I’m taking a break from our vineyard work to write.  The sun is hot and dry and we are praying for rain.  The low precipitation this winter has left us all very aware of how precious our water is this year.  Every year.  But this year will ask for an increased attention to limits.  And a wisdom about what is necessary and what is excess.  We’ve been applying a biodynamic paste to the trunks for every vine on the five and a half acres for the last week and diving into a very late prune in a very wild vineyard.  Its been free to do as it pleases for a few years which makes me feel as I turn to each new row like I’m in a fairy wonderland jungle of wildness.  I love it really, and am also deeply aware that our work as midwives and partners with the vines require helping them also be efficient with their resources for this season. 

As we’ve been caring for each of the almost 3000 vines in the vineyard – stripping old bark housing pests and fungus, applying paste, massaging minerals into the trunk, pruning vines extending up to seven feet beyond their cordon – there’s been a lot of reflection about pruning.  Maybe what I love about it most is that it there is a freeing and focusing nature to the work.  Removing the desperate and longer reach for more territory frees the vine of a burden on its resources, food, and water.  It gets to drop the excess and in that to find a freedom from supporting weight that it doesn’t need to live well.  It also focuses the resources it has and encourages the vine to use them in the most efficient way.  There’s something to the freedom and efficiency in losing the excess.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot. 

We’re heading into the seasons of long days, increased output of energy, extroversion, and the utilization of all of the resources available to us.  Every available unit of energy on the ranches is going into the preparation for hosting and learning and community gathering and serving.  TedX Adventures Mile High is joining us next weekend as a kick-off to the season.  And I already can’t help but scan the landscape for wild recipes for the Foraging Workshop at the end of May.  We are really excited about all of it.  And deeply aware that the efficiency and freedom of how we work couldn’t be more critical.  We’re also excited to share the joy and freedom of what we’ve been building all winter with you all. 

Friends, find a way to join us in the magic this summer: participate in a workshop or dinner, come help with the land and stay with us in our staff house, sleep on the land in the newly renovated cabins, or just stop by for some quite & fire & friends & the river.  Thanks for all of the support and care through the winter – we’re diving into our own pruning and continue to be excited to use our resources to serve the land and serve you all. 

seth o'donovan