Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Tasting with Live Music

Come join us on Sunday, December 11, 3-5 p.m. at Grietje's Garden. Listen to live music by Jewell's Harp with Jewell and Chuck Waldrup and enjoy a tasting of our alcohol free wines, juices and ciders.

324 Mosswood Road
Olin, NC 28660

Alcohol Free Venue

Customers ask, "Where is your wine?".  "If you'd let that ferment, I'd buy it."  I guess when the word "vineyard" is heard...the first thought is that there is a wine. Well, I've taken a different approach with Grietje's Garden Vineyard. Here there is muscadine cider blush- a mix of muscadine and scuppernong juices from our grapes, 100% muscadine juice, 100% scuppernong juice, muscadine alcohol free wine, scuppernong alcohol free wine, muscadine vinaigrette, syrups and jellies.

Why no wine? I'll have to admit that I enjoy a glass of muscadine wine in my home and occasionally out. I know my limitations. I may go months without having a glass of wine. But I do not want to market...push to sell a product that might cause harm to someone else or to their family. I've seen too much what alcoholism can do to a family. Enough said about that.

Now I have value-added products that most adults and children can enjoy. The Farm Distribution Center is a family friendly venue. And that's what a farm should be. :)

This is a photo from our recent Holiday Craft event discussed on another post. It was a good day of sharing and family time.

Holiday Time

My first try at a holiday craft event was pretty good. We had 9 vendors for the craft event on Saturday. Everyone sold something, but not as much as I had hoped for each participant. I have some reflecting to do on the date to do this. Should I do it the first weekend in December? The weekend before Thanksgiving? Make it a weekend event with music, etc. in the vineyard? So many people in our area are putting up Christmas trees the weekend after Thanksgiving...or are still having Thanksgiving with their families...and there is Black Friday to contend with, too. So...doing this again the weekend of Thanksgiving is probably not the best time...although this year for my family and me, it worked out well.

Hopefully, there will be at least  2 other events at the vineyard before Christmas...working on this. Stay posted.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Holiday Crafts at Grietje's Garden vineyard

Come join us at Grietje's Garden for Holiday crafts at the vineyard.

Saturday, November 26 .

Handcrafted baskets, ornaments, pottery crocheted items, baked goods, jewelry, homemade cheeses, art work, stained glass, muscadine juice, cider and alcohol free wines! And More!

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Help us "kick off" the holiday season with this festive event.

324 Mosswood Road
Olin, NC 28660

Google for directions from your location.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer in the vineyard

 It always amazes me that something that looks so lifeless in the winter, can become so full of luscious growth in the summer. During this time I work to manage the weed growth and mow  the 3 acres at least once a week. The last placement of fertilizer will be around July 1, Southern States Garden Super Grow. We've had some rain, but I have to supplement with our irrigation from the well.  There is also pruning in the summer. Yes, pruning. Suckers grow from the base and extra vinegrowth on the main branch has to be clipped back to allow for the nutrients to reach the main area of the vine. This also helps the plant's stress level of having to provide water to so much vine during this hot weather. I have to make sure there is good air flow also through the vines. Watching for insects as Japanese beetles and June bugs is an ever going issue.  So,  this is a busy time, but a pleasurable one. Watching the grapes mature enhances the excitement of the harvest in the fall.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Reid said, "Honey, get your camera!" I took this from the sideporch of our home. It went all the way across the sky. How beautiful it was. How awesome to be at that place at that time to witness nature, God's creation.  Recently Jacob and Luke, the grandsons, were at our home. There was a rainbow that day, as well, not as big or brillant, but still nice to share the experience. Jacob asked if we could go to the end of the rainbow to get a pot of gold. Wasn't expecting that from a 4 year old. I think we tried to explain to him that a person can not get to the end of the rainbow and maybe that if we got there, the gold might already be gone.
That makes me think about how when we get to where we thought we wanted go, sometimes it turns out not to be what we anticipated or even really wanted. The joy comes in the journey and experiences we have and share with others as we move forward in our lives. So, today, I am thankful for the blessings of a rainbow. Peace

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's been a while.

On March 26th, our father passed away. He was a gardener and loved the earth. It was because of him that I began growing muscadine grapes. He had been in declining health, then fell on March 12th, went through surgery successfully, but his body just was not strong enough to take the trama. My 2 sisters, brother and I have had to pull together to close his gardening business which was hard emotionally and physically. But I feel he is proud of how we worked together to do this necessary thing. We were led to a young man, Morgan, who also has a love of the earth. He and his father will be leasing the farm land and helping to keep it going. This has brought us much peace and joy. This special young man will be there to pick the blackberries, the blueberries, the muscadine grapes, to plant the tomatoes that people in the community have come to love from our father's garden. We are sure Daddy is pleased with this.

This is Memorial Weekend. So we honor the memory of our father today and what he has meant to us and his country in serving in the army as a machine gunner during WWII and in the Army Reserves when he returned home. He later captained a survey boat, the Gillette, for the Army Corp of Engineers and worked the farm he loved until his body would not allow him to do it anymore...and that was just the week before he fell.

We love you, Daddy and miss you.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Love those grapes!

It is so much fun watching the grandchildren eat the muscadines. They have the technique down pretty good. I like to wear a bandana when I am working. They call it a pirate hat. Maybe these pirates are stealing my grapes! The boys are already asking me when the grapes will be ready. The oldest grandson, Jacob, says he will help me with the vineyard when he grows up. I will probably hold him to it. In fact, he really enjoys the farm. Mercedes, our oldest granddaughter, showed her first heifer at the state fair this year. Jacob will show his first this next year. He has already picked out the calf  he will show and named it Calfie. Earlier this week, the boys visited us for a few days. They "helped" me work in the blueberries for awhile. By that I mean about 5 minutes. We were trying to get out the dead grass and weed roots that might come back this year. Jacob kept holding up a clump of roots and would say is this roots. So, at least he knows what a root looks like. Of course he also asked me if the blueberry plants were weeds to be pulled up too. I think we have that straight now. So many children do not get the opportunity to learn about these things. I am thankful we can share these experiences with our grandchildren

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Down the Lane

Well, here we are at Grietje's Garden of Rocky Ridge Farm. This drive, this lane, has taken me "there" and back more times than I can count. To and from work, errands, weddings, funerals, births, to  the hospital,  birthday celebrations, to worship, vacations, to chase the cows, walk the sheep, check the mail, to mow the grass, or on an adventure. We all have our drives, our lanes. A couple of years ago, there was no white fencing or wire fencing for the cows along this lane. There were no cherry trees or grapevines.  But the road still heads in the same direction, is located in the same place, is still red clay and gravel. My life is my road that God has given me to travel. Yes, along the way things happen, things change, but my path, my lane, my road to Him is always there.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Harvest is over. Fall is here.

The vines have been harvested at this time. They've worked hard. They deserve the upcoming rest. These vines are Dixie Reds, Carlos, Pam, and Frye. You can see hills in the background. I love the view.

My muscadine value-added products

These are 3 of the value added products made from my scuppernong/muscadine grapes.  From left to right, Muscadine syrup, Muscadine cider, and Muscadine vinaigrette. I also have a l00% Muscadine juice made from my Black Noble Muscadines. There are also 2 jellies: regular Muscadine jelly and a pepper Muscadine jelly. I am so proud of the art work on the label! I just found out I am a finalist for a RAFI grant. I am so excited. With this, I should be able to purchase a crusher and other equipment to begin processing some of my grapes myself. I hope to at least be able to make my own jellies on site. My interview as a finalist is next Tuesday, Feb. 1st. I pray I can present myself in such a way that this effort is successful.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter at Grietje's Garden

My vines are asleep, resting for the awakening of spring.It won't be long before I begin the pruning. This takes a great deal of time and care.

Thought I would share about where the name Grietje's Garden came. My middle name is Grietje. It was my great grandmother's name who lived in Broek in Waterland then Zaandam, Holland before coming to America in 1912 with my great grandfather and their family, including my grandfather on my father's side. It has always been very special to me to share her name. My greatgrandfather and his sons settled in eastern North Carolina. They ran a dairy for awhile then began to grow flowers. My father loves to garden, as well. He grows blueberries, blackberries and muscadine grapes, and various vegetables. Growing things is just in my blood. When I was thinking of a name for the vineyard, it did not take me long to realize that using Grietje in the name would be a way to honor my heritage and my great grandmother whom I never got to meet.  

Harvest time

These scuppernongs are so sweet. This is either a Darlene or Magnolia. That will be a good project this make sure all of the vines are labeled. These are some of the newer vines, just planted in the last 2 years. It is very exciting when a vine begins to produce.