The garden had a little bit of frost/cold damage that got to the potato plants. They are recovering now and everything else is doing great. I also lost seedlings in the cold so will have to restart my tomato plants and herbs. I harvested a leek and a few asparagus spears so far. The lettuce and swiss chard is just about big enough to make a micro green salad or two for us also.
I put in a couple of strawberry plants and I’m making a second try at artichokes. The first try I started in the clay soil and they did poorly. This time around I’m starting them in the planter boxes and will move them to the ground when they get mature enough to deal with the heavy soil. Since an artichoke is permanent I don’t want to leave it in a planter box.
I should have put these crash pictures up originally of the front yard but I think they were on my work phone and I didn’t have them to upload when I did the last blog. The front originally had a group of very mature chestnut trees and oleanders along with other trees and shrubs. There were also some pretty pitiful grape vines on a rickety old trellis. I removed the vines and trellis right away. Anyone who would have seen the condition of those vines and trellis would have thought there was no way we know what we’re doing.
This first picture shows the area that was damaged by the two crashes. The first took out most of the oleanders and damaged the chestnuts. I had just cut down the chestnuts when the second crash took out most of the rocks and the remaining plants on the south side of the strip.
This is the car in the driveway crashed into an olive that I’d cleaned up earlier. It stopped about 100 feet from it’s original impact and flip over point. One large boulder (about 150 pounds) ended up in the creek 200 feet from where it started. You can trace the impacts as it skipped across the yard.
I wanted to get these up so I can put up some after pictures after all the work we’ve done to repair things up front. There are new trees and shrubs and strategically located 6x6x6 posts, which will also form a fence and eventually gate. We put in a lot of reflectors also to provide some visual warning as the plants mature. I should be done with the first round of work this weekend and just have the fence and gate left to do.
The new place. Nope we’re not moving to New Orleans, that was the first guess of a few people. We found this nice ranch house just outside of Gilroy right on the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail.
The ‘fast ball down the middle’ was being offered a property where we currently manage the vineyard. We hadn’t thought about moving, or the South Valley as a location, and we had no idea if we could come close to affording it. We dove right in though and started doing our research and putting together our list of things we needed and wanted in a house. That first vineyard house didn’t work out but we decided after viewing a dozen or so properties to make it happen somewhere.
Stefania actually found it on line and it was in contract but we asked our agent if we could go see it because it looked like it was a benchmark for what we were after. We loved it but houses in contract in Santa Clara County NEVER go to the back up offer so we didn’t get our hopes up. A few weeks later though we got another fastball when the contract fell through. The owners really wanted their next offer to come from ‘country people’ and not ‘city people’ who would understand all the complications of wells, wildlife, propane and country living. Our agent told them “Are you kidding they are farmers and own a winery”.
I’ll put the address in our Fall offer letter for people on our mailing list, but here are some of the highlights:
The hillside, were we will plant the new Haut Tubee vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre. We have just over 2 acres total and will plant about one.
The new back patio where friends and visitors can finish off those bottles of wine and dip into the scotch and cigar collection. If you look closely you’ll see there’s a breezeway. On the left is the main house, on the right is the wine cellar and guest suite. The guest suite has a separate entrance and a full bath, bedroom and kitchen (as soon as we install the appliances). We finally have a place for our out of town visitors. The original owners did canning and built a full cool room that we’ll convert into a temperature controlled wine cellar.
The new kitchen. This should make it much easier to pull together those dinners for 10-20 we seem to have all the time.
My plan is to get in the pool on the first day. I’m going to wear my suit under my moving clothes 🙂
This second garage was used to sell fruits and vegetables grown on the property for many years. I’m going to revive that garden as soon as I can. This building though will become our new tasting room. There’s enough room to park 20-30 cars at a time and have an office as well as tasting room. It’s just a shell right now so we have to clean it up and put some walls in place. Depending on how harvest goes and the permitting process we may try to open as soon as Nov 1 but early next year is more likely.
We are very excited and can’t wait to have our first visitors. Our move date is Friday Sept. 5th.
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