We’ve been waiting, measuring, hoping the grapes into a ripened state. And it’s worked. Both the red and white grapes have increased in Brix! So what’s next for our beloved grapes?
We are going to be selling the grapes to the winery Parallel 44. They have just released a Washington Island Rose made from last years’ harvest that has garnered a lot of attention for its robust flavor and beautiful color! The profits from the sales will be invested in 2018 projects at Gathering Ground, including:
- Starting a school garden. Working with the Island school, we will help start a garden where kids, teachers, and parents can learn about growing vegetables, soil health, pollinators and more.
- Starting a community garden. We’ve gotten several inquiries about a community garden. So while we start on the infrastructure for a school garden, we will also make plots available to other community members. Sharing garden tools, fencing, and irrigation will help make gardening more accessible to anyone who wishes to join in.
- Transitioning the vineyard to organic or low-impact management style. No commercial-sized vineyard in Wisconsin (that we know of and we’ve looked!) is using organic methods, so we’d like to pioneer a method that takes into consideration the sustainability of the environment around the vineyard including the birds and the bees. We’ve already made headway, reaching out to experts in the field who will coach us on low-impact management styles using organic sprays to fight the downy mildew and powdery mildew that is forms in the midwestern humidity.
If you’d like to pick some grapes for at-home use, they will be available during harvest days for $1.50/pound.
In this way, the fruit of labor will be “replanted” next year! Thank you in advance to all the volunteers who will help harvest the grapes.