A feeling of familiarity washed over me this year at harvest time. Now in our fifth harvest, everyone knows the rhythm and routine of the activities. The guys are in the vineyard first as I rise early to brew coffee and wake the kids. We all head out through a layer of early morning fog to greet the tractor and bins just starting to be filled with fruit. The kids join in with the picking crew and I start my routine of dumping bins. I check on all the workers, find the fullest picking bin, and exchange it for an empty so the crew can keep picking without interruption. This also provides Bret with an even flow of fruit to sort and check. Moving through the vineyard, carefully gathering and switching full bins for empties, one by one I lift and dump the fruit.
This year my son’s friend and my niece joined in the fun. My niece tried out all the various jobs, but settled on working the large bins with Bret for quality control. My daughter, son and his friend stayed on picking duty, and I continued my workout of dumping the little harvesting bins into the big ones. Our good friend and vineyard photographer captured our harvest through photos which is always appreciated and The local press came to film. My parents joined in as the harvest was finishing up.
I am thankful for another harvest and for the people who make it happen. Our harvest team encompasses an age range of 10 to 94. Being goal oriented, I love when all the fruit is delivered and there is a sense of completion to the growing season, but of course the work is never really done. Next week we will remove the netting and start to put the vineyard to bed for the winter.