Barreca Vineyards

Barreca Vineyards

From Vine to Wine since 1986

Posts filed under Citizen Science

Freeze Sweetening

Almost everyone likes sweet things, often to our detriment.  Nevertheless sugars are an important source of energy for people, animals and microbes.  In the wine-making business, the sugar content of grapes is key to whether a wine will be dry or sweet, also to how well it will keep.  The brix scale is a standard… (read more)

It’s About Time

Maple samaras released on January 1st, 2019 It’s too dark in the mornings and evenings to do much work outside.  Long needles on the pine trees have turned brown and rain down with every gust of wind.  Yellow leaves are joining them.  The very long “Indian Summer” has turned cold and wet.  It makes me… (read more)

What’s Bugging Me

Most of us have been bitten or worse by a variety of insects, bees, ants, ticks, spiders…  They are the essence of “being bugged”.  The usual response is fight or flight, (see Tina Tolliver Matney’s article on Yellow Jackets in the August, North Columbia Monthly.)  As a farmer, insects can be much worse than annoying. … (read more)

Lazy Science

My farm (and we could insert several other enterprises here) seems to run mostly in crisis-managementmode.  The best laid plans (assuming that you have actual plans and not just good intentions) often go astray.  The Spring is too wet. The Summer is too hot.  The supply chain is slow and expensive…  It’s not like you… (read more)

How Sweet It Is

How Sweet It Is The quest for evidence-based information is ongoing.  So are the efforts to dismiss it. As Yuval Noah Harari pointed out, science is based on the admission of ignorance.  With science, as soon as you think you know something new, other scientists are going to poke holes in your ideas and try… (read more)


When I was a younger and less knowledgeable gardener I tried starting apple trees by planting seeds.  Johnny Apple Seed right?!  It didn’t go very well and I asked Larry Geno, who owned Bear Creek Nursery at the time about how to do that.  He laughed in my face and proceeded to tell me that… (read more)

Citizen Science 2: Getting Flaky

Astute readers will remember that in the January Issue of the North Columbia Monthly, after a lengthy description of the travails I experienced in setting up a microscope attached to my computer, I expected similar problems getting to know how to use a digital PH meter.  Truthfully, using the PH meter was not too bad. … (read more)