Barreca Vineyards

Barreca Vineyards

From Vine to Wine since 1986

March Madness

In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb. That’s the standard rap for March. It was actually something like that but it took it’s time getting to the lamb part. I was done with pruning and setting off on a road trip at this time last year. This year I am just getting going on pruning because the snow just finally melted. And boy did it. So for the last two weeks highway 395 into Colville from Kettle Falls has been covered with the newly formed “Lake Colville”. Almost all of the fields in the valley west of the City of Colville are under water.

These were all fields. (Taken from the detour around flooded Highway 395)

Ironically after a trip to see the movie, Logan (Wolverine), on March 20th and having to detour around Lake Colville on the way home, there was a fire burning across the river (Lake Roosevelt) probably from a field burning

Field burning that got away.

that got out of hand. A little rain put it out the next day.  The real March Madness was the Gonzaga basketball team who went all the way to the Final Four and the national Championship Game with playoff games every week of the month. It was a heart-breaker to watch them lose to the North Carolina Tar Heels on April 3rd. But at least it is over. Who would have thought that watching basketball would be so nerve wracking.

Zags win 33 of 35 games

The rock drilled with rifles on the Insider App

So think of basketball as the background to the whole series of events that was March for us. One of the first was to speak at a Colville City Council meeting recommending that they approved a grant I wrote for The Heritage Network (THN) to fund creation of historic tour points on a cell phone app, Northeast Washington Insider. The grant covers creation of 138 points of interest and is worth $12,520 to THN. I only learned later that the meeting was being broadcast on local radio and several people heard me talking about the hole in the rock drilled with rifles and other historic lore.

On the 6th the Zags won a tough battle with Santa Clara. The next day they won the West Coast playoff. Two days later we attended the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Colville supporting the Kettle Range Conservation Group. It snowed on the way home.

On March 11th we let the fire go out at night for the first time in months. We also went to see the play Once Upon a Mattress with daughter, April and grandson, James. It was amazing to go home while it was still light out.

The next day. Cheryl cleared snow away from the outside barbeque and cooked dinner!

Beware the Ides of March. On the 15th I learned that Xerox won a lawsuit against the off brand solid ink makers who have supplied me with solid ink for my mapbooks for years. It will double the ink costs on my books. I had been printing a lot of books to prepare for the annual Panorama Gem and Mineral Show that started on St Patrick’s Day. I didn’t print enough and had almost double the sales of the previous year. At least they were printed with the less expensive ink. Cheryl texted me during the show with updates on the Zags game in San Jose.

Rock My World gem and mineral show 2017

Our neighbor Vern deKnikker vistied and told us he has a blood cancer. In less than a week we learned about other cancer cases. On a happier note the Zags had pushed through to the Elite Eight and beat West Virginia to go on to the Final Four.

But this is techically a vineyard blog and since the snow has melted much later than usual I will add a few grape related notes. Grape plant sales have boomed and almost wiped out my inventory. I invested in some greenhouse equipment to start more cuttings and am out pruning grapes come rain or shine. I now have over 200 new cuttings in propagation flats. Some friends have come or are coming to help prune. If you want to try learning to prune with

Pruned Grape Canes ready to be cloned

a little hands-on instruction, let me know.

A real wolverine

On the last night of the month we went to a talk about the real wolverines. The next day the Zags beat South Carolina in the Final Four to go to the championship game but lost to North Carolina. The month ended. We are not so sure about the madness.

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