Sooo, you may have heard that we, Inheritance Farm Permaculture, held a grape pruning workshop at the fabulous Gilmanton Winery and Vineyard. WHAT A TIME!! It's a beautiful place and you can have brunch (which we did) or go to a wine tasting or have some wine with your brunch *wink, wink* or host an event there.
If you didn't make it (and yeah we're looking at you) shame on you! Marshall and Sunny (what a great name!) Bishop treated us royally and started the day with free coffee and fresh cooked pastries. We would have loved to post pictures of the pastries, but, alas, they weren't around long enough for a photo op. And the rumors are true: some of us *may* have had more than our share, just saying.
Anyway, we have pictures, pictures and more pictures of the days events.
First up: Classroom time!
Here we are looking all fine and phat as Marshall gives us the in's and out's of basic pruning. Damn, what a good looking bunch! And did I mention we had FREE coffee and pastries (not that's it's on my mind or anything)?
Next up: We hit the secret laboratory!
Marshall then took us into the guts of the operation and showed us around his workshop. Here's where the magic happens and it's pretty impressive to see all of his wine making equipment. BUT, the wine making workshop is happening later in the year (and you WILL be there, right? RIGHT?) and so we didn't tarry long at this stop, it was time to get to work.
Wholly Moley! The vineyard looked huge and Marshall had already pruned most of it, but, left a section just for us!
This man was soooo gracious. He took his time and gave us one on one instruction about grape pruning and released us into the wild (ok, our section) to hack, cut and basically try to destroy his vines.
We did our darndest and with his gentle patience we prevailed at the task we came to learn.
Along the way to our section of the vineyard we had to pass the alpacas and who came a runnin', but, Cocoa! He was cute on cute with some more cute thrown in for good measure.
More photos are coming, but, until then here's a short video of Marshall helping Randi prune a vine.
Oh, and buy the apple wine. Trust us, you'll be sending us Christmas gifts after you do.
Not that we think you need reminding, but, this Saturday is field trip day!!!
And not just any old "going to a museum on a stinky old bus with a hundred other stinky kids" kinda field trip.
Noooooooo way! This is an adult field trip. And we're going to learn about grapes. And pruning. And growing and some may even be drinking! Told ya this was an adult field trip.
Growing grapes in New England can be a challenge, especially for the backyard enthusiast. But, fret not backyard enthusiast! Your prayers have been answered. We will have the privilege of getting one on one face time with the owner and vintner of the Gilmanton Winery himself, Marshall Bishop and his wife Sunny, and they're prepared to let YOU prune THEIR vineyard, ask questions, and take home a pruning to show all your neighbors. Won't you be the hit of the next garden party?
Write down your questions and cleanse your palates because we're setting sail for one heck of a day.
If you don't know the date (this Saturday, 4/30) and the time (9-12) or that you need, need, need to reserve your spot, then for crying out loud click this link: Winery Meetup.
Be there or be square 'cause that's where all the cool kids will be hanging out Saturday morning.
And just in case you needed more reasons to show up, here's a pretty little graphic. Photos courtesy of The Gilmanton Winery (to let you know it's all about the health baby) and a link to their FB page with ideas for Mothers Day (guilt, guilt).
Mothers Day Ideas
Calling all grapes lovers!!!
Guess where we were yesterday?
Have you wanted to grow grapes?
Do they even grow well in New Hampshire?
What kind of soil would they need?
How do you make them grow sideways along those wires (espalier)?
Well, we spent part of our day over at the Gilmanton Winery in, uh, Gilmanton.
What a place!!
We’re not going to give all the details of our trip just yet, but, we WILL tell you that we’re working on setting up 3 workshops in conjunction with the winery.
The first will be about how to grow grapes. We’ll tour the vineyard, help prune the vines and go home with some prunings.
The second workshop will be all about how to make wine! Marshall Bishop, the award winning vintner, will be teaching us all about how it’s done and how it can be done at home! Personal time with a master vintner is precious and he’ll be all ours for that day.
The third workshop will be all about harvesting. It’ll take place in the fall and we’ll help harvest their grapes and have a great lunch on site, prepared by their kitchen.
If grapes are on your mind then you’ll want to keep an eye on our site for the updates. We’ll be posting the signup information next week. These will fill up fast so check back often.
Man oh man are we excited!!
That photo to the left was taken yesterday and serves as a warning from a taunting nature to never mess with her. All of your dreams and visions can be held in check if she decides to not play nicely. This year in New England we've been provoked by the extremes we've seen in temperatures this past winter. Days of 50˚ and 60˚ spring like weather combined with very little snow goaded us on to drool over an early planting season, thinking THIS year will be different!
No waiting until May to find ourselves giddily planting seeds in our raised beds, marking our rows with soldiers of signed popsicle sticks and drooling over the bounty to come.
But, nah. It ain't gonna happen. Yesterday happened. Snow happened and those darn freezing temps swept in laughing at us as they smothered our early season gaiety. Just keeping us in line, reminding us that this is the time for planning.
And that takes us to the title of this post. For on Sunday (the day before the photo was snapped) my wife and I had the privilege of taking part in a planning session discussing various events which may or may not be taking place this year at IFP (Inheritance Farm Permaculture). Well let me tell you something, this is shaping up to be a very busy year.
An interesting aspect of IFP is that should one decide to come visit (and that is highly encouraged) what you would see currently is some chickens, geese, ducks and one or two pigs along with remnants from previous workshops and meetups. But, you won't see dozens of cattle roaming around (yet) or goats or large swaths of pigs rooting around (yet) or long rows of monocrops or monstrous bales of hay waiting to be stored .
There are several reasons for this. The first is that while we do have the word FARM in our name it's not our desire to just repeat what every other farm does. Who wants that? That's boring. Drive around New Hampshire and it won't take you very long before you see the idyllic setting of cattle lumping along a big open pasture or pig pens corralling mud covered pigs. See it's been (being) done.
So we have the term Permaculture in our name. And this is the differentiating factor. Inheritance Farm Permaculture is more of a farm incubator or R & D site. Our goal isn't to recreate the wheel, we like the wheel. We want to showcase everything the wheel is really capable of and then introduce those ideas, theories and possibilities to our friends, family and permaculture brothers and sisters. That's why you'll find rocket mass heaters, aquaponics and solar arrays, rain catchment systems feeding gardens, composting toilets for events, cob workshops and so much more.
And, just to give you sneak peek and to wet your whistle at what's to come, here's a quick list of hits from the discussion:
1) Garage sale (more BIG news to come on that. Keep an eye on our events page!
2) A lecture series. This will feature talks/discussions for newbies to advanced permies on subjects like micro-homesteading, intro to Permaculture, rocket mass heaters, water capture and redistribution, gardening, how to make money writing books about your farm and farm experiences, beekeeping, etc.
3) Workshops. Heck yeah workshops!! Think cob ovens, chicken biosphere, large scale swales, soap making classes, sheet mulching, bug hotels, beekeeping, biochar, building passive solar heaters for windows and using rocket stoves to cook down maple sap to name a few.
4) Interviews with innovators from around New England on topics like feeding your chickens for free using compost, as well as what's happening with permaculture in NH and Maine.
But, those are topics we think people would like to attend.
We'd love to hear what topics you're itching to learn more about and we'd LOVE to host a workshop to help you learn. Why not leave a comment and give us an earful on what would light your fire. Bring it on!!!
Ray is part of the Ray and Randi duo, who actually don't live on the farm. They have a micro-homestead in Gilmanton, but are VERY active over at IFP and are guest bloggers for them.
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