Whey to go!

From John, September 19th, 2011
Nanogoat enjoying Pinot noir

Nanogoat enjoying Pinot noir

Goats and grapes are normally not considered compatible organisms since the former loves to dine on the latter.  In fact, in my experience goats prefer grape leaves to almost any other foliar experience.  So when Teri decided to introduce goats to the Cameron mileu I was somewhat skeptical.  And it was not until one of the goats, Vanna White, became pregnant that I began to see the positive possibilities of having goats at the vineyard.  You see once a goat gives birth, as befits its mammalian lineage, it starts to produce milk.  From the milk we derive cheese and in the course of producing curds from whence the cheese is made, a large quantity of whey results.  Whey is a nutrient-rich liquid considered to be of only nominal value, but when diluted to approximately 10% with water it becomes a potent mildew-cide.  During the past summer when conditions were extremely beneficial if you were a mildew spore,  Teri would milk Vanna White, separate the curds from the whey and give me the whey for my mildew-cide experiment.  I sprayed the whey solution on the young grape clusters shortly after bloom, leaving a couple of rows untreated as my “controls”.  At this point in the growing season, the results are unmistakable:  the goats are saving my ass from the ravages of mildew.  A few leaves for the goats, their whey sprayed on the grape clusters and a happy union is formed.

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