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What’s Growing on the Ranch?
Sunday, January 29, 2012
It’s amazing how fixated on the weather we can become. We constantly check the forecast, which may or (more frequently) may not be close to accurate. It’s one of the things in the world that no matter how much we engineer, plan or try to outsmart Mother Nature, in the end, we find ourselves red faced.
In rural areas, we try to divine more than whether an extra coat or an umbrella is necessary. In an area where so much of commerce is tied to the land, the weather forecast takes on an extra sense of gravity. With this in mind, we’re hopeful for a plentiful growing season for all plants on the ranch. From costal hay to olives and grapes, and even the various native plants living on the ranch, we’re hoping for a green spring and summer. Here’s an overview of our horticultural projects for this year:
We’re anticipating the return of green fields of costal hay. Last year, even with irrigation, the drought made hay production prohibitive. We’ve got our fingers crossed with the recent rain that we’ll have a fertile growing season. If the weather holds up, we should have at least 4 cuttings this year.
It’s been a rough year to be a plant, that’s for sure! After last winter’s hard freeze, with temperatures hovering around 15 F, our olive trees took a beating. We were very worried about our 3 year old plants and we thought our hopes of Riven Rock Ranch olive oil were dashed! But those hardy little guys pulled through, sure enough! The trees had to be cut back, so they’re more like olive bushes now, but they’ve been thriving in the hot, dry weather. We look forward to more growth this year.
From The Terrace Grill you can catch a glimpse of our grapevines sitting farther back on the ranch property. We have 1800 plants which we have been nurturing for a couple of years. We’re currently growing Tempranillo and Viognier grapes with hopes for a harvest later this year. We’ll send the grapes off to our neighbors, Singing Water Vineyards, to work their magic.
The Herb Garden
We’ve been toying with the idea of a garden for a while, and it looks like this spring it may happen. We grow most of the herbs used in the restaurant on the ranch. Sage, rosemary, mint, basil, and even lemongrass can be found throughout the resort. Last summer we had a few wayward watermelons spring up around the restaurant grounds. This year we’re going to put some gardens in for fun, and if it works out step up the scale for next year. We’re going to build a more advanced herb garden around the restaurant. We look forward to fragrant, herbaceous summer nights at The Terrace Grill.
Native Plant Gardens
Aside from the Garden Center next to the restaurant, native plants are on display throughout the ranch. Twenty-seven native grasses grow on the ranch along with a menagerie of native trees, including live oak, Spanish oak, various fruit trees, cypress and cotton trees. The ranch is in full bloom for the spring and summer when the driveway, flanked by rows of crape myrtles, are in full bloom. There’s also a plentiful assortment of smaller flowering plants in the landscaping around the cottages and throughout the ranch grounds. Everyone from the casual observer to the serious hobby gardener loves to tour the property and see what we have growing.
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