Alta Marfa

A Vineyard and Winery Estate in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.

29. First Weekend of Planting

The first weekend of planting, we were in the final stages of preparation mode. We were racing against the clock to complete two main tasks. First, finishing all 6,000 holes so that we would have a place to put all the vines when they arrived. Second, finish putting the irrigation system together so that once the vines were planted we would be able to water them. 

 This facial expression pretty well describes what it was like digging 4,000+ holes with an excavator on the side of a hill for a week.

This facial expression pretty well describes what it was like digging 4,000+ holes with an excavator on the side of a hill for a week.

After the failure of the auger, I started to get pretty worried that we wouldn't be able to get all the holes dug in time before the vines (and all the volunteers) arrived for planting. I thought up several plans of varying ridiculousness (one involving a pressure washer and very long hoses running all over the property) but finally decided the best way to get all the holes dug was to use a small excavator. 

 So. Many. Holes.

So. Many. Holes.

It worked reasonably well, then yet another piece of enormous machinery succumbed to the treacherous hillsides of Alta Marfa. I once again turned to Youtube in a time of need and we were able to get the track back on after a few hours of scrambling around in the dirt. 

 Yikes!

Yikes!

 Here is my dad working on the irrigation system.

Here is my dad working on the irrigation system.

 Workin'

Workin'

 Here is a homemade tool we built to help snap the drip emitters into the drip line. 

Here is a homemade tool we built to help snap the drip emitters into the drip line. 

 Jim (Katie's dad) was the official champion of hole punching.

Jim (Katie's dad) was the official champion of hole punching.

 The vines arriving!

The vines arriving!

 The first thing the delivery driver said was, "where am I gonna turn around?" to which i replied, "...uhh"

The first thing the delivery driver said was, "where am I gonna turn around?" to which i replied, "...uhh"

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 Figuring out how to trim the vine roots.

Figuring out how to trim the vine roots.

 The first vine being planted!

The first vine being planted!

 Hard to say why I like this picture so much. It sort of reminds me of Thriller though.

Hard to say why I like this picture so much. It sort of reminds me of Thriller though.

All the holes were dug but the irrigation system still wasn't finished. The vines had finally arrived after being ordered almost two years before, and the army of volunteers were about to descend on Alta Marfa to finally make Alta Marfa a real life vineyard instead of a "maybe", "in the future", "eventually" vineyard.