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Friday, March 21, 2014

"Home Depot" Orange

We sort of proceeded according to plan today. Rich and I woke up at a respectable time (though not as early as in the heat of the summer). We prepped the tanks with the pre-emergent herbicide, checked to make sure there were't any clogs, which is normal for this gooey stuff, and got on our way.

We were about 5 miles into our 11 mile trek over to our other vineyard when I felt the steering wheel of the truck vibrate. Normally I would just blame it on a rough road, but I took a  look in the mirror and quickly saw that one of the tires on the trailer had blown, and I mean really blown. It was obvious the tire was shredded....no quick plug to fix this tire. But our trailer has a double axial so without too much of a thought we proceeded on towards the vineyard. I did make one stop to inspect the tire, just to make sure I wasn't inheriting another tire problem. I wasn't, so we continued on to the vineyard.

Once there we made the decision to continue on plan and start spraying Block 1. I had never used this tank and wand configuration before for ground spraying, so I didn't know our spray rate. Rich took the gun and we started crawling down and up the rows as he sprayed this bright orange herbicide on the strip just under the wires. The tractor was in low and in first gear....a baby could have run faster. But with all the spraying Rich needed to do, that was about as fast as we could go. A good spraying now will relieve us of days upon days of weed whacking in the summer.

As you would figure, our 50 gallon tank ran dry only halfway into Block One. We had only sprayed 1 1/2 acres of vineyard, and needed to make a new batch to continue. The chemicals were back at the other place (figures @#@!@#) and we had that flat to resolve. Our first thought was to take off the tire, drop it off at the local equipment place, head over to White Oak Farm and grab the chemicals we needed, and then return. As one would guess, we tripped down to Plan B right away when we realized that we didn't have a jack or a wrench that would work on the trailer. Sooooo we went straight to the farm to retrieve those items, and the chemicals, and returned to the vineyard.

Rich worked on removing the bad tire, while I went over and started mixing the chemicals in the tank with water. Plan C came on very quickly when I found out my tenant (there is a house on the vineyard that I rent out) had decided to leave the house with the main breaker for the well pump turned off. We had no water, so I couldn't mix a tank of the orange stuff.

Oh, I hate going to Plan C because it basically means the afternoon was a bust. Rich and I went over to have a new tire put on the rim just as Duke was upset in the NCAA tourney. Rich returned to the farm as I went back to the vineyard, remounted the tire, re-strapped the tractor up on the trailer, and returned to the farm.

Tomorrow is another day to try it all over again.

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