We had a very full week these past several days. They boys were off school from Thursday through Monday for their MEA Fall Break, so like we do most years, I headed to my parents with our three boys. My sister Stephanie, who lives in the Metro, was home with her kids, my brother Justin and his family, who live just a few miles away, spent much of the weekend with us, and my sister Ashley from Aberdeen, SD made the trip as well with her two kids. MEA weekend is usually spent soaking in lots of cousin time for the kids, a little sibling bonding time for us, combine rides with Grandpa Steve, and Pumpkin Bars with Grandma Audrey. We even made it over to Great Grandma Leona's for a little Trick-or-Treating so she could see all of the great grandchildren in their costumes.
While we were gone, Joe was busy working on our own harvest, trying to get as much done has he could before the rain came (again). He was able to get about 40% of the corn harvested with the help of his brother Jake. We still have beans in the ground and quite a bit of corn. We received almost 2" of rain between Sunday night and Monday, and as of today, the ground is still too wet to go combine so we have to focus on other projects, and wait until it freezes to finish up.
We have about a 30 acre field in front of our house that has been a problem child for us for a while now. It's always so wet. There are spots that we should be able to farm that never seem to dry out. After the very wet summer we had this year, Joe decided it was time to put in some drain tile to help remove the excess water. Rick Erickson, from Erickson Excavating was out this week with his crew to help us with this. If you are interested in learning more about how drain tile is installed or more specifics on why its done, you can check out this video by MN Millennial Farmer, who is a fellow Pope County, MN resident doing a great job advocating for the Ag Industry. Our hope is to some day plant grapes on this field, but we have to make sure the soil is fit, and that it drains well before we can put any vines in the ground. This was the first step.
For those that live in Minnewaska Township, or use Selnes Road to get to and from where you are going, you know how soft this road can get during the spring thaw and after wet weather. I have good news today! Minnewaska Township FINALLY replaced a collapsed culvert that was causing much of the troubles we were dealing with, and we are so thankful!
Let's move on to some talk about the winery! After losing two more days this week to rain and wind, Shane's crew was finally able to start placing the walls for the Production Area, and it went fast! Shane said the all of the production walls should all be up by the end of the day today! YEA!!! I have included a video below of how the panels get placed for those of you that geek out about stuff like this.
Once the roof is placed and the floor is poured, we'll be ready to start making some wine! That's still several weeks out, but it's starting to feel more real :)
And Lundblads finished the rock wall I talked about in my last post. Isn't it beautiful!?! I can't wait for you to see it up close and personal!
Lastly, a quick reminder that our online store will go live November 1st. We will have new apparel items that were not offered this summer, and merchandise such as glassware, hats, and bottle carriers. The store will remain open for two weeks and then will not be available again until the tasting room opens. My plan is to have everything shipped or delivered by December 16th, just in time for the holidays! So make your lists and get ready!
About the Author
I'm Melanie, co-owner of Rolling Forks Vineyards, boy mom & wine lover.