It has being a while. Nothing was wrong in case if someone was worried. Did not feel like writing content.
The nature is taking is own course, in some cases it is carefully manged in some we just have the perception of doing so. Some years were more gentle and some were harsher like last year when there was dry winter and not much rain in our particular area.
The grapes that were planted while ago and supposed to be at full production speed did not make through the winter, many of them. This climate after all is too harsh for them. They would restart from the root and would not manage to go through harsh winter with swings 60F (18.5C) one day -5F(-20.5C) another. 80F weather swings do kill things here. The grapes came from zone 3 and still our zone 5b was harsher. Some things can be adapted, some can not.
Having fully sheltered vineyard under row covers was not in my plans, therefore the varieties will be replaced and most likely even layout would change where vineyard is planted. It is not a critical peace on the land. It was placed there as a side project in a way. However the weeds management with some new construction that has happen in the area is changed. It brings more weeds, and sand storms add to it. With perennial weeds it's much harder, annuals control does become more challenging in the areas where initial wood chips cover was decomposed. IT does look now as added cover will be part of winter and autumn maintenance automated with the tractor in all areas where equipment can get.
I was making flowers at the house an extension of what is outside for a long time. In out dry climate it was somewhat difficult to force branches to bloom in winter so I did stick to the evergreens.
I did find how not fresh the commercially sold flowers are here a long time ago. Especially what is sold retail, compared to what comes out of the gardens. Humidity controlled walk in refrigerator is a very powerful thing especially for tropical plants. They do require constant misting several times a day in the flower arrangement.
It is calendar spring coming, the orchard is pruned and I did put some branches in water to see how will it be this season. With the cost of electric and water I honestly reduced amount of things I was growing in garden and more berries came. It does vary year over year as everything.
Couple things were learned in terms of how much border line fire blight susceptible apple varieties are susceptible. Several trees were lost and replaced with the new plums. They are twigs and will take another 3-4 years to become reasonable tree. Our root stock quality did decrease a lot after 2020 season, our prices doubled as a minimum. What was 15-25 for bare root tree now is 33-39 and it is a smaller younger tree , add the price subtract 1 year of growing is the expected way to get the tree.
What growers do they would not trim overgrowth and sell such a tree as 8 foot when in fact it is a 5 foot twig from the previous year stock that is sold. I became not a huge fan of pot in the pot commercial method in soiless medium. If I bring the root stock now I have to bring the smaller ones. I feel for the commercial landscapers and the households that purchase these. Commercial way of gardening is a different strategy of cutting corners increasing the profits. It is happening more and more each season and with cost of running the greenhouses is is only more so.
After 2020 thing became a lot more expensive and harder to do it the organic way. Many still do not understand it, it will come. Not without marketing of intermediate solutions or/and introduction of more processed products made conventional way with added mark up.
I did see traditional farms to reduce production last year and leave grain in the field due to fuel costs. Many other things that will come this year without people realizing what was done last 2 years. Many tried to learn gardening last 2 years and some did realize it is not easy in our climate. It did not lead to as much appreciation for farmers and ranchers work so as I was hoped.
Meanwhile the land is still there and will be till we are on it. When we go I think what is done here may perish quite fast as organic land management in not easy. And a lot more do not want to do it at all. Maybe trees and iris farm will remain if I take full control of invasive weeds there plus 5 years, the rest I think will perish. It does not mean the weeds will not reestablish themselves in next 7 years.
I came to think if we are not on this land how would it look like and I think probably a lot like near by lot with some trees and managed by broad leaf suppressing herbicides pasture. I came to think after 2020 looking how land was treated and how people changed that generations of land stewards will be more and more rare and conventional management of invasive weeds will prevail. After all after several decades I came to understanding I have no effective bio control for class C invasive weeds here, their control is the chemical control, total eradication, 5 years restoration period was the faster way to go. Except one thing: construction is the major weeds reintroduction vector on the large scale. That should never be taken out of the equation. I will have to have some areas where indeed invasive weeds that did reestablish themselves will get chemical control. In very selective way, but after 2020 I do not see another option in acreage here. Lucky my problem areas are bordering near by land that did get chemical weeds management, one semi-abandoned one not maintained lot in several hundreds acres is enough to cause massive reintroduction problems. Have to appreciate some of these class C weeds.
Class C weed in USA means the federal/state/county will not request weed management of these, so technically speaking the lot that did not cut say field of invasive weeds will not request to cut down the mess so they do not seed all over the area, authorities will educate the owners, they will not being the equipment to take care of the problem and here is the bill, manage your property dear owners. That does happen with class A (eradication required) and class B weeds (management is required). Class C means state/county/federal admitted this wed is out of control and spread too much.
Therefore it make controlling class C weeds a lot harder, controlling these with organic methods without any effective bio controls is many times harder. There is a saying organic fertilizers are more effective then chemical ones, chemical herbicides are more effective then the organic ones.