Neil and I have spent the month of January doing much needed maintenance (un-decorated the winery from Christmas, bottled three new wines, refinished the floors in the restaurant, did the taxes for the farms, winery and restaurant ,and worked out the vegetable farm and vineyard farm plans for 2015.) We are both SO ready to get back outside. Once I hammer out this Newsletter and help Neil gather some firewood, I'll be in the high tunnels with my hands in the dirt again! Can't wait!!
What a difference a year makes! Last year about this time we were experiencing below zero temps and record snowfalls. I know, I know... We aren't even close to being out of the woods yet. But the moon is perfect for seeding ALL my favorite spring vegetables (lettuce, arugula, onions, spinach, carrots, kolrabi, broccoli, and BEETS!) It might snow 3 feet next week - but it might not, so that's what I'm going to go do just as soon as I hit the send button on this Newsletter!
This is the beginning of our vegetable farm's 10th growing season and the vineyard's 16th! Every year at this time I seem to have the same "revelation" about time - and how much of it (and how fast !) has gone by. Neil and I are so grateful to have the good health and opportunity to do what we do, and to get so much joy from it! (We just have to do it a little slower each year...)
Although 2014 started out with great difficulty, it turned out to be an outstanding year. Heavy snow and sub zero temps last January and February took a toll on the high tunnels and 1/3 of the grapevines in the vineyard. It hit us hard both physically and financially in repairs and replanting - but that's farming. As Aunt Ruby always said, "It could have been worse". Once we rebuilt and replanted, the year took off and flew by. Weather was good, vegetable harvests were plentiful, bug and weed pressure was minimal, we made some outstanding wines, and traffic to the winery, restaurant, and farmers markets was way up over 2013. Yay!
BUT the BEST thing that happened in 2014 was our partnership with Chef Christian Froelich. After an 8 month "courtship", Christian took over the restaurant at Sanders Ridge last August. We are SO FORTUNATE to have someone with his talent, passion, and experience running the restaurant, catering, and special event businesses. See Chef 's bio and more about The Hearth Restaurant at Sanders Ridge. Thanks to Chef and to Neil's daughter Jennifer who is managing the winery, I am a much happier, calmer, and sane Cindy. I'm hoping to have more time this year to do more outreach activities (farm workshops and tours, mentoring emerging farmers and others interested in transitioning to sustainable gardening and farming, and cranking out more News from the Farm like I was able to do "pre-restaurant and winery"!)
I am SO EXCITED about 2015!
So many of you are already asking about the Food Guild (CSA) and Farmers Market schedules! So, I have hammered out all of the details and posted it up on our web site. Just follow this link to the Farm's homepage on the Sanders Ridge web site. You'll find links within the pages and on the left menu of those pages to take you to the pricing, dates, and the sign up form and instructions.
I thank you for your interest and time and will write again soon to keep you posted on what's happening on the farm. (I'll be adding photos on the web site as the season progresses.) I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon at the winery, restaurant, and farmers markets!
(Note: If you are receiving this email and are not interested in the News from the Farm, or the Food Guild, please forward it to someone who might be. And if you prefer not to receive future emails from the Farm reply and I will make it so!)
Sanders Ridge Winery & Events
3200 Round Hill Rd
Boonville, NC 27011
GPS Coordinates: 36.196234 -80.671353
Winery Tasting Room
7 days a week Noon-5 p.m.