Monday, March 06, 2017

The first cut

Even in the rain, pruning continues out in the vineyards. Around us, there are often three passes. The first pass is to cut; workers with battery-powered secateurs snip through the vine canes, often leaving one long cane still attached. In the next pass, the workers pull the cut canes off the wires and line them up on the ground between the rows. Finally, a tractor pulls a grinding attachment over the lined up canes and mulches them into fertilizer.

Thousands of cuts are made this time of year in the vineyards. Thank goodness for powered cutters, eh?

Some of the smaller growers do the first two steps in one pass, cutting and lining up the trimmings at the same time. Then they do the grinding once that's all done. They used to burn the trimmings as they went when we first moved here, but I think that that's been prohibited now for environmental reasons.


  1. Your earlier close-ups were amazing. With your new camera... I need a thesaurus.

  2. I'm glad the burning has stopped.

  3. I wonder if there is a craft as to what to prune. Does one prune less or more each year based on some sort of complicated equation?

  4. mitch, what's another word for "thesaurus?"

    judy, that's right!

    evelyn, mulching is probably better.

    michael, I'm sure there is, depending on variety and other factors. But I'm not learned in the craft.


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