Our baby vines have blossomed from a sun filled summer and some recent rain. They are nearly big enough to start training onto the trellis.
We have spent hours in the vineyard hand weeding in between the rows to avoid using chemical sprays.
We plan to graze our sheep in there during the winter months when the vines are dormant, the sheep will help suppress the weeds next spring.
We now have a mini menagerie of animals consisting of: three Ryland sheep, three Herwick sheep, one Alpaca, one 50% Alpaca 50% Llama, one horse and Dartmoor pony (arriving soon). Not only are they adorable, but they also create fertiliser!
We are letting the grass and weeds grow in the alleyways, but mowing it down, to create a diverse and natural cover crop.
It was interesting to see which weeds grew where, we noticed a lot of fat hen in amongst the Pinot Meunier where the soil is heavier clay, we also found potatoes growing in this area!
Whereas at the other windmill hill end, where the chardonnay is planted and there is more sandstone; we noticed more fennel, borage, chamomile, oxalis, horsetail and docks.
A few years ago, we put some wild beehives in the hedges near the vineyard, we noticed that the bees have returned which is great.
We have also left the grass to grow into a wild meadow around the apple orchard, which is adjacent to the vineyard. There is a wealth of grasses, thistle, dandelion and butter cups growing there. The apples are also looking great with a large crop on there for this year.