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.