It's been a long time coming, but we can FINALLY say it...we have our trellis system in place! Now, before I knew anything about growing grapes, I probably would have not thought much about the trellis system. And, I'm actually GLAD we decided on our trellis systems before I knew the amount of work that went into it! :) For those who may not know what a trellis system is, it is simply the fencing system that we train the grape vines to so they can grow and be supported and produce fruit. Different variety of grapes tend to like, or grow better, on different types of trellis systems. My mom and I decided to grow 4 of our varieties on a high-wire system, which is very common in the Midwest. We then decided to grow our other 2 varieties on a VSP-system, which is another popular trellis system for our type of grapes. Typically, the trellis system is installed right after planting the vines. We began by putting in the wood posts last fall, installing the H-brace support systems on the sides, and started running some of the wire. Then, winter hit, so we started back at it this spring. I haven't done all of the math (nor do I want to at this point,) but I know we purchased 40,000 feet of wire, hundreds of posts, and pounded in hundreds of staples. Of course, we had lots of help from our family, so it made it much easier! Most of the work in the vineyard can be done by my mom or myself on our own, but when it came time to install the trellis, I couldn't even pick up one roll of wire by myself!! :) So, THANKS to Dad, Luke, Clayton, Chase and Julia...we even gave Chase the broken hammer and he was still able to pound some nails in! The vineyard looks great now...it's amazing how well the vines spread out and stay put when they have something to lean on! :) We have some great pictures on my mom's camera that I will post soon, so for now are some pictures from last fall when we started putting in the posts. Oh, and we perhaps had an unfair advantage when Dad was able to use the backhoe to push in the posts. :) It was still a lot of work, but it just made sense to use the tools we already had...even if it was large, heavy machinery! :)
Til next time!!