Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Grapes of... Jelly

(there's a Rebecca update hidden in the penultimate paragraph).

Thought you might enjoy this look into the Dale Family Farm Jelly production - Our friend Peter has a vineyard up in Sonoma (valley next to Napa). This is the place we had Rebecca's big 40th bash last year. Due to the down turn in the economy wine makers have not been buying grapes from the small growers this year. The wine growers literally cannot give their grapes away as the wine makers are sitting on too much inventory. So all over Napa and Sonoma there are 100's of tons of high quality wine grapes rotting on the vine. It is tragic!

We decided to 'do our bit' and use as many grapes as we could. We went up to Peters and picked about a 1/4 ton of grapes (took Rebecca and I 3 hours). We put the grapes through the 'de-stemmer' and brought them home in large flat containers called 'lugs'. 2/3 of the grapes have been 'put-up' for wine (fermenting in the laundry room). The other 1/3 (about 130 pounds) we made into Jelly... it took 2 FULL 12 hour days... but it was fun!... LOOK:-

The wine will be another... long... process... and post.

Meanwhile - Rebecca has started her new chemo. Predictably, it is making her feel somewhere between 'a little crappy' and 'like sh#t'. As well as the physical effects our ability to ride the emotional roller-coaster varies day-by-day... We seem to be at our best when we are engaged in these big projects... when we slow down and think, it's harder. With Rebecca's reaction to the chemo it's hard for her to work on the projects.

Next weekend we are 'going to market' we'll be selling Jelly, Honey and Oil from Dale Family Farm from a booth at a friends school fair/area festival. This week we have to build our booth.

1 comment:

Bridget Wynne said...

Incredible slideshow! Thank you for giving us a glimpse.

It makes so much sense that working on projects helps you be in a better state. Do you know about the concept of "flow"? Meaning, when you're in the moment, involved in whatever your attention is on, whether it's meditation or jelly-making . . . There's even a book about it called Flow, the Psychology of Optimal Experience, by a man with the amazing name of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

I'm sorry Rebecca's feeling crappy, and hope there's something flow-like she can get involved in when she's up to it -- movies, whatever -- until she can handle running the backwoods still and making moonshine, which sounds like the next project!

You two totally amaze me with your creativity and energy. I know it doesn't always feel that way on the inside, but it is one of many truths about you.