Saturday, September 29, 2018

Win some, lose some

The corky wings on the twigs is a key feature of Rock Elm. The seeds are rumored to taste like filberts.
As reported earlier, I have been spending a significant amount of time doing elder-care.

Because the Kavanaugh hearings were making me sick to my stomach I have been spending more time outside. Walking around my dad's yard I noticed the west fence line was getting overgrown. I looked it over to see how difficult it would be to clear.

And there, staring me in the face, were two specimens of Rock Elm.  Six inches west of my dad's property. Hither-to-for I have only found one specimen locally and that was in Charlotte.

One of the trees had been about 8" diameter and somebody cut it down and left a 6" stump.

The other is about six feet tall.

I will not be able to dig either one up but have no inhibitions about harvesting all of the scionwood within a foot of the fence.

The great grape grafting project came to a dismal end.

The grafts would take, the buds would push for about a 1/2" and then turn black and die.  One graft had this happen three times.

Some of the pushed buds showed tiny caterpillars and webby silk.

I suspect the scionwood lacked sufficient carb reserves to grow "through" the problem.

About mid-summer I abandoned the plan to populate the third row of the vineyard with Vidal 256/riparia.  I have little doubt that I could make that happen but am choosing to take this as a sign; "...lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all that is evil..."

The new plan is to populate the row with Geneva Red, a variety that is notable for modest quality, prodigious yields and a tenacity that exceeds that of cellulite on a matron's thighs.

In most cases, it is possible to press a decent white wine from blue/black grapes so this variety will give me the ability to switch hit.

Mrs ERJ and I were planting trellis posts in the third row today. Tomorrow might be an ibuprofen and ice day.  Time will tell.


  1. Yep, win some, lose most of them is my mantra... Sigh

  2. Mine too. It changes how you play the game. You soon realize that there are limits to how much risk you can squeeze out of the future. Often, the best plan is to eliminate the big chunks and then figure out how to minimize the costs of failure. Then pull the trigger.


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