The Good News and the Bad News
First the Good News: We returned from three weeks away to find the vines with forearm length canes and fully formed grape clusters (Chardonnay, not yet bloomed). The vines have loved the spring rains! They were just unfolding tiny first leaves at the time we left for Provence (the vines there were also at the same stage).
We also returned to about a hundred dead lavender plants in one area of the vineyard field. While death is often a mystery, especially with lavender, we suspect the combination of our clay soils, the heavy spring rains, and the freezing temperatures at a time the plants had just started pushing growth, was deadly, particularly for those that we had replanted in the fall.
So much about farming is about death, contemplating the mystery of life, working for a balance. Death can make us listen to what we don’t understand. We will compost these dry plants and they will become part of the nutrition for our ranch next year.