Spring Projects/ Investing in the Future

on Thursday, 16 June 2011. Posted in Winery Blog

Several years ago I committed to developing a business model that is "vertically integrated". My goal is for Fiddler's Reach to provide its own honey and organically grown fruit for the wines.   That means I have more than just winemaking duties to consider on any given day. Its something of a balancing act, but I love the variety of projects and how they integrate within the bigger picture of the meadery. There is a learning curve for something like beekeeping, but for elderberry cultivation and winemaking it is a total reinvention of the wheel, so to speak. I am learning by doing over many seasons. Here are some photos of this spring's "vertical integration projects".    


     Installing Nucleus Hives in the bee yard


Assembling Beehives



Hanging Swarm Traps. If the hive increases its population in the spring, it might divide, with the old queen and most of the field force leaving to start a new home. Hopefully they stop here.









A cover crop of Crimson Clover between the rows of Elderberry bushes. I'm growing Elderberries using organic methods such as adding rock dust to the soil like dolomitic limestone and greensand, along with cover cropping nitrogen fixing plants like clover.                              





























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