Four Arm Kniffin System for Growing Grapes
David Handley: I'm David Handley, vegetableand small fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Today we'regoing to be talking about a simple system for pruning hardy grapes here in Maine. The pruning system I like to use is very simple.It keeps the plant open, so it gets light in the summer time, but it also protects theplant a little bit in the winter. This system works best with concord type or labrusca typegrapes, which are the grapes that tend to grow best in Maine. There's really a couple of systems that willwork well for labrusca type grapes. The first
one I want to talk about is the four arm kniffin,and that's what we're going to prune first. The four arm kniffin consists of a perennialtrunk, which goes from the ground right up to a top wire, which is set at about fivefeet. Coming off of this trunk, we will have four arms, or canes, oneyear old growth.Two on the top wire, running each side of the top wire, and two on a lower wire. Thislower wire should be set at about two and a half feet off the ground. Every year, we're going to come in and pruneit so we continue to have a perennial trunk, but only four one yearold trunks to producethe fruit.
Here is our permanent trunk. You can see here,this is a cane from last year. Two yearold cane, this was our fruiting cane last summer,and you can see the difference. Here's this year's cane, that nice chocolate brown colorand smooth bark, and here we go with the older cane, the two yearold cane. The bark is startingto peel, and has more of a gray look to it, so we know that this particular shoot isn'tgoing to fruit again. It's the one yearold shoots that come off it that will fruit. This is going to get pruned out, so that wecan keep our fruiting wood closer to the trunk. We'll just take that back to a good fruitingshoot, and we'll start to cut it out. This
is where it gets fun. We need to wrestle thisout of the trellis, and of course, all these little tendrils have tied it up and aroundmost of the growth that's there. It takes a little bit of cutting, but be careful notto break the fruiting canes that you want to leave behind. Pull it off, and that will open the plantingup so we can see what we have left for good fruiting wood for this year. We've taken offthe four fruiting canes that we left last year, and you can see pretty much all that'sleft, at this point, is the green shoots from last year, that will provide us with goodfruit for this year.
Now we need to choose which four we want toput up. We're going to have four canes. One, two, three, four. Two for the lower wire,two for the upper wire, each heading off in different directions. What I want to look for in this case is canethat's got this nice chocolate brown color, and is about 38 of an inch in diameter. Aboutthe width of your little finger. If it's thinner than that, if it's very weak, it won't producegood fruit. Thin stuff like this, less than 38 of an inch in diameter, we'll just cutthat right out. Here we've got one that's going to go in thisdirection, that looks very nice. I'm going
to count, remember we want about 10 buds onit, so we'll count our buds. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. ThenI just cut out beyond that, because the weaker stuff at the very end isn't going to producevery good fruit. I have my four arms, but you can see I stillhave some leftover canes. What I'm going to use these for are what we call quot;renewal spurs.quot;I'm going to cut these back so that they just have one or two buds on them. What I'm goingto use these buds for, the green shoots that will emerge from these buds and grow out,will be the canes that I'll be putting on the wire next year for fruiting. We call thesequot;renewal spurs.quot;
Texas Wine Teaser Drew Tallent
So much of the Hill Country is dreamers. Most people want to be in the wine business,and as soon as they get a little dose of the vineyard they don't want anything to do withit. If they could just buy the fruit somewhere and be in the wine business thatswhat they'd want to do. Wine growing is a lifestyle as well as an occupation. We'rein it for real. We got harvesters, we got sprayers, we got the equipment, we are doingthis. We had been peanut farming and cotton farming and things like that for years, astime goes by those things become less profitable and more problematic. We currently grow grapesprimarily for Becker Vineyards, we also grow
for Grape Creek, Texas Hills, and WilliamChris. We're in the grape growing business, in a big way. We have the highest producingvineyard in the Texas Hill Country region now. The grapes took off growing that firstyear and it looked like they liked the soil, the nextyear we planted 18 acres we won several silver medals from the wine that was made with that.I got really enthused, I was on to something now, we know what we're doing, turnedout we had a lot to learn. We have so many nemesis in this business it is hard to describe,other regions may have some of these problems but they don't have them all.We can have them all in the same year, spring
frost, hail, if your not flexible and willingto change you're going to have lots of problems. My family has been here for 4 generations,I'm a 4th generation farmer and rancher. I came back to run the family farm when my dadretired. and I decided I had enough of the city. I think the reason a lotof people are getting into this industry now is to escape the cities and get into the rurallifestyle and get away from the traffic and all the other things. We frequentlyhave lots of people ask us and tell us that they are interested in getting into the grapebusiness, and usually they are not very sincere and its easy to waste a lot oftime talking to someone that is not really
going to actually become involved in thisindustry. I met Dan McLaughlin somewhat by accident and have been working with him tohelp him establish his vineyard. It was one of those things where I knew what he was upagainst, where he was. I had been to the Buist Vineyard so, when I met him the firsttime he was out in the vineyard working and that was a pretty good sign, so we went fromthere. Grape growing is a very serious proposition it requires a lot of dedication,it's not nearly so romantic as it is just hard work. My favorite time is the harvest,because that means we're almost finished! We're a believer in the machine harvest. It'sa pretty interesting machine and how it works
it sorts out and blows all the leaves off,it sucks out all the leaves out of the fruit and cleans it us. Hand picking is veryvery slow, its very inconsistent, it's hard to get people trained, and then you cant keepthem after you train them. we did fifteen tons of fruit in about two and a halfhours. That's a lot to pick by hand and stick in a bucket. It takes fifteen hundred gallonsof water to wash it after the harvest. After weighing they're taken anddumped into a destemmercrusher and then that all goes into the tank to fermentation.If they are a red grape they will be in that steel tank probably two and a half maybe 3weeks, and when the fermentations are all
finished then they go to barrels. We've continuedto grow and expand and the medals have kept coming and the wineries like our fruit,so were going to be in it for the duration I guess.
Annoying Orange He Will Mock You
beatboxing annoyed: Please. Stop doing that. What's the matter, Pearé Don't you like my fresh beatsé laughs groans Hey, look, new fruits in the house. What a dump. Whoa! Where are weé
We left the tropical island for thisé Aloha! Sounds like you guys aren't coconuts about your situation. laughs Hey, I'm the only coconut, pal. Clearly, I'm a banana. And I'm a lime, you idiot. No. I just meant that What the heck is this goofball supposed to be, anywayé
I'm not a goofball. I'm an orange. Oh, sorry. What's this ORANGE goofball supposed to beé laughter Hey! Uh, guysé I wouldn't make fun of Orange if I were you. Why shouldn't we make fun of your friendé Well. because. (all) He will, he will
Mock you This guyé We ain't afraid of him. He will, he will Mock you Whatever. Bring it on. Buddy, you're a coconut You got a hairy butt Hate to tell ya
That ya gonna be cracked someday Ya got seeds in your face You big disgrace I'm surprised anyone likes The way that you taste What's that supposed to mea screaming whack! Dah! Coconut and Lime scream
(all) He will, he will Mock you whimpers Buddy, you're a lime You're real small time You gonna get cut up And squeezed someday You'll see all sorts of strife