Feeding the Earth

Thursday morning I went out for my walk and had chosen a certain area of the vineyard as I wanted to hunt for some wild asparagus. I had found a lot in this area the week before and wanted to go back as I figured it is a bit more obscure than other areas. Well, my plan was foiled.

As soon as I headed that way I could see a white little van and I immediately knew that meant the shepherd and his sheep had returned. I was SO excited!!! I was giddy! I loved having them here in the vineyard last year and was a bit worried they wouldn’t return. YIPPEE!!

I hear you asking what does this have to do with hunting wild asparagus in a certain area…well…that’s where the sheep are penned up. The conversation I was having with myself was quite funny.

“The sheep are back! I’m so excited!”

“Damn, all that asparagus is gone. I should have come back here yesterday.”

“Yes, but the sheep are back and you love the sheep! Yes, that’s true! Yippee the sheep are back.”

Sigh… “but all that asparagus is gone.”

And so on. I stopped the conversation on the positive note that the sheep are back in the vineyard AND there is asparagus all over the property.

Have I mentioned that I’m really excited about the sheep being back? I really wanted to go greet them and welcome them back to the vineyard. However, I did not want to wake up the sheepdogs that guard them and thus be chased and barked at. So, I let sleeping dogs lie.

I did zoom in my camera to get some not great shots though…oh and a video because although there wasn’t a lot of action there was the beautiful sound of the bells some of them wear.



You may need to crank the volume up to hear the bells.

I continued on my walk and found asparagus elsewhere and I couldn’t wait to get home to tell Bob about the sheep.

We went for another walk that afternoon while the shepherd had the sheep out grazing in the vineyard but the dogs made us change direction so still not close.



The sheep are useful as they eat a lot of the weeds but they are also useful for the nutrients that they leave behind…literally.

Speaking of biodiversity…something else currently happening in the vineyard is the distribution of manure amongst the vines. Over the past couple of months, truckloads of manure have been arriving and staged in various areas. We noticed that it was a lot more than they have had in the previous 3 years. Well, this past week they started spreading the manure about.

Quite steamy on a crisp early morning. In the foreground is a water reservoir and the large cloud of steam in the background is the backhoe loading the manure into the trailer that will spread it.



Now, you may be wondering why I am writing about this. Well, we find everything they do here in the vineyard interesting. We notice the different things they do and we wonder why they do them.

We noticed that they either plow or smooth out every other row. Why? Well, at least when they have done that recently we have our answer. Well, kind of. I don’t have a close-up photo of the tractor and trailer that spreads the manure but it is quite a smart setup. There is a blade in the front center of the trailer that cuts a row, the manure is then dropped into the row and then the trailer kind of closes up the row. Not completely though.

The row that was plowed or smoothed is the row that gets the manure.




Below is a row that didn’t get manure…but look at all those weeds for the sheep to eat!


A look at a different plot.


And others.


This will probably be the last of the manure story but you can be sure that I will be sharing lots of posts about the wonderful sheep as they should be around for a month or so.



6 thoughts on “Feeding the Earth”

    1. The vines are resting now so nothing to eat although they do keep the sheep away from the new vines. Those are still fragile and would not survive the sheep. It’s funny that although the sheep and yes, there are a couple of goats with them, are picky eaters. There are definitely weeds that none of them like and won’t eat.
      Once the vines start sprouting (there are a couple of sprouts but on the tips of very high vines) then the sheep will leave the vineyard because then they will eat the new leaves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember sheep as a bit picky, but those goats!! They are hilarious and full of Satan!!
        I love reading bits like this-our area is full of vines (not around me, but near here) and you never see anything among them but people, machines, and not a lot else.

        Liked by 1 person

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