So Staycation Day #3 is coming up on Monday, an all-day workshop for grape varieties and trellising. Hence the title of this post. But being the uberdorks that we are, we are quite excited! Baby-sitting arrangements have been arranged (thanks grammy & dapaw!), and we’re taking the geek-show on the road!
You see, we are growing grapes. Lots of them. Well, lots of them when you’re doing everything without mechanization. 90 grapevines in a spot high on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. It’s sweet. This is a project that was begun prior to the coalescence of Team Nugget. Hubby Nugget was an avid winemaker when we met, and I was an avid wine drinker. It was a match made in heaven! No really, in his eHarmony profile, he said that one of his hobbies was winemaking, and I was smitten! What an unusual hobby, I thought! I must get to know this man! The rest is histoire.
So when we first started dating, he was clearing a 1/4 acre to start a trial plot. Many wonderful dates were spent up on that hill, clearing brush! The story of Team Nugget is intimately tied to that vineyard.
Work sessions were punctuated with wine or champagne breaks, a sure way to rest our tired backs and indulge in the very products that we hoped to someday produce.
Future Hubby Nugget skillfully wielded the chainsaw while I demonstrated my OCD tendencies in stacking the fallen brush.
Grapevines were planted, several varieties that we hoped could tolerate the cold Midwestern winters and dry, humid summers: Frontenac, Vignoles, Norton, Chardonelle, Chamborcin, Foche. We even created a mnemonic to remember: (F)abulous (V)ines, (N)ot (C)rappy (C)oncord (F)uckers (no offense to you Concord growers out there, really, we’re not haters).
A couple of summers have gone by since then, and grapevines have been pruned, trained, nurtured and even eaten by local wildlife. We’ve experienced poison ivy outbreaks, chigger attacks, territorial wasps, and best of all, breathtaking nature:
This summer, we’ve placed grow tubes on the grapevines to protect the new growth from grazing deer looking for a tasty treat:
The tubes are supposed to encourage growth so that they can reach the trellising. But I’m not so sure that we haven’t just created a massive deer buffet. Time will tell, I guess.