Today I'm at our vineyard, Red Gully Wines at Nannup to get on with some necessary work. With the local birds beginning to feast on the ripening grapes it was time to get the nets on the vines. For some strange reason, hubby Ken decided I would drive the tractor in between the rows of vines while our helpers stretched out the nets. Of course our dog Elvis was there for the action darting just about everywhere checking out what was going on and exactly what everyone was doing.
Like all teamwork activities, netting is a bit of a tricky operation. It took several rows for us to get into a rhythm and find a system that worked well - the tractor moving at the right speed and the correct tension for the nets to cover the vines completely. This was the first time I had driven the tractor and I had everyone in hysterics as I tackled the steep hill on which we have the vineyard. My turning ability at the end of each row also left a lot to be desired so it was not long before I was relegated to the tray at the rear of the tractor to guide out the nets. Probably the simplest task of all!
Still, tonight my aching arms are a reminder I spent the day hauling out the nets. Tomorrow it's the backbreaking work of securing the nets so the grapes are well protected from the silver eyes which have been enjoying pecking at the grapes and from the crows that have been carrying off whole bunches! In about three to four weeks we can now expect to have some tasty grapes ready for the next step - winemaking.