Journal | February 11, 2018

Hardscrabble Journal

Dressed to Prune

As much as we love winter, pruning this week spurred a longing for at least a hint of spring. So far this year pruning has been a slow process. The weather has not been extremely cold, but it has been windy, cloudy and dreary. Motivation has been lacking under these conditions.

Often the biggest cold weather obstacle is dressing appropriately. Cold day pruning involves a full body insulated coverall that adds about 20 pounds and reduces mobility about 80% (Shari calls these “Fat Boy suits’). We also have to put on our very heavy duty super insulated boots (I call “Moon Boots”) which seem to weight in at an additional 20 pounds and makes driving a manual clutch downright dangerous. Then there are the scarves, hats, and insulated gloves. Face-masks and heating pads for gloves and boots are optional.

On these days we try to prune blocks located close to the winery, as full garb long walks can be exhausting. Pruning involves bending down to cut ground level suckers along with reaching up to pull canes off of high wires. This is not a problem if one is wearing a light jacket and work boots, but when dressed like an astronaut it can be exhausting.

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Hardscrabble JournalJim Law