Did we mention we had never been happier? That was before we realized how much work was left. Still, we remained in high spirits to tackle the next challenge. With the cleared field before us ready to plant we began researching vine and trellis costs. After one glance we realized we were once again outside of our budget. We started with the poles. We pondered the problem for some time until we eventually realized that the answer may be all around us. Would any native trees be suitable and abundant? Again, we researched (thank you, Google). We found that Eastern Red Cedar is not only native and abundant, but is also resistant to insects and decay. And so the hunt began.
We discovered a few groves (the honeyholes) located behind Steven’s father’s house and began logging right away. The goal was a few more than 300 poles, a number that seemed astronomical as we cut, trimmed and carried each pole out of the forest. As months passed and the stack grew, we had to search deeper into the forest for more groves, adding length to the trek with each fallen tree. We fought daily with the denizens of the forest, breaking through spider webs while avoiding poison ivy (which was never truly avoided) and angry bees. In between tending to our wounds we worked, and eventually we reached our goal. We hauled them to the property and piled them high where they stood proud, awaiting their final resting place. The next question was how to get them into that place.
That question was answered by our last resource Joe Smith who provided us with the tractor and auger necessary to drill the holes where the poles would stand. 300 holes later with a newfound respect for mechanical ingenuity, the poles were ready to be placed. Once installed, the skeleton of our new vineyard stood strong, a testament to the work already done and a glimpse of what the future may hold.