Archive | April, 2019

Meduseld Expanding Wine Grape Varieties

Meduseld is expanding the varieties in its “Pick-Your-Own” Vineyard! We are diversifying the varieties so that homeowners making small-batch wines for personal use will have more options. This year we are expanding our Cabernet Franc to three full rows. Our experimental Carmeniere and Viognier vines did well on our soil so this year we are adding more of those vines as well. I have been transplanting Steadler Noir cuttings that I started last year. I am astounded at how much root develpment I was able to get from cuttings in one year!

A Marechal Foch Vine budding at Meduseld

A Marechal Foch Vine budding at Meduseld

We are making soil adjustments as a result of soil test results that we got back earlier this Spring, and hope to see improvements in the quality of the vines. We have been pruning vines and trellising young ones.
As time permits, we are also going to expand our vineyard, adding perhaps another half acre.

A pruned Marechal Foch grapevine at Meduseld

A pruned Marechal Foch grapevine at Meduseld

Once the vines produce their first leaves this Spring, we are sending leaves to a laboratory which will provide detailed analysis of the major nutrients in the vines and give us much needed information for fine-tuning our soil-enhancements.

Even the humble dandilion makes excellent wine

Even the humble dandilion makes excellent wine

This is not all that is going on at Meduseld! Last week the sheep were shorn and the fleeces are ready for us to sort and send off to the fiber processing mill. The Romney Bulky wool is always popular and we are almost completely out of stock, so I am eager to get more of that.

Meduseld worsted romney yarn

And, our seedling trays are bursting the plants are ready for transplanting. Spring has sprung, and we are busy!

What is Meduseld Farm?

Meduseld Farm produces a variety of farm products, and remembering that we are stewards of the land and animals, tries to achieve this using methods that improve the local environment rather than hurting it.

Meduseld is Anglo-Saxon for “mead hall.” We chose this because of Anglo-Saxon roots in the family as well as the bees that we keep and the mead that we make for personal use.

We sell a variety of products and many of these are seasonal. We grow a large variety of fruits and vegetables and these are available at the Market at Silver Lake Farms during the summer months. Larger orders such as bushels of apples and tomatoes are available seasonably at our farm – please send us an email or priavate message on FB. We also have yarn, maple syrup (if the winter was obliging) and lambs for sale that we can deliver to the butcher for your convenience. From time to time we have broiler chickens available.



We also have assorted beautiful Koi by appointment only. We have Sanke, Kohaku, Ogon, Shusui, Butterfly and more. They vary in size from about 6 inches to over a foot. We have placed a champagne bottle in one of the ponds for scale.



We have also been working on a one acre vineyard through trial and a great deal of error. Following early mistakes about planting, browsing by deer, and some setbacks due to late frosts, we have learned a great deal in the process. We have experimented with many varieties in order to see which would take to our soils and climate with the most vigor. Even this year, we are still planting and experimenting. We are adding more Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Viognier (the State grape of Virginia) that we planted last year did very well so we will add more. Our goal is to have these grapes available for a pick-your-own operation so that people can make their own small batch wines for personal use. The varieties we have at present are: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marechel Foch, Traminette, St. Vincent, De Chaunac, Carmenier, Chambourcin, Gruner Veltliner, and more. Hopefully we will be able to start the Pick-Your-Own program in 2020. Stay tuned for updates.

Steadler Noir Grape Vine

Steadler Noir Grape Vine

We are also trying a novel approach to the vineyard. Adopting influence from permaculture, we are raising the height of our vines to five feet and over. Not only do we hope this will limit the damage from deer, but we hope to replace the mower with sheep. Not only does this provide food for sheep and save us a great deal of work, but the sheep would in turn provide organic matter to the soil. There would have to be considerations for this, such as no animals in vineyard for months before harvest, and very little use of copper as a fungicide since sheep are susceptible to copper toxicity. We will keep you posted!