Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011 - Emergency Harvest

Two weeks ago, we had a rain!  A big rain!  It came and went with an intensity that bordered on violence.  I have already written about the mud and damaged roads it left behind, but it did other damage, also.  For all the farmers who thought it was wonderful, those of us who have Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel grapes didn't see much good in it.  Even as I published the blog post last Sunday, I knew we would be picking grapes the next day.  The rain and the resulting humidity had set the stage for ripe-rot. 

On Monday, we picked all the Sauvignon Blanc, and two days later we started harvesting the Zinfandel.  You can read all the numbers at  All in all, we were fairly satisfied with the grapes we were able to salvage.  As always, the crusher was a bear to clean.  There are a million little places for grape skins and stems to hide.

There was a positive side to the rain.  Our mountains have a touch of green, the ocotillo has sprouted a new crop of leaves, several of the cacti have bloomed in the last few days, the Mexican prickly poppies have come out of nowhere, and both the vegetable garden and the herb garden have exploded with production.

Report from the Vegetable Garden:  We are in full production!  I have enjoyed adding posts to the Fancy Cooking blog.  The garden has been such a pleasure this year.  All I have to do is cook up some fresh veggies, add a piece of protein, and dinner is on the table.

Report from the Heavens: 

Huge sunset thunderstorms in the distance . . .

A full moon setting behind the mountains . . .

Report from the Bird World:

Life in the bird world can be very cruel.  This picture isn't the best, but the story is pretty plain.  Small mother bird has a nest of babies.  Crow wants babies.  Mother baby is frantically trying to distract crow. 

Report from the hacienda:

Last Monday, a big yellow back-hoe showed up and worked all week eradicating huisache.  You can see a picture at

A report on my health:
I am much improved.  I doubt you will hear much more about this malady until I report to you that the nerve in my foot is completely healed.  I have no idea how much longer that will take, but I do know that I have seen great improvement in the last week.  I only limp twice a day now.  When I first wake up, my foot is very stiff, and at the end of the day, it just doesn't seem to have the strength to actually get off the ground.  The rest of the day, it's pretty close to OK.
Thanks so much for your thoughts, prayers, and concern.

What's ahead? 
1.  Stanley is watching the grapes like a mother hen for more signs of trouble.  We will continue picking on an "as needed" basis.
2.  We are beginning to finalize plans for the European trip in the fall.''
Hoping you have no emergencies in your lives!  Take care!