It's been two years since we began farming our own vineyard in Osoyoos. I'm not sure if 'farming' is the correct word, just like 'riding' isn't how you describe finding yourself astride a wild bull–just when you think you might get the hang of it, Mother Nature tries to buck you off. Last year it was the cool season and delayed ripening when we bit our fingernails to see if we'd ever get the grapes off the vine. This year Mother Nature was on speed, with all of the rain and heat, everything was ahead of the game and we felt like we were tending a jungle, with weeds growing taller than our heads. It has become painfully clear that I'm still a lot of city kid underneath the overalls. You know you're a city kid 'cause you order your chickens off Craigslist with the idea of fresh farm eggs, only to discover months later that six of the twelve are roosters. Now we are awakened to a cacophony of cockerels. They haven't quite nailed down the cock- a- doodle doo, they sound more like a gang of strangled cats. All day. And those six lazy hens haven't laid a single egg. A city kid also doesn't have the heart to make five of the six into coq au vin.
I also discovered that talking to the vines, the chickens, the dogs, the cats and a few friends who lived far away on the phone didn't quite cut it– the city kid in me craved some human contact. I forgot how to put on lipstick and lost my high heels. Tinhorn Creek Vineyards was looking for a new Crush Club Coordinator, I jumped at the chance to go talk with real people. Who I didn't need to feed or clean up after. I love the wonderful contrast of a J.O.B. each day– where every two weeks they actually pay you, instead of once a year– AND you get to wear lipstick and talk about wine with happy people. I then go home, throw my boots on and head into the vineyard with the chickens, dogs, cats and kids. The kids appreciate me more now-we've gone from 'where's my chauffeur' to "if you are not toooo busy, could I pleeeease have a ride". The vines seem happy. The roosters… well that is still another question.