Ranchback Vineyard

מאת יובל ~ 20 במאי, 2014. בקטגוריית: English, יין, כרם.

I have a vineyard. Well, it's not really mine because I don't own it, but that's close enough.

 kerem 005

The location of the vineyard used to be just an empty lot, full of weeds, leftover cement, and garbage. Here is where and when I came into the picture. In order to make this land suitable for planting a vineyard I knew that I would have to clean everything up.

In order to be sure that the soil was suitable for planting my vineyard I decided to have the soil tested by a professional soil testing lab. I picked a spot that would characterize the lot and started digging. I had to dig a meter deep in order to get 3 samples – up to 30 cm, 30-60 cm, and 60-90 cm. I took the samples to a special soil laboratory to be tested for different percentages of some necessary minerals. A few days later they sent me the results. To sum up the report, the soil isn't poisonous… Now the real work begins…

 Lovers Tree Park 029 Before…

For starters, I weeded the whole lot with my own two hands, without spraying any poisonous materials. I'm not saying that I won't spray in the future, I just wanted to start as clean and natural as possible. I bought two pairs of gloves for the weeding, in order to put one in the other. The easiest way to take out a weed is to catch the weed by its base, give it a little twist, and then pull. Easy enough, and the technique works well.

 vnyrd 003 After…

Garbage was another story. There wasn't a field that didn't take part, from car parts, plastic bags, silverware, cigarette butts, irrigation equipment, an old cellphone, corks, glass bottles, electric cables, markers, some metal tools, and so on and so on.

After I cleaned the whole lot I decided to cultivate the soil. The lot is just 680 square meters, so I cultivated it 2 times with a small tractor and cultivator.

 kerem 023

 kerem 028

With the help of a couple friends I started planning the vineyard. The hard work was the easy part because it just took my muscles to do it. But I needed somebody to help me figure out how much wine I could actually get out of this vineyard. Also, I didn't plan this vineyard to be commercial, but a small quality producing lot. That means that I could plant the vines closer together and that I could also plant the rows closer. After the necessary calculations were made, I knew exactly what I had to do.

I bought the angle iron poles, irrigation pipe and equipment, drips, a role of string and a measuring tape. The last two were definitely the most important. After making some measurements, I put in the end poles and tied the string between them. This way I made sure the poles would be in a straight line (a little aesthetics after all…). After I put in the rest of the poles I connected the irrigation system and the drips. I made sure I placed the drips at the exact spot the vines would be planted, that way the roots would grow downward and not sideways.

 vnyrd 001 String between the end poles

 vnyrd 012

vnyrd 024 vnyrd 008

 vnyrd 029For security purposes… lol… 

My conclusion is this – to knock in 120 angle iron poles is not an easy task, so thank you Guy and Idan for helping me. I'll pay you in wine bottles…

To sum up the first chapter, my friend Dani said it best – "I've been waiting to hear when you'll turn from being a consumer to a producer."

Next – planting the vines.

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