Friday, February 28, 2014

Muscadine Haircuts (Pruning)

It's that time of year again- when the woolly muscadine vines get haircuts.  I like this job because it neatens up our little vineyard. 

I follow the general rule of keeping a single cordon and then pruning the spurs back to two to three buds. This will help our vines produce good crop of grapes in late summer.  

This year I'm being more methodical and making a wreath (or two) from each section of vines. Here's my first one today. By making the wreaths as I go along, the vines are more pliable and easier to weave.

I finally finished this project yesterday afternoon (it took me about a week because I have to work in spurts between taking care of the boys and doing other things around the house). 

Yesterday I had a rough day with feeling overwhelmed with learning how to mother a kindergartener in school, parent a 19 month-old who has some slight developmental delays, and make sure the middle boy doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Everything felt like it was piling up--but when I went out to my vines and pruned them back, pulling out the long scraggly vines, I found some peace. I'm thankful I can work with my hands and mediate on life. 

Over and over I thought of the Bible verses about "I am the vine" so I looked up John 15. 
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. " (NIV).

I've made 15 or so wreaths, varying in size between 14 inches and 20 inches. I'm planning to give my sons' teachers wreaths as end-of-the-year presents. And I'd like to sell the others to folks around here. 

In other news at Okra Hill, Ashley has plowed up the remains of our winter garden (collards, kale) because it took a beating from the cold-cold weather. 

Part of our spring garden is in the ground. That's a later post because we have some big changes to half of the garden. Happy last day of February! Bring on spring!