Canadian Thanksgiving is a most wondrous time of gluttony and forced appreciation. However, if you carve your way through the decimated fowl population and congealed fat colonizing our arteries you’ll find a tiny brigade of revelers experiencing sympathy pains for an ailing vineyard. A brief cold snap has stunted any growth likely for the rest of the season and dealt a possible death knell to one vine named Juan. Juan had a dream of going to Devry to get his mechanics certificate and working part time at Apple Auto Glass. He would be the first of his family to accomplish this. Not so impressive when you consider the rest of his family are grape vines on their way to producing Bacchus’ sweet nectar, but a child has to make its own way. Unfortunately it would not be so for poor Juan though, Boreas must have his sacrifice. If we had a flag, we’d prepare for it to fly at half-mast but a flagpole is fairly down on our list of purchases, right between a Jetski and a Polish translated Gettysburg Address.
But Juan’s sacrifice may be for the good of us all as it put a fire under us to get everything ready for winter. The old instructional tale of the ant and the grasshopper rings a bell here for we have prepared NOTHING for the coming cold. I mean zip, zilch, and nada. The ambivalent and omnipresent Google tells us that we’ll need to bury the vines past the graph (some kind of knuckley looking thing on the stem) in soil. We should have to add about 6-8 inches of soil per vine, and some basic arithmetic tells us we’ll need about 5 or 6 yards of soil. Arithmetic though, has never, even once, been my strong suit. It could end up being a mountainous amount of soil that we could climb to re-enact that famous planting of the flag at Iwo Jima but again, we’d need a flagpole (maybe kickstarter?). We also read that putting in a layer of straw with the soil will help insulate the little vines during the winter months much like when you had to struggle with “long johns” as a child all the while wondering who John was and why you were in possession of his undergarments. Much to our embarrassment though, like true city slickers we have no clue where to buy straw.
The end of our first season draws near and although it would be nice to sit back and reflect, instead we’ll have to bury our mistakes and wait for spring.