The Homesteader’s Dilemma! Fix It or Start From New?

The Homesteader’s Dilemma

Most of us don’t start our homestead straight from raw land. but I know some of you have. I applaud you, but that’s not what most of us are doing. In fact, in my opinion, part of the homesteading spirit is that desire to reclaim pieces of the past that have been neglected, forgotten, paved over and left to decay.

Old apple trees, fence lines, fields, soil, and yes… even the grape. Grapes take commitment. One does not drop a few grape vines into the soil and harvest grapes at the end of summer. I can tell you friend, I know strawberries and they are no strawberry. A grape takes moxie. If they were your eager date as a young man they would be the high maintenance young lady who want wined and dined for months and perhaps years, before committing to any sort of relationship, and by relationship I mean, figuring out if she even likes you. Grapes are the subject of our dilemma today.

Time to Move?

I have started several grape vines from scratch, just a vine and some determination. My wife and I have started joking that when I plant a grapevine she knows that it’s a matter of years before we’re probably going to move… usually just around the time that it begins to produce it’s first fruit. That’s the kind of commitment we’re talking about here. So, instead of planting a new, maybe if I just rehab an overgrown, neglected vine, then maybe we can stay in this house? I guess we’ll see.

I’m going to be posting a dtube (I guess I’ll have to learn how to do that and put it in my post?) of a rehab and building project of some grapes that were on the new homestead when we bought it about a year ago. They were very overgrown and not productive. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know if they are worth saving or not, but I do know a couple of things. I know that there is a tendency to take the quick fix. I know that we have want things right now and longer investments of our time, interest and labor are a challenge. I know that fruit is a long-term investment so I am trying to save it. The worst thing that can happen is that they aren’t productive, but I will know that the soil is ideal for grapes if I ever need to rip out and replant. Growing fruit is never a quick fix project though.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with the quick fix if you need it fixed quickly. Last summer was my daughter’s graduation and we did a whole rip out of the shrubs that were in front of the house and put in new landscaping. But, my wife doesn’t like shrubs. At all. I’m not sure if it comes from a traumatic shrub incident as a kid or if she just has something against shrubbery (perhaps a Monty Python-esque issue?) I’ll probably post some of those pictures of that rip out later.

Fix It or Start From New?

Now, I want you to read this next part very carefully and repeat it when you go “What the heck was he thinking?”. I am no expert. This is just me trying a few things out and trying to make things better. This is me knowing the commitment and time necessary to harvest grapes, trying to persuade production out of neglect. Should I have fixed it or just rip it out and start from new. I’ll give you my end of summer results in another video.

Let’s see if the video posted! Tell me if there is a better way ok? This is part 1, part 2 will follow when I can get it produced.!/v/homesteaderslife/9hx1h6q3

But the biggest question I have is for you. Well, it’s a couple of questions I guess.

  1. Do you ever have this dilemma? (if so, share and tell me where and what)
  2. Do you grow grapes?

As always… more to come in the future!

Post Author: tmhstead

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