Prairie Yard Garden Growing Grapes
(gentle music) Prairie Yard Garden is a production of the University of Minnesota Morris in cooperation with Pioneer Public Television. Closed captioning is provided by Mark and Margaret YackelJuleen in honor of Shalom Hill Farm, a nonprofit rural education retreat center in a beautiful
prairie setting near Windom in southwestern Minnesota. Shalom Hill Farm, shalomhill Did you hear that a new crop is appearing on the prairieé Growing grapes has created an interest among a few individuals who like the challenge of adapting it to our region. Join me on Prairie Yard Garden as we visit a vineyard to learn about the process and challenges
of growing grapes on the prairie. (soft lighthearted music) A new crop has appeared on the prairie: growing grapes And today I have Florian Ledermann with me who's been involved with the process for the last four to five years. Florian welcome to the show and tell me, how did you get interested in growing grapesé ^We got interested actually at the
University of Morris's Horticultural Night. We sat down in a tent and learned that the university just released four new varieties of grapes that are actually coldhardy. And before that, I always kind of figured grapes were the crop that just kind of came up and never really bore and died every winter and died back. So that's what spiked our interest.
And so that very nextspring, we bought five. And they survived and I did a little more research and decided to go with an acre. And a year later, another acre so we ended up with 1,350 vines as a result of that little adventure in Morris. Larry That's interesting. 1,300 vines, how long does it take you
to put all those in the groundé Florian We used family labor. (Florian laughs) So we had, it took us, I think probably when we were planting, it took us about threedays to put one acre in. That would be for the planting. The posts and the trellis system and everything
Clarksburg Farmers Adopt Charter Schools
Music gt;gt; The village of Clarksburg isa little more than 165 years old and it's always beenagriculturally based. Everything out here hasalways been centered around agriculture. Used to be a time wheneverybody came off the farm. Now, hardly anybodycomes off the farm. We're down to one or two percentof the general population, now.
And, so, giving thekids a little background on what it takesto grow their food and harvest their foodhas really been exciting. gt;gt; Put a hole insomething, righté What you do is takethis drill bit and put it in this piece here. This is called a chuckand you turn it on. gt;gt; Community participation andeducation is really important.
I think that's one of themajor problems that we face in American educationin general. It's there seems to bethis huge disconnect. Seems like we need to get backto our roots a little bit. And more in particular towhat I do for a living, I'm a farmer and I plant seeds. It's what I do for aliving and this is very much like planting seeds inkids' brains and minds
to see what comes of it. gt;gt; We really decidedearly on to take advantage of our local community and here in Clarksburg it's ourwonderful Clarksburg farmers. So we made student engagement and our outdoor classroomsomething that was very important to howwe were going to engage kids in a far different waythan what we normally saw
in traditional public schools. The fact that we have localfarmers that are willing to sacrifice their timeto allow our kids to learn in their environment here inClarksburg was very important. gt;gt; A big job. It could take a couple of days. If you've got a little problemmultiple speakers agriculture, now this is a great opportunityto put them on farms,
have them understand whatthey're driving by every day when they come to school. gt;gt; And you clamp itdown really tight, okay. Then you can hammer onit, you can wrench on it, you can do all thestuff you need to do. When I was in HighSchool the FFA program, it really wasn't vibrant and now at the High School they havetwo FFA teachers, you know,