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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Thanks to all who have been to the vineyard for harvest so far! It has been so fun to meet you, and we appreciate your patronage! The Carlos muscadines, which are a bronze or white variety now are ripe. Oh, so sweet!!

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Ready...set...GO!!  We are having a working lunch today, making lists, updating the blog, and letting all of you know that time is nigh!  The muscadines are ripening quickly.  Do not delay--call to reserve your muscadines!  The crop is flavorful and juicy, absolutely delicious.  We have started picking small quantities of some varieties, available now.  Full harvest of the Carlos, which are the bronze muscadines, is about a week to ten days away, depending upon weather.  The red Noble will follow soon.  Contact Ed Fay  at 479-209-2184 to discuss your needs.  Purchase extra to freeze for winter munching and baking.  We look forward to seeing you!

Folks, activity is cranking up! We are making final preparations in anticipation of harvest. Muscadines do not all ripen at the same time, so getting average sugar levels is the name of the game. We have had our first tastes of the delectable fruit and we return from the vineyard carrying with us some muscadines and their heady fragrance.
Be sure you contact us to kept abreast of harvest progress and to arrange a time.

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We awakened to 53 degrees F this morning-- fall is in the air, and we tasted our first muscadines of the season! The grapes are turning, we are excited as we anticipate harvest 2015.

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Baling hay--finally! There was so much rain, we could not get into the fields. Our patience has been rewarded with these plentiful, gorgeous bales. Additionally, the ponds are lovely. And we are thick in the middle of summer! It's time to ramp up our observations of grape and muscadine ripening as we move toward harvest 2015!

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The heat is on! Punctuated with rain showers, the vineyard and mountain greenery are growing like crazy. The annual Altus Grape Festival begins Friday, July 24, and I can't wait to see what grape varietals are ripening. Napa Valley reports early harvests this year. Muscadines are some of the last to ripen, but we are already eager to sample this year's crop. So glad to hear from our customers and your plans for our 2015 muscadines!

Surprising to hear that this haze actually is dust from Africa trekking across the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, across our vineyard and to points north!

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