A personal perpsective of life in our Virginia vineyard... Christine Wells Vrooman



My Peaceble Kingdom...... Goes to War!

In a recent column I wrote for the Virginia Vineyard Association quarterly newsletter, I described my plan to create a team of critters to fight various pests found in the vineyard.  To read the article in its entirety, you can click here.  Essentially it is hoped to work like this:
  • Bluebirds and martin houses surrounding vineyard to swoop up the multitude of flying insects. 
  • Barn owl boxes installed around vineyard perimeter to snap up voles, moles and mice I am seeing in increasing numbers in the vineyard
  • Barn cats who instinctually hunt for these same critters
  • Guinea fowl and egg-laying hens (for our daily eggs) to peck at the earth and eat weed seeds and insects like cut-worms that cut the canes early in the season
  • Dogs (BoomBoom, Jack and Little Puppy) to chase away raccoons, possums, etc who want to eat both the grapes and the chickens and eggs
  • Sheep to graze the vineyard floor
  • Dogs (Bella) to protect the sheep
  • One crazy human to try to make it all work.. that would be me:)
At this moment, I have the tiny guinea fowl (keets) in a bathroom, the kittens (dropped off by Pam of Flavor Magazine who graciously drove four hours to get the babies here) playing in the basement, the sheep are grazing in our front yard and the lambs are peering in the basement window at the kittens.  The chicken guarding dog, Jack, is running around the house, digging himself out of the vineyard every night.  At least he bluebirds and martins are doing their job.
I have some training to do because... Jack likes to chase sheep, BoomBoom likes to eat chickens, Bella likes to chase cats. 

So far, the star of the show is my Little Puppy who proudly came up to me while working in the vineyard with a rabbit in his mouth!  Go, little puppy!!

This should be very interesting....

Stay tuned!

The Peaceable Kingdom... the Beginning

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