In the first light

workers-in-vineyardThere is something poetic, mysterious, and magical in a vineyard before the harvest on an early morn with the dew on the vine and the first light of a just-rising sun glistening upon the fruit. But, if you are like me, you probably do not have any experience in the vineyards except perhaps as a visitor.

The vineyard does not just happen by itself. There is a complex dance between the vine, the branches and the vine grower. For example, did you know that a single grape vine can produce as much as 13 feet of new branch growth in one growing season. What happens if all that new growth remains un-pruned? It would not be unusual for that un-pruned vine to have as many as 300 fruit producing buds. While that might sound great, that’s way too many buds for the plant to support. You might have lots of produce, but it will be incredibly low quality, and good for nothing. It would probably just end up as fuel for the fire. You would have to remove as much as 75% of the buds and the associated vegetative growth so the plant can properly develop and ripen the fruit it produces. The goal is always good fruit.

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Hester Ford

Hester-FordThe name “Hester Ford” probably does not ring a bell. She died mid-April (2021) in Charlotte, NC. Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States when she was born in 1906 (might have been 1905; the records are unclear). The covid-19 pandemic was not her first. She lived through the 1918 influenza pandemic. She lived through two world wars, saw aviation go from marvel to the everyday, witnessed the age of radio then television and then the internet. She witnessed lynchings and Jim Crow. As a black women she knew prejudice and intolerance, but saw the Civil Rights movement begin to make some inroads. She lived long enough to see 21 Presidents – she marveled and was joyous when a Black man was elected President of the United States – something she never expected.

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