May 26, 2009
For us, spring is a busy time of the year, not just with all the work and school stuff going on, but the needs of the garden, grapes and other horticultural rituals we love to do. There is grape pruning, garden tilling, seed planting and bringing out the bananna trees. I have a habit of propagating anything I prune off my grapvines and jade plants even if it is to hand out to friends. I'm not yet sure of the significance to me of why I do it, but maybe it's just a friendship thing... from our house to yours. If that grapevine takes off and becomes something significant, someone might say, "we got that from the Morgan's back in the spring of 2009."
Hannah did her school play "Jack and the Beanstalk" and we've already been down to Louisville the weekend of the Kentucky Derby to make derby pie with Andy and Debbie... who by the way, made it up the very next weekend to do the canoe and camp trip.
Between the wildlife and floral and fauna in our back yard... to the images of all things renewed, Spring just rocks.
May 25, 2009
I just got the new Panderers CD, Mucho Diggo in the mail today. I popped it in and listened to it in its entirety and "I dig it much." Some old songs renewed, and some new songs crafted in that famed Panderers style... and a neat corn cobb printed on the disc. Another helping delivered with mucho expression and love.
I pre-ordered the album a while back and forgot all about it. It arrived today and much to my surprise, it was hand-labeled AC#001. Additionally, a mysterious card with only a zero in the middle and a one in the corner... more evidence that this could be the first disc bestowed.
Could I possibly be Panderer #1? And what does AC stand for? "Awesome Cat," yeah... Awesome Cat #1?
I just wonder. The Panderers are known for ultra-smooth things like hand numbering their CD's and printing corn-cobbs on the disc. When I bought the first album, I was #23. Have I moved up the food chain? Is there maybe an AC#01 or even an AC#1?
We might never know, but maybe Scott might stop by one day and let us all know.
May 20, 2009
Own-rooted vidal blanc grape cuttings. 100% success.
Just a quick note on the spring cuttings. I took cuttings from my own Vidal Blanc and Swenson grape vines and had a 100% success rate. By that, I mean... all of them took root and sprung leafs. Heck, most spit out clusters of grapes that I quickly snapped off.
Here was my process. I pruned my grape vines as I usually do. From those, I took at least 30 cuttings from each. I took thicknesses from anywhere between a No. 2 pencil and 3/8" and old wood of course. I never had much success from green cuttings.
I trimmed the cuttings to 3-4 buds per cutting, with one bud cut exactly in half at the bottom. It seems the roots callus and spring out like mad from here. I dipped in water, then into your basic rooting hormone and then right into a good starter soil about 2" deep on the bottom of those Rubber Maid plastic garbage cans with a lid. Mine had the translucent white sides that allowed plenty of sun in. I don't snap the lid on tight, I just sit it on top. I sprinkled a little water in and this creates a terrarium effect. It's important not to overwater... just keep the soil moist. I check them every day because you while you are watching the leaves sprout, you also want to watch for mold that can happen in such a closed container.
After the shoots were about 1-2" long, I shook the entire container to knock the soil loose and then gently pull them out and plant each in it's own pot. See the pics of the good healthy roots.
Top the new pots up with soil and water them... then stick in a partial sun/shade area and let them get stronger. Questions? Just let me know and have fun!
May 13, 2009
Deb and Andy led the way when we put into the Little Miami river for a scenic day of paddlin'.
We shook it up a little this year for Susan's birthday. She usually likes to canoe and camp on her birthday and we usually go to the Brookville location. This year, we tried the Ft. Ancient location since it has been so long since we visited there. We also wanted to pay our visit to the June Morgan River Sanctuary.
It was good to see all my cousins and my uncle Bob who I usually only see during the holidays or other significant gatherings. We stayed in the cabins at Riverside Campground and the place looked beautiful. Upon arrival Lori was weeding the flower beds and Dirk was making picnic tables. It's clear the Morgans go out of their way to provide a fun-filled experience with the grounds pleasing to the eye and hospitality equal to down south.
We were driven up the river to put in at the Livery. Cousin Randy opened the door of the van and greeted us while Gary gave us a tour of the livery and the upstairs museum. I'm so glad my family are the chief proprietors around these parts. They have collected knowledge of the area and responsibly documented it as well as organized fossils, points, stones and other artifacts for display and education. The Morgans truly are the keepers of this land and river.
The canoe trip was as scenic as ever. We stopped at Junes Sanctuary and talked about her pioneering the efforts to clean up this once polluted river. The weather was beautiful and we soaked in the scenery and even caught some turtles basking in the sun on a log (see pictures).
After the trip, I ran into my uncle Bob at Riverside campground and got to catch up and update him on my dad. Then, Dirk showed us a tree that was leaning over a little too far so he jumped on the tractor and pulled it straight. Sunday morning, I watched (with some guilt) Dirk pounding rocks and dirt around the planter to stabilize the tree that we straightened the day before.
Later in the evening on Saturday, Dirk and Lori gave us a tour of their home and we finally got our glimpse of the famed turtle rock as well as the other awesome artifacts in Dirk's personal collection. Later, they set up a corn-hole tournament at the campground that thoroughly entertained us and our guests. It's been a long time since I've been able to slow down and forget about work and responsibility and I want to thank my family for welcoming us and our visiting friends from Louisville and helping us forget about things for a while. For those of us over-worked and under-paid, it really goes a long way and means a lot. After our friends Andy and Debbie were stuck on I-71 for an hour and a half on their commute up on Saturday morning, it really meant a lot to them as well.
These pictures should capture the trip just fine. Enjoy, and we really want to go back soon!
Thanks and much love, Jason and Susan
May 13, 2009
Bottled in the Crimea and prized by Russian Czars, the oldest Western European sherry was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2001. The most rare bottles of the sherry bear an imperial seal.
No liquid beyond water is more storied than wine. It’s the subject of literature and art, legend and myth.
Good batches are part science: climate, grape genetics, yeast growth, water impurities and otherwise. The best wines are an almost indefinable art, an essence, feeling or quality that many try to bottle, but few ever uncork.
To celebrate those wines that have become legendary to collectors around the world, here are the 10 most expensive bottles of wine in the world.
Read this story on StyleCrave
May 08, 2009
Spring 2009. Planted Corot noir (pronounced “kor-oh nwahr”) by Cornell University and Marquette red grapes.
I put in two more rows of grapes in the back yard vineyard this spring. I chose two varieties that I'm real excited about. Marquette, and ‘Corot noir’™ (pronounced “kor-oh nwahr”). Both of these vines are hybirds genetically modified to be more disease and pest resistant in SE Indiana.
Isn't that something? We can mess with our grape vines and make them "better." Particularly, I find the Corot Noir very interesting. These vines showed up with a pedigree that details how Cornell arrived at this particular specimen. Totally cool. Cornell gets a .50 cent royalty for every Corot Noir grape vine sold anywhere. My vines were about $7.50 each. That's cheaper than going in to a Lowes and buying a typical Concord.
Corot Noir is a mid to late season red wine grape suitable for either blending or the production of varietal wines. The wine has a deep red color and attractive cherry and berry fruit aromas. Its tannin structure is complete from the front of the mouth to the back, with big soft tannins. The vine is moderately winter hardy and moderately resistant to fungal diseases.
‘Corot noir’ was developed by the grape breeding program at Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. It is a complex interspecific hybrid red wine grape resulting from a
cross made in 1970 between Seyve Villard 18-307 and ‘Steuben’ (again, see pedigree). From 250 seeds, 160 seedlings were grown in a nursery then transplanted to a seedling vineyard in 1975.
Wanna know more about this neat-ass grape? Hit this PDF.
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