First pruning of 2014 was at our Crimson Clover Vineyard. We didn’t head out too early. There’s no sense in trying to prune when it’s dark, but it was cold that morning. The temperature actually dropped to 34 when we arrived at the vineyard. There would be six of us pruning; Jerry, Millie, Stef, my cousin Susan and her husband Andre and me. Susan and Andre wanted to learn what it was like so we had coordinated with them to come and do a couple rows with us.
There was frost on the ground when we arrived but as soon as we got moving everyone warmed up. The sun game out over the vineyard by 9 AM and we were all warm pretty fast. Most years we count on pruning this site as a two day job. The hardest part is what I call ‘pick up sticks’. That’s picking up the cuttings and carrying them out of the vineyard. It’s bending over 100′s of times and grabbing the small sticks, then carrying the cuttings to a burn pile outside the vineyard. This year I put an App on my phone to chart how much ground I’d cover in the day. It actually drained one battery and I had to switch to my work phone to finish. The grand total was just over 9 miles walked for the day, all in a one acre space.
Below is the happy crew at work. Happy because it was still early and the sun was out. You’ll notice that everyone is on their own row. We learned this pretty early. Pulling the cuttings out of the wire can me dangerous for any bystanders. They can come out like a little whip and draw blood if they hit skin. At very least it stings. You’ll see no one is working the same row and no one is right across from anyone else. I’m the worst person to work near by unanimous vote, because I’m the strongest I’ll pull things out of the wire that everyone else would cut out. No one wants to be close by when I’m pulling on a really stuck cutting.
There where a lot of cuts to make at Crimson Clover this year because we were reestablishing spurs on many plants and that meant instead of the usual 16-25 cuts per plant we were doing 30+ on every plant. Everyone had sore hands the next day. 3 PM is usually our stopping time for vineyard days but when 3 PM came we were down to the last 6 rows and we all decided we’d rather work another couple hours rather than come back the next day for 2 hours work. I have a few other pictures on the second phone I’ll get up soon.