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For the love of Nature

Well....For Pete's sake. I found a hog. I don't speak of the piggy variety, but rather, the hog of ground. In.the.vineyard. How, do you ask, did I confirm one hundred percent, that the hole which I found next to one of my precious grapevines was a hog den? I saw the digger dive into his cavern as I approached. This led me to confirm my decision to net my grapes.

Let me back up. There are things that become important when cultivating grapes. These things may not be obvious during the planting stage or the 'putting up the line post' stage. Here I am in year three. This will be my first harvest. I have five acres planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Gris and as these grapes ripen, they get sweeter and tastier. They are currently approaching delectable. Humans are not the only beings who think my little grapes taste yummy. Birds love grapes, especially red ones because they are easy to see like berries on trees. You know what else loves grapes? Raccoons. You know what is a vegetarian and also likes grapes on their salad? Ground.Hogs. So, I had to make a decision: To net or not to net, that is the question. Well, I have white grapes right? Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, so the birds will pass them by unless they accidentally run into them blindly....But wait, the Pinot Gris is actually purple! One point is awarded to the 'put the net up' discussion. And, let's talk about the raccoon threat. There is a chance that no raccoons ever enter my vineyards. I haven't seen any 'sign'(coon poo) to date, which is great. BUT.....In the event that I have a raccoon happen across my vineyard and taste one of those fruits of my labor, we have a serious problem. There is a pretty good chance that this guy and his friends would wipe out all of my fruit. WHAT, say you? Yes, ALL OF MY FRUIT. So there is that risk, no biggie. How do you combat this threat? You can put up a fence around the vineyard, but that really would be difficult given my vineyard layout. I still need tractors to get through and the area where the fencing would need to be installed would be across the driveway and it just doesn't make sense. So my other option would be to net the grapes. So score a second point for the netting argument. The groundhog domicile sealed the deal on the netting. After seeing those sneaky little paws run into their underground lair, I realized I had no choice...

The netting is now installed. P.S. I freed a baby bird from inside of the netting. It was mutually beneficial...

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