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Grow Some Grapes!

Home Grown New Mexico - Sun, 2020/07/12 - 12:36pm


Grow Some Grapes!
by Bob Zimmerman

I grew up in Western New York on Lake Erie not too far from the vinyards that grew grapes for Welch’s grape juice, jelly and preserves. Fall meant bushels of concord grapes and the taste of them brings back vivid memories of life there. At each place I’ve lived in since then I have had grapes growing by my house. The first was a large rambling Victorian mansion at a university town in Ohio where we rented the first floor. I cleared out the overgrown back yard to reveal an old grape vine. The “trunk” of the vine was about 4” in diameter and I was told by my landlord that it never bore any grapes. I pruned it back severely and the next year it produced a huge crop of…. yes… Concord grapes!   After that I planted grapes at every house I’ve lived in.

On retirement I moved to Santa Fe and figured that would be the end of my grape growing. Imagine my surprise when I found a large rambling grape vine growing on the coyote fence of the house we just bought. Again, I trimmed it up and sure enough… the next year I picked quarts and quarts of Concord grapes! I had no idea that grapes would grow so well here.

You too can grow grapes. They are very easy to grow and you will be rewarded with wonderful foliage during the summer and fall and delicious fruit as well. You can train them over an arbor to make a cool shady spot to sit under or grow them along fence lines. Deer will like them too, so it’s best to plant them inside your yard if the deer roam about in your area. Other than that, they aren’t bothered by many pests and our dry climate prevents mildew from attacking the leaves and fruits. There are many varieties to choose from but you should do some research to select the ones that you will like and are hardiest in our area. I have seen nurseries here sell California grapes that are not winter hardy for our area, so be careful. There are a number of tried and true varieties such as Himrod ( a green seedless), Concord ( there is a seedless variety that is great), Swenson, and Reliance ( red seedless). They are hybrids of American grape stock developed on the East Coast and have been shown to be good producers of table grapes. Wine grapes are a whole different proposition and probably best left to the professional growers.

You can buy them as potted plants at local nurseries or order them bare root online.

Look for well rooted 2 year old plants, and plant them as you would any other shrub or vine as early in the year as you can. Let them grow naturally the first year, making sure to water them regularly to develp good stem and root growth.

You will need to learn how to prune your grape vines to get the best fruit production. If you don’t prune the vines, the canes will grow everywhere, and the grape clusters will get smaller and smaller over the years until there will hardly be any grapes at all. But all is not lost. A good pruning will bring the vine back into peak production. Grapes will grow on vines that grow out on the previous year’s cane. Pruning is done in late winter. Be sure to do it before the sap starts rising and buds start swelling. A nice sunny February day is just right for this. Cut out any old vines (two years old or more) that you don’t want. Remove most of last years fruiting canes, leaving just the ones you want. This is the point where you can decide how you want your grapes to grow. Cut back canes to 6 – 8 buds. Each bud will grow a cane that will produce grapes for the current year. After a number of years the main trunk will get thicker and stronger. It is a bit confusing at first but don’t let this scare you off. The grapes are very forgiving and you will learn as years go on. You can read about all aspects of selecting and growing grapes, including pruning at this NMSU page: https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_circulars/CR483/

Within 3 to four years you will have a healthy vine and will be rewarded with the very best grapes for eating fresh, juicing or preserves.

Three year old grape vines on the ramada at the SFEMG Vegetable Demonstration and Teaching Garden at the Fairgrounds. Seedless Blue Concord ( left) and seedless Swenson Red (right)

Immature bunches of Swenson Red grapes on the ramada.

Concord grape vine trained to grow over the gate to my back yard.




Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Toondah harbour wetlands: federal government faces legal action over secret details of donor meetings

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/07/12 - 10:30am

Exclusive: Australian Conservation Foundation escalates FOI battle over development at protected wetlands site near Brisbane

The Australian Conservation Foundation has launched a legal bid to access documents – kept secret by the federal government – related to meetings between a major political party donor and authorities assessing plans for a development on protected wetlands near Brisbane.

Walker Corporation plans to build a marina, hotel, shops and more than 3,000 apartments at Toondah Harbour.

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Categories: Environment

Making a beeline: wildflower paths across UK could save species

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/07/11 - 11:17pm

Conservation charity aims to help restore 150,000 hectares of bee-friendly corridors to save the insects from extinction

Andrew Whitehouse has been on the cliffs at Prawle Point, south Devon, searching on his hands and knees for a rare bee. He saw only one last year, and so far this summer there has been no sign of the six-banded nomad bee with its striking yellow markings.

Whitehouse fears it is on the brink of extinction because, as a parasitic bee, it depends on a host – the long-horned bee – in whose nest it lays its eggs, and the host is now also scarce.

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Categories: Environment

From Covid-19 to climate: what's next after the global oil and gas industry crash?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/07/11 - 1:00pm

While oil and gas are not alone in struggling in the economic slump, the reality of the climate crisis is starting to bite, analysts say

The global oil and gas industry has crashed. In mid-June, BP – formerly British Petroleum – slashed the value of its assets by US$17.5bn and revealed plans to cut its workforce by 15%. It forecast the price of oil would be a third lower than expected for decades to come and said it may be forced to leave new fossil fuel discoveries in the ground.

It was later joined by Royal Dutch Shell, which announced its own US$22bn writedown, with its vast gas business – including major liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments in Australia – expected to take the heaviest toll.

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Categories: Environment

Pandemic Saturday

The Field Lab - Sat, 2020/07/11 - 12:47pm
In case you hadn't noticed, things are still getting worse - not better.  Seems the Covid deniers are getting worse as well.  Here is a Facebook quote today from one of the employees of The Little Burro Country Store where masks are still optional in direct contradiction of the state and county mandates..."It is as simple as this: IF YOU ARE THAT F*CKING SCARED STAY HOME. Leave the rest of us the F*ck Alone.  Thank you - K".
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Climate activists slam Norman Foster over Saudi airport

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/07/11 - 11:02am

Architect is ignoring his own environment pledge, say critics

One of Britain’s most famous architects is under fire for agreeing to design an airport and terminal in Saudi Arabia despite signing a climate emergency manifesto that called for an “urgent need for action” on climate change.

Norman Foster’s design firm, Foster and Partners, was one of the founding signatories of the profession’s Architects Declare manifesto last year. However, The Architects’ Journal last week revealed that several new Foster and Partners projects in Saudi Arabia have caused controversy in the profession over their links to the aviation industry.

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Categories: Environment

Australian shark attack: boy, 17, dies from injuries after being bitten on NSW north coast

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 11:13pm

Emergency crews responded to the incident near Grafton but were unable to save teenage boy’s life

A shark attack on New South Wales’s north coast has claimed the life of a 17-year-old boy.

Witnesses have told police a shark attacked the teenager while he was surfing at Wilsons Headland at Wooli Beach, near Grafton, just before 2.30pm.

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Categories: Environment

How Australia's state energy ministers are turning the tables on Angus Taylor | Simon Holmes à Court

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 5:12pm

The state energy ministers still need to deliver on their promises, but imagine if any of them held the federal portfolio

Sometimes it just takes a bit of leadership.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull likes to say that we must choose “engineering and economics” over “idiocy and ideology”. The New South Wales energy minister, Matt Kean, has been making the right choices.

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Categories: Environment

‘A mockery’: Great Barrier Reef Foundation raises just $21m of $357m target

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 1:00pm

Labor calls for greater transparency into fundraising of foundation, which was awarded $443m by Coalition

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation has raised only $21.7m out of a target of $357m in donations more than two years after it was awarded the largest single environmental grant in Australian history.

It has prompted Labor to call for greater transparency from the foundation about its fundraising, while the Greens have said the figure “makes a mockery of the government’s logic” for awarding the grant.

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Categories: Environment

Coronavirus pandemic prompts record drop in global emissions, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 12:47pm
  • Lockdowns, travel bans and factory closures drive reduction
  • Dramatic decline falls short of necessary global heating cuts

The coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest drop in heat-trapping emissions in human history, according to a new study.

Lockdowns, travel bans and closed manufacturing sites have caused global emissions to drop by 4.6%, or 2.5 gigatonnes, according to a University of Sydney review of 38 regions and 26 sectors published in the journal Plos One. Fine particle pollution decreased by 3.8% and two other types of air pollution declined 2.9%: sulfur dioxide – which is linked to a number of respiratory issues, and nitrogen oxide, which leads to smog.

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Categories: Environment

Coronavirus Pandemic Halts Climate Data Collection

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 12:45pm

The pandemic has hindered climate data collection from ships and buoys in the oceans. The U.N. warns it could negatively affect climate models' accuracy unless scientists find new ways to gather data.

Categories: Environment

Whitey at TFL...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 12:06pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The week in wildlife - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 8:46am

The pick of the world’s best flora and fauna photos, including a ring-tailed lemur and a spiky sea cucumber

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Categories: Environment

Iran denies latest blast reports and accuses west of disinformation

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 8:42am

Tehran says incident in early hours in garrison town of Gamdareh was a power outage

Iran has denied reports that fresh mysterious explosions have rocked two towns close to Tehran, accusing the west of waging psychological warfare by spreading false messages on social media.

Reports suggested that the blasts had occurred in the early hours of Friday in Gamdareh, a residential town that houses a number of military garrisons, including bases of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and in Shahr-e Qods. Officials insisted the reports were false but accepted there had been a power outage.

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Categories: Environment

Venice's much-delayed flood defence system fully tested for first time

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 7:50am

Designed in 1984 and expected to be in service a decade ago, the project is still incomplete

Italy has successfully conducted the first full test of Venice’s flood defence system, a much-delayed project designed in 1984 but still incomplete a decade after it was due to come into service.

Amid much fanfare, the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, activated the 78 mobile barriers of the Mose dam on Friday. “We’re here for a test, not a parade,” Conte, who was greeted in Venice by activists who have long protested against the project, told reporters. “The government wants to check the progress of the work.”

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Categories: Environment

Boris Johnson says newts are a drag on the UK’s economy. Here’s why he’s wrong

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 7:00am

Last week the PM claimed conservation causes construction delays – but newts are not the pantomime villains developers would have us believe

Lingering in the shallows of a south Norfolk pond, voracious amphibians are resting ahead of a night gorging on slugs, worms and insects. The pool network, long grasses and shrubs in Silfield newt reserve are a perfect habitat for the great crested newt – the pantomime villain for housing developers.

The UK’s largest newt, which takes its name from the striking, jagged crest that males display in the spring breeding season, is a protected species under British law, thanks to the the EU habitats directive, which the prime minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, had a key role in creating. Despite that, its numbers have declined rapidly over the past 60 years.

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Categories: Environment

UK air pollution still down despite return to normal traffic – study

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 4:30am

Exclusive: reduced congestion most likely reason for lower nitrogen dioxide, scientists say

Air pollution has remained at lower levels in UK towns and cities despite a return to near-normal traffic levels after the easing of coronavirus restrictions, according to research.

Analysis of data from more than 100 urban roadside locations shows nitrogen dioxide pollution levels were 30% below normal at the end of June, despite HGV traffic being back at 95% of normal levels, vans at 90% and cars at 75%.

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Categories: Environment

Wildlife traffickers target lion, jaguar and leopard body parts as tiger substitutes

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/07/10 - 2:00am

But demand for ivory and rhino horn shows signs of falling, says UN wildlife crime report

Lion, jaguar and leopard body parts are being increasingly sought as substitutes to tiger products by traffickers, a major UN report has found, but demand for ivory and rhino horn has shown signs of a sustained fall.

Wildlife trafficking continues to pose a major threat to nature, global biodiversity and human health, the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has warned, following an analysis of trends in the multibillion dollar illegal wildlife trade.

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Categories: Environment

Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin vs the Gigantic Floating Gas Refinery | First Dog on the Moon

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/07/09 - 11:11pm

You’re turning a perfectly good planet into a hellworld for money!

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Categories: Environment

'A national disgrace': 37,000 Aboriginal land claims left languishing by NSW

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/07/09 - 3:05pm

Exclusive: Backlog of cases awaiting determination – including first one lodged under land rights act in 1984 – labelled a ‘betrayal’

There are 37,000 unresolved Aboriginal land claims in New South Wales awaiting determination by the government, including the first claim lodged under the land rights act in 1984. The backlog has been described as “a national disgrace” and a form of institutional racism.

According to research seen by Guardian Australia, the backlog has built over decades.

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