Cycle to Farm - Local roads, local roots, created by Velo Girl rides - September 28, 2013 - Metric Century Sandy Mush NC, a fundraiser for farmland preservation

It has been a little bit since our last post. Who knew time moved this fast? The vines are going like crazy; vegetative growth is happening faster than we can respond! This year, 2013, has been a little cooler than the past few years. We are 209 Growing Degree Days [GDD, base50] behind 2012, and 33 GDD behind 2009, which was the previous coolest year we have tracked. 2009 was the first year for our vineyard.

On the other hand, we are just shy of 15″ above normal rainfall for the year. Fifteen inches is LOTS of extra rain, when ‘normal’ for this point in the year is 23″. Last year at this point, we were running a 3.5″ deficit with rainfall.

What does all of this mean? Beats me! Our immediate concern is keeping mildew at bay, which we have done fairly successfully everywhere except the Montepulciano. And I think we finally have even that under control. The fruit set and berries in the vineyard look really beautiful and healthy, but we still have to make it through this risky part of the season for mildew.

The next three weeks will see us begin veraison, that phenological stage that is ‘the onset of ripening.’ It is an exciting time in the vines, when the berries begin to swell, and go from an opaque green ball to a translucent red/blue/purple [red varieties] or translucent green/yellow/white [white varieties]. And that, friends, is the first big event I wanted to share with you.

There are four other big events coming up soon for us here at Addison Farms Vineyard. The first on the calendar is 17-18 Aug. The Leicester Studio Tour, featuring artists and craftsmen from several different mediums including painting, pottery, candles, and of course, our very own broommaker from the Leicester community, gives all of us a chance to peak inside the studios, including a few that are only open to the public on this special weekend. There are 19 stops on the tour; more information at

The following weekend, on Sat 24 Aug, we will be taking part in our first Asheville Wine and Food Festival. See more details about the Asheville WIne & Food festival. Come out and support your local food community at the US Cellular Center [formerly the Asheville Civic Center] in Asheville.

During the weekend of 21-22 September, we will be taking part in our second ASAP Farm Tour weekend. This is a great event, giving folks an opportunity to support ASAP and your local farmers. See more details about the ASAP Farm Tour. ASAP is the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project; they are a great organization, focused on supporting farmers in WNC counties.

Last but not least, on Sat 28 September, we are proud to be the start/finish line for the first Sandy Mush Cycle to Farm Tour. Our friends at Velo Girl Rides are coordinating this event, and we are excited to be part of it. Registration for the Sandy Mush Cycle to Farm Tour is limited to 175 riders. Get more details and registration information at Here is the best part: This is a charity event, with a portion of the proceeds going to support farmland preservation. If you are a cycling enthusiast, this will be an awesome, challenging, and beautiful ride.