Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Thriving Vine

Here at the vineyard, we are going very small scale.  We are down to one vine.  The north vine was transplanted, yet did not survive.  It took the first year, but I suspect the neighbor's Round Up killed it after the second year.  She has been quite vigorous in her application of the pesticide, and does not share our organic sensibilities.  She also does not desire any greenery along our shared fence.  I can understand, as the previous owners allowed ivy to grow unchecked.  We keep our vine tended.  As a vineyard lover, I see only beauty in grape vines. I understand that others do not.

Our south vine is thriving.  This year, we have 65 bunches of grapes.  Most of them are eaten by growing children or by birds.  I don't mind in the slightest.  Grapes that grow along the fence are there for the gleaning.  First fruits are offered freely.  One day, we'll have 14 vines in the space available, but for now, I'll share single vine with all other creatures.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Successful Results From Pruning

Last winter, I pruned the vines, in hopes that they would grow stronger.  The new growth I see demonstrates the wisdom of pruning.  The new growth is heartier and more lush than this time last year.  We had a harsher and longer winter.  There's been less time for growth, yet it's healthy growth.

I think of what I've been growing through myself.  I had fast growth, but my own stems were thin.  I needed to be pruned back.  I pruned myself.  I denied myself my desires.  Then, I allowed time to grow stronger and heartier.  I've been rewarded beyond my wildest dreams.  I know that I'll receive even more in the months to come.

When we open our hearts to getting our needs met, sometimes it actually happens.  We have to have faith that pruning helps with growth.  Untempered growth isn't a solid foundation for the growth yet to come.  Some growth is fast.  Some pruning is destructive.  But, most of the time, well tended, well paced growth precedes the fulfillment of future bounty.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Wisdom of the Archbishop

I decided to make a very subtle change here at the Cottage Vineyard.  Most people may never notice it.  However, it was time.  I can no longer support certain ideals.  I listened to the Archbishop, and encourage you to do, as well.  I deeply respect his guidance.

Everything we say here goes around the world.

We have to listen incredibly carefully.  We have to work out what we do.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Scaling Back To Vines

This year, I'm contemplating keeping the vineyard without the garden.  I am considering whether gardening is physically good for me, or contraindicated.  I will see a new physician in April, but this may be too late for getting the garden started.  I would love to expand the garden, rather than scale back.  The vineyard won't change.  Both vines are established.  Maintaining a micro vineyard is easy.  Now that pruning has tamed the vines, I don't have much to do this year but watch them succeed.  I hope to hear that gardening is fine, and that April doesn't prove too late for planting.

Another consideration I have is my writing.  For a year, this blog has not been my primary focus.  I am writing elsewhere.  I love this work, and am seeing progress of my writing career.  No longer is blogging my primary writing expression.  The work load increases, and so does my satisfaction.  Writing is perfect for the medical concerns I'm facing.  It's flexible in scheduling, and can be done without too much physical exertion.  Nor, do I have to sit for hours on end like previous desk jobs I've had.  However, time spent writing is not time spent gardening.  As the boys grow older, I find less time to garden, as well.  Perhaps with the warm weather, it will be a way to supervise them.  I'd love to pass on the love of both gardening, and good, solid work to them.  I'm sure I will, but it may not be directly by my own hands.  I will need the fresh air and sunshine.  For now, March will be a waiting time, instead of preparing and planting.

Either way, neither the cottage vineyard, nor the Cottage Vineyard blog will be going anywhere.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I pruned the vines at the end of January.  I now wait for the spring growth.  We have a dusting of snow.  I realized while pruning that last year's growth was far more aggressive than I realized.  The term "cottage vineyard" took a bit too real of a meaning.  The north vine grew into the siding of the house.  Oh my.  I successfully removed it.  Now, I'll pay more attention to training the vines.

I still have to remove the dead vines from the fence.  I didn't leave enough time for removal during the pruning.  I did discover how much the garden has overgrown in the fall.  I may have to do more work come March Saturdays than I had hoped.

Fortunately, for my writing, my time for gardening has dramatically reduced.  My work grows beyond my ability to blog.  I'm writing so much for my other work, that I barely have time for the cottage, much less blogging about the cottage and the garden.  I'm rather satisfied.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pruning Season

I have pruning this month.  I know it's the right thing to do, but I have been hesitant.  Mostly, it's been my own physical adjustment to what I should and shouldn't do.  I know that in the next Saturday or two, I need to lop off much of their growth.  It's for their own good.  Both vines will thrive once they have their needs met.  

I appreciate the metaphor for human lives as well.  When we are pruned, we grow back healthier and hardier than if our growth was unchecked.  We thicken our roots and our trunks.  We don't overburden our outstretched limbs by too much growth, too soon.  It hurts for humans.  We feel as if we have taken a step backwards.  Instead, we will grow our new branches faster and better than we grew the first ones.  Somehow, we remember the things that worked.  Sometimes, we remember the lessons learned and don't make the mistakes of growing in the wrong directions a second time.  No matter what, pruning is as good for humans as it is for vines.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ice on the Vines

My vines are coated in ice.  When it thaws, all the leaves will be gone, and I'll prune.  It's a beautiful sight to see them glistening in the evening light.