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March 11, 2006

New Bush Hawg

Long day today, and an expensive one at that. Started off this morning with a trip to Tractor Supply to get a new bush hawg - a 6' King Kutter to replace the 5'. Problem last year was with 9' wide rows, I was having to spray extra herbicide under the vines (over 2' wide on each side) so that I only had to mow one pass, yet it always seemed I was missing grass on either side of the bush hawg. So hopefully the new one solves that issue. I also had to purchase trellis wire because as soon as we are done pruning I have to begin running the catch wires. And in one of those moments of utter stupidity it occurred to me as I was standing there calculating how much wire we will need that I grossly underestimated the amount. The 14-gauge wire comes in 1/2 mile rolls, and for some reason I thought I'd only need a couple rolls. But once I started actually doing the math I realized that to put 4 catch wires on 25 x 400' rows I'll be needing almost 8 miles of wire! ACK. So I grabbed all the rolls they had - eight - and will have to go back when they reorder. Thankfully they also carried an unrolling jig that you attach the spool of wire to the hitch on your truck then just drive up the row paying out the wire behind. That will be a great help. So when all was said and done, and after picking up some miscellaneous maintenance items and a couple pairs of jeans for Shannon I escaped Tractor Supply for a mere $1,700.

Off to the vineyard to continue pruning the cab franc, which proved to be more time-consuming than the viognier because well, the vines were bigger! Whereas the viognier rows were taking about 45-50 minutes per, the cab franc rows are taking 1:15-1:30 per row. I got four rows done, and had to quit because the new bush hawg was scheduled to be delivered at 5 PM. So I hopped in the tractor and grabbed the tow chain and drove up to the house to meet Earl from Tractor Supply, who kind of does deliveries after work on his own time. Once they showed up I had them follow me out to the vineyard, where we used the front-end loader on the tractor with the tow chain wrapped around the bush hawg to lift it off and set it on the ground. As they were attaching the chain, I realized that someone at Tractor Supply had assembled the bush hawg! WHOO HOOO! Putting one of those sumbitches together is a total drag and takes a couple hours. As Earl explained it to me they had to put it together to make sure they actually had all the pieces. Fine with me brother - here's an extra $20.

Got out of the vineyard a little after 6 - time to head over to the Krohn's for dinner!

Posted by Stephen at March 11, 2006 9:00 PM