30. The Vines are in the Ground!
Remembering these two weeks really feels like a dream. They would not have happened without help from Katie, my family and so many friends, old and new. We had planters come from California, Arizona, Florida, Oregon, Kansas, Wisconsin, Colorado and of course Texas. I want to give special thanks to the Fraziers from Colorado, and Gabe and Joanna from California who were new friends who heard about Alta Marfa from the internet and were awesome enough to come out sight unseen and help us plant.
Joanna, who writes about wine on her own blog and for other publications, wrote a wonderful article for TheVintnerProject.com that you can read here: Joanna's article Joanna also took a ton of great pictures. (she took most of the pictures in this post) Thanks Joanna!
We planned to work all day Friday and Saturday, finish planting by Saturday evening, then have a nice dinner in Marfa to celebrate. After 2 years of preparation, we now had just a few days to get all the vines in the ground before all the planters had to go back to their real lives.
Holes for the vines were dug beforehand with the excavator so planting was pretty simple. Grab a vine, hold it in the hole and use hands or a trowel to push the soil back into the hole. Sounds easy, but it becomes a lot more difficult when the pile of "soil" next to the hole is just a pile of rocks.
Halfway through Saturday, which was supposed to be the last day of planting, I realized that we weren't going to finish. Luckily, some of the California friends and my parents weren't flying out till Monday morning and agreed to come back Sunday to finish planting.
Even though we weren't done, I think everyone felt pretty great when we rolled into Marfa to get cleaned up and celebrate our hard work.
After lots of celebrating Saturday night, our remaining workers were a little worse for wear when we returned to finish planting on Sunday.
The relief of getting the last of the vines in the ground was short lived. I realized that the irrigation controller wasn't working. I was supposed to return to Houston Sunday night and go back to work Monday morning. I informed my boss I couldn't come back yet.
I ended up spending all of Monday and Tuesday talking to tech support on the phone, re-wiring the controller and just generally sweating, mentally and physically. Finally, late Tuesday, I got everything working, piled my self into the car, too exhausted to clean anything up and drove the 9 hours back to Houston.