Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What Happened to Winter?

March 28, 2014

It seems like winter flew by and we are now into spring!  Actually winter was so mild this year that we kept working on projects.  The first thing we got completed was the Gazebo.  It now has a good shake shingle roof on it and is ready for summer parties!

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We did just a little pruning in the vineyard ourselves this year on the youngest 1/2 acre of Pinot Noir.  This is the section that we just planted last year and it has done great!  The plants came from Broadacres Nursery and were started in 12 inch (deep) pots which gave them a great start.  We are expecting to get a small harvest from this section this year.  The rest of the vineyard was pruned by the “crew” which we have used for many years now.

We also got the trellising set up for this young section so we are all ready for them to grow this spring!

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The Dairy building got a little sprucing up this winter as well.  Some decorative shutters add color to the front of the white building and some barn doors over the metal roll up door add an insulating layer as well as being more attractive.  We can really feel the difference in the temperature of that room with the insulated doors on there.  Inside the dairy we (really Greg) added some cabinet space under a small counter top that will serve as a lab space.  That helped finish out the room with the walk-in cooler in it.

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A not so little project that no one will even see once it is all finished is running power from the generator and communication lines down to the dairy.  The generator power is just in case we have a lengthy power outage so that we can keep the cooler and freezers running.  The communication lines will give us a phone/intercom system down there as well as surveillance cameras.  We have a temporary line run to the barn right now so that we can watch the kidding pen- really cool!

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The last thing we are working on is another pasture fence.  It is really a separation from the pasture that they have had access to full time.  We can make two rotational pastures out of that space once the fence is up and it will be more healthy for the goats as well as a better use of the resources.

Greg has also moved a lot of dirt of the cement and we hope to get it moved out of the paddock some time soon.

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There are many things other things that happened over the winter.  The holidays which are always fun were filled with family and good times.  Greg did a lot of organizing and cleaning of the shop as we have been stuffing things in there for the last 10 years and it was getting a bit crowded.  Tyler has been attending school at Gaston Elementary as a 1st grader and learning a lot of the foundation math and reading skills.  Most recently he has discovered the computer and internet!  Oh my!

Hope you all had a productive winter as well, there is no time to be bored around here!

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A Tribute to SGCH +*B Dubl-Squeez Glib Talker

August 28, 2013

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Our dearly loved senior buck Talker died yesterday, Aug. 27, at 9 1/2 years of age.  We are very grateful that he was collected last year so that his genetics may live on well into the future but we will miss him.  Talker was always the gentleman, always a pleasure to work with and he did everything we ever asked of him.  At three years of age he finished out his permanent championship.  At 5 years he was awarded his Superior Genetics title.  I’m not sure exactly when he earned his + designation but I have no doubt that one day he will get another + added to his pedigree.  Talker had such a huge influence on our herd he will live on in his daughters, granddaughters and in our memory.

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Talker in 2012 hard at work (the work he loves)!

Vineyard in July

July 11, 2013

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All through June the vineyard grew and grew!  We finally got the trellis wires all raised so that the canes were standing strait up and were able the call in the hedging tractor to give it all a good “haircut”. 

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Now look at how neat the rows look-

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What’s Happening in the Vineyard- Spring 2013

May 18, 2013

The warm early spring got the vineyard at Harlow Hills Farm off to a great start and we are looking forward to a productive year.  So far we have (or the crew has) gone through the 7 acres of established plants and selected the best shoots.  Each bud has the potential of producing 3 shoots, the first shoot or primary is usually the most fruitful.  The clusters are biggest and often there are 3 clusters on the shoot.  So it is the primary shoot that we want selected because of productivity.  The other shoots come into play if the primary shoot is damaged perhaps by frost or pest, at least the plant will survive even if it doesn’t produce much fruit that year.

We are working now to get wires raised to help support those growing shoots!

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This picture was taken 4/7/13 and shows one of the most advanced buds opening.

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This picture was taken 4/24/13, most of the plants are leafing out now.

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Picture taken 5/17/13.  You can see that the plants are well along now, it has been about 24 days since bud break.

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In this picture you can see what looks like little clusters of grapes but they are actually flowers that have not opened yet.  Grape flowers could never be called “showy” but they are perfect- grapes do not need a pollinator.  The flower can pollinate itself.  So these will turn into grapes not too long from now!

Easter Sunrise Service

April 6, 2013

On Easter morning we had the privilege of hosting Real Life Christian Church pastor Dale Phipps in our vineyard for their sunrise service.  The service started at 7am and ran until about 7:30 then attendees socialized over coffee and snacks afterwards.  

It was a perfectly clear morning and the sun rose over Bald Peak at 7:23 am, just on cue!  Dale gave another of his ever entertaining and interactive sermons.  Mike and Maegy Bouck provided intro music for the service.

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A First at Harlow Hills Farm

March 20, 2013

We raise Toggenburg and LaMancha dairy goats so kids in the spring are expected.  As a breed Toggenburgs are at the small end of the dairy goat spectrum and usually have 2 or maybe 3 kids at a time but on Sunday March 17th Emma blessed us with 4 healthy active Boer cross kids!  Their weights ranged from 6 1/2 lbs to 10 1/2 lbs for a total of 31 3/4 lbs of baby.  The birth was textbook perfect too they all presented normally and one at a time.  What a moma Emma is!

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We also had a set of Toggenburg kids born last Thursday.

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Feeding time with the help of Blackie the cat!

Planting Party March 16th 2013

March 19, 2013

Our 7, now 7 1/2 acres of vineyard have all been planted by friends and family.  Last Saturday with the help of 14 people we planted 660 Pinot Noir grape plants.  The day couldn’t have worked out more perfectly if it had been planned!  We started around 10:30 am and finished up about 2 hours later, all done in the dry morning, it started really raining just minutes after we finished up.  Everyone gathered inside and shared a potluck lunch and tried some different wines.  The social time lasted twice as long as the work time, now that is the way work should be!

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A Huge Thanks to all who attended and helped!

Once in a Lifetime Experience

January 11, 2013

Just before Christmas on December 20th Harlow Hills Farm hosted Don and Teresa Wade of Bio-Genics here for a “buck collection.” There were 6 bucks that participated in this exciting (for them) event. The goal was to collect semen from each of the boy and process it so that it could be stored in liquid nitrogen- essentially forever. These straws of semen can then be thawed and used to artificially insemenate (AI) a doe.
The whole process went amazingly smooth. We had two does in heat for the bucks to mount and they were super patient and cooperative. The bucks were also super willing considering we asked them to repeat the process 4-5 times each! One of the bucks was 10 years old, our boy “Talker” is 8 years old and there was another that was 5 years old. Teresa said they like to collect bucks between 2-4 years of age after that getting enough quality semen that will withstand freezing and thawing is much harder or impossible.

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Open Farm Day!

November 24, 2012

On an absolutely gorgeous October day we finally had our first event in the Vineyard, our own Open Farm (as opposed to Open House). From our point of view the day was a bit chaotic but everyone who attended thought it went well. We had lots of wine available to keep people content until the food was ready. The kids busied themselves with their own games.

The meal was pork from a home grown American Guinea Hog, roasted vegetables, rolls, fresh corn on the cob and an assortment of cookies and brownies for dessert.

After the meal we went on a bit of a tour and ended up in the goat barn where our new LaMancha kids got most of the attention.

For the occasion we added a Gazebo to the vineyard plaza complete with power and water!  We plan to add the roof this winter.

There were about 80 people who visited during the course of the day.  Since it was such a success we plan to have another Open Farm next year!

Jacci from Plum Hill Winery poured wine for our guests

Tyler in his element

Goat Cheese and Crackers to go with the wine

Food is Ready!

Host’s Greg and Kristina making an announcement from the new Gazebo

Tyler’s Garden- Pumpkins and Sunflowers

We have to show off the goats!

Walking with G

Kid goats always steal the show!

Spring 2012

April 4, 2012