Mucadine time is here!!!  Our first variety is Sugargate, and they are abundant this year.  Jam and jelly- makers love the large, flavorful muscadines.  Please let us know if you want some, and make arrangements to get yours.  Carlos (bronze) and Noble (red) are yet to ripen.

Sugargate Muscadines in Arkansas! 

Sugargate Muscadines in Arkansas! 

We love this time of year-- anticipation of harvest continues to build.  We love when our customers contact us, and it is fun to discuss their needs and hear about their projects.  We are making our lists and checking them, making sure harvest equipment is prepped and ready to go!

This week we have some color in the muscadines, although these are early varieties, and not the Carlos or Noble yet.  Still, that means some munching and jam and cobbler-making is in our future!  It is not too early to plan and reserve needed fruit, whatever your muscadine passions! 

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Honeybees have made their home in a walnut tree this summer.  

We are busy training young plants this week.  All in all the previous week has been dramatic.  A mama bear and two cubs visited off an on for about a week, making our cats very nervous.  We had a somewhat surprising storm form to our northwest and barrel through, with big winds and torrential rain.  Now we are back to normal, enjoying the new blooms of the "butterfly bush" wildflower and anticipating a return of a hot, dry spell.

In the Ozark foothills, Butterfly Bush in early bloom beside vines-in-training  

In the Ozark foothills, Butterfly Bush in early bloom beside vines-in-training  

We always enjoy hay season! We like the fragrance of freshly-cut meadow, the soft green of mown grass, and the artistic array of bales across the landscape. Makes us think about ceiling fans, lemonade, and watermelon, the other highlights of high summer!

Happy July 4th from all of us in the vineyard!  May your day be joyful and celebratory!   

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Summertime!  Watermelon, peaches, and blackberries are sure signs of summer in the Ozarks!   And now the muscadines are set nicely to enjoy the sun, heat, and occasional rain shower.  Our tasks this week include weed badging through the rows, tying up new growth, and training new plants.  Bear sightings have us on alert.  Mockingbirds, bluebirds, and buntings serenade us.  What better way to spend a day?

Tomorrow is our first major chance of severe weather this spring season. We are thankful for such talented, diligent weather forecasters who keep us abreast of weather developments. We will have our devices ready to alert us throughout the day. We will welcome any rain this time of year!

New pipe arrived today for our new muscadine plantings! You should have seen us rolling it out and clipping it in place while the wind blew so hard we braced to staton our feet. Even our dogs at one point lost their footing from the wind! Still, the sky was blue with fluffy clouds, and the temperature near-perfect– an excellent day.

Spring! Meteorological spring is here, our favorite weather people tell us. True spring is only weeks away. We now have sap dripping freely from our muscadine vines, and the lovely daffodils and antique hyacinth are fresh and cheerful in the fields. We cannot help but grin and cheer the arrival of the new season, though we know have not seen the last of cold weather for the year.

We love this time of year--mostly! No bugs, so it is fun to sit or lie on the grass in a spot shielded from wind or breeze. We recommend a southern slope! Some days are so brisk, heavy overalls and face mask paired with high activity are the way to proceed. Always, there are lovely scenes that can experience only in winter.

A new year!  There is something special about leaving the holidays behind and looking toward 2016.  We have new energy to put into the vineyard.  Job number one is pruning the vines.  In addition is completion of a new planting of vines, with post holes going in this week, always a rush before any more rain or snow.  We are working our way through our stash of frozen muscadines in our freezer, trying our hand at muscadine kombucha.  Pretty tasty, we must say! 
It's fun to keep finding ways of enjoying muscadines all year!

How did Christmastime get here so quickly?  What a flurry of activity!  A little time off post-harvest, but back in the saddle quickly, retooling our equipment, getting the ground ready for winter, planting cover crop, and preparing for pruning.  Even with family gatherings this week, we  fit in some chores here and there.  Looks like the mild weather may actually allow us to do a Christmastime picnic!  Well, the picnic is a specific request of our toddler grandson.  And who are we to disagree with a picnic anytime?  We hope you have a wonderful week, regardless of what activities you choose for the season!

Yesterday we spent time with the ever-enthusiastic and inspiring members of the Arkansas Association of Grape Growers at the annual conference hosted by VESTA and Arkansas Tech University, Ozark Campus. The panel of speakers covered an array of topics benefiting the muscadine and grape farmers. As always, the best part is enjoying the mix of people, from students in the VESTA program to the researchers and the icons of the industry. What inspiration to go back to the vineyard! Still, maybe we will take a breather and enjoy reflecting on the year.

The lights, crisp morning air, the hum of the motors, under starry autumn skies set the scene for early morning harvest in the muscadine vineyard! It is a thrill to experience the gathering of the fresh berries in such dramatic fashion!

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What a great day that started before sunrise, following the stunning eclipse of the blood supermoon. We harvested Carlos muscadines for delivery to a small winery. Great people! So happy to be able to provide them with their fruit!

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