Showing posts from August, 2014

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

For those of you following our escapades and adventures, the rancho has been attempting to oversee and manage the remodel the ranch house, whilest the management occupy outer buildings, nurture the crops, net the grapes, determine adjustments due to the drought, and begin harvesting, picking, and processing one of our earliest crops, the table grapes.  We've learned how to dehydrate fruit and have actually produced some rancho raisins, and over 100 jars of one of our fan favorites, our Tequila Pepper Grape Jelly.

In the meantime, we've also been attempting to create some new recipes -- some have been winners and some have been not-so-great.  For some great recipe ideas to use with our products or just some foodie inspiration, check out the Rancho's Pinterest page, and click on the Recipes folder

In the meantime, we are hurdling toward the wine grape harvest, although we're not certain we have enough Petite Sirah and Zinfandel …

2014 Harvest Kickoff begins with picking the table grapes!

We have been waiting with baited breath for harvest to begin.  The drought has caused challenges to a grower of anything.  This is the first year since 2005 that we have not had cattle grazing the property.  We lost most of our olive blossoms during a late April storm, and lost most of the Zinfandel in June due to the incredible onset of heat and heavy, hot sustained winds.  The workhorses of the ranch, however, are the Petite Sirah and Cabernet, which were looking amazing -- so amazing, in fact, that we sewed the nets shut.  We were concerned that animals desperate for food would go after them -- and go after them they did.

Despite the netting, our Petite Sirah began disappearing at an alarming rate, so it was suggested by other farmers to purchase electric netting.  It is, however, a race against time to get the netting delivered.  In the meantime, a game camera was set up to attempt to capture (of only by photo) the culprit.  It was coyotes, and so cunning are these coyotes that …