A foul wind blew over the vineyard, it was quiet… too quiet. We trundled up the slope of the vineyard ready to face the Khan to our Kirk. Red ants have plagued the vineyard since our intrepid Wylie had some of them get frisky with him when we were weeding. The Internet told us we should fight them with everything in the grocery store but to no avail. This past weekend though, they were missing. No sign, no eggs, and no gloating came from their little hill. They simply vanished leaving a ghost town behind, but we still couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. Either they have given up on our war of attrition, or they are planning to lure us into itchy bitey trap.
I wish there were a dignified way to build a shoestring vineyard but alas it isn’t so. We’ve managed to trip, spill, and crawl our way through our first growing season but there is just no shortage of dissenting beasts looking to knock us down a peg. With the ants’ departure, deer felt the need to fill the void. Like the Headless Horseman, they swept down from the conveniently placed salt lick (a mere 20 feet from the vineyard we’ve discovered because you know… that makes sense to have) to decapitate the vines one at a time leaving the rest to quiver in fear. Like all things we’ve encountered, there’s a ludicrous way to deal with it: Irish Spring Soap. I wish it wasn’t so but according to numerous blogs and sites we’ve encountered, if you festoon the area with enough bars of soap the deer will be insulted and keep their distance. There are other more expensive ways to deal with them like deer netting, temporary fencing, and chicken wire but nothing seems so delightfully asinine as hanging soap from a vineyard. If nothing else, our wine will smell like a pubescent boy trying to impress you with his hygiene. That can’t be bad right?