Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ushering in Old Man Winter

Well, it is "official".  Winter has arrived.  We have a snowpack of 4 inches (10 cm) and temperatures consistently below freezing here at the farm.  That is enough snow to cover some of the trailing-type blackberries (Silvan and Boysenberry) - and right on time as the lowest temperature so far has been 14F (-10C).  We will see how the blackberries and new raspberries fare next spring.

A few stats from this summer:
The growing season was a little shorter than usual at 115 days (May 15 thru Sept. 8).  About 12 days shorter than we typically see.  We accumulated 716 growing degree days (base 50F; 398 - base 10C) and 1823 growing degree days using a base of 41F  (1013 - base 5C).  May and June were typical, while July and August were a little cooler than normal.  Summer was fairly dry, but here in the hills we pretty much caught up on rainfall in September.

I was hoping to go to VitiNord 2012 in November, but it looks like I won't be able to go after all.  It is an international conference on grape growing in regions with cool summers and cold winters and brings together researchers numerous countries.  It is much more pertinent to my efforts here at Solitude Springs Farm & Vineyard than any other including the cold climate conference in Minnesota in February.  VitiNord occurs every three years, so maybe next time.  Perhaps by then I will have produced some grapes (I am hopeful for next summer!)

I'll leave you with a picture or two.

Snow flurries in mid-September. 

Fall picture from the top of the driveway looking southwest.

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