Dunkin probably wouldn’t recommend it as the way to start your day, but the earth is finally visible again after a very snowy winter. One of the greatest feelings in farming is looking out to see your fields, of vines in our case, and dreaming about the season to come. The soil smells rich and slightly dank, the air is fresh, and birdsong reassure the sense that spring really is coming. It’s hard to say exactly when that will be in VT, but soon.
Local animals share this sense of approaching regrowth. Several deer have made a habit of checking in on the progress of our grapes’ early development. Some pretend to be busy eating acorns fallen just north of our headlands, while others scratch the ground, carefully shooting hopeful glances toward our dormant buds. Turkeys, too, have taken to the fields. The other morning Tommy and I saw a flock of at least a dozen foraging in the wheat and soy fields neighboring our Meach Cove Vineyard. Unlike the deer, vines don’t interest turkeys in the spring, but I have no doubt that their excitement flairs when buds burst and they, like me, dream about the season to come, their eyes on my prize. More friends than foes are the fox, coyote, rabbits, squirrels, birds of prey, and other wildlife in the area. Their myriad tracks crisscross the vineyard, on as well as above the ground, and add to the diversity of the vineyard system.
Needless to say, this is an exciting time for me and my wildlife counterparts. Spring is rejuvenation, a wake-up from the slumber of winter, another season of hard work, and, hopefully, great rewards.