown in above photo), Christian and Kathryn Morwood, Gustavo and Vicente. This leaves us free to continue pruning all of the vines. We are mostly completed, but we have a couple day’s worth remaining. The olive trees have been very heavily pruned. They say a sparrow should be able to pass through the middle of an olive tree, then you know you’ve pruned correctly.
We are reaping delicious vegetables from the gardens. Pictured are radishes grown from seed. We have a multitude of foods growing, just this afternoon I put in some strawberry plants. These next 2 weeks I’ll be very busy starting much of my summer garden from seed, plus a multitude of sunflowers to attract all the lovely bees. We’re also busy hand pulling weeds–it is an awesome thing to be a certified farm…but this means pulling everything out by hand, which takes alot of time. But little by little, it all gets done. Our friends, Larry and Swantje were here last week, and let me tell you, the 5 hours of free labor in the garden was INCREDIBLE, thank you!!! (And thank you for all the free advice from an expert gardener, Swantje!)

The steers have been let loose and are grazing daily in Mark’s Vineyard. It is fun to see them making their way up and down the hill, munching away at all the lovely grasses. They have yet to venture into StoneCross Vineyard, preferring to stay close to our neighbor’s Longhorns.
And thank you all for Penny’s well wishes. She is feeling strong and is motivated to take this new phase of her life by the horns.