THE BEET

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FROM THE FARM

March 2018

Full Circle Farming

With five properties consisting of vineyards, olive groves, fruits and vegetables, cattle, horses, chickens, and bees, we take an approach called Full Circle Farming; an organic, sustainable, integrated farming system that relies on each part of the ranch to contribute to the health of the whole. Nearly every ingredient—from the grapes that go into our wines, to the beef used in our burger at the restaurant at Farmstead—is harvested at our farm. 

In this months BEET, we’ll introduce you to the Long Meadow Ranch artisans that make it all possible.

Kipp Ramsey, our Farm to Table Manager and Sous Chef, said it best, “we are one team working every single day towards the same goal.” Long Meadow Ranch artisans share an unwavering passion for agriculture, wine, food, and service. The success of the whole relies heavily on each and every artisan excelling at their particular craft.

MEET OUR FARM TEAM

JOSEPH HARDIN, Director of Agricultural Operations

Joseph Hardin oversees all the farming operations for the vineyards, olive groves, fruit and vegetables, cattle, horses, chickens and bees at our five properties. In addition, Hardin also manages our agricultural land trust and conservation efforts.

JEFF RUSSELL, Culinary Farm Manager

Inspired by a love of nature and all things plant related since the age of 14, Jeff Russell never considered an occupation other than organic farming. Russell joined Long Meadow Ranch as culinary farm manager.

SEAN MCENTIRE, Mill Master

Sean McEntire oversees all things olive for Long Meadow Ranch, including maintaining the health of both our ancient and young groves, meticulous lot selection, careful blending, and the milling of our organic liquid gold.

ROB KELLER, Beekeeper

Rob Keller is known around Napa Valley as “THE beekeeper”. Our colony of honeybees is hard at work pollinating our fruit trees, vegetable gardens and vineyards, as well as producing our delectable organic honey.

MEET OUR CULINARY TEAM

STEPHEN BARBER, Executive Chef

Award-winning chef Stephen Barber leans on his Southern roots in his ingredient-driven approach to our restaurant at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. Barber brings over 20 years of experience from all over the US.

KIPP RAMSEY, Farm to Table Manager and Sous Chef

Chef Kipp Ramsey plays an integral role between our farm and the table. Learn more about our Artisan of the Month below!

MICHAEL MARKOFF, Executive Sous Chef

Executive sous chef Michael Markoff was born in Vienna and raised throughout Europe where he was exposed to a wide variety of cuisines that expanded his palate and fueled his passion for cooking.

AARON MARTHALER, Estate Chef

As estate chef at Long Meadow Ranch, Aaron Marthaler creates an elegant menu designed to showcase our collection of estate-grown wines and ingredients fresh from the farm at our Chef’s Table experience.

Get to know the team more, here.

At any given time, you’ll find our artisans and their teams walking our properties in order to make sure that every part, is working for the whole. While the culinary team excels at seeing the farm from a culinary perspective, the agricultural team understands the harvest and helps shape what ultimately ends up on your plate. It truly takes a village to carry out our motto: “Excellence through Responsible Farming” and it’s a difference you can truly taste.

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From the Vineyard

February 2016

Vineyard pruning is the practice of removing last year’s growth from the vines. We manipulate the vine to give us the fruit quality, quantity, and light environment we want for the growing season. Pruning is the most important vineyard operation all year, because it casts the die for the season’s upcoming crop. We prune to create balance between vine vigor and fruit load. Pruning takes place annually when our vines are “sleeping” (aka the dormant season) and before bud break to promote growth and prevent disease. This timing is important, because all the nutrients have moved to the root from the leaves.

Pruning methods vary based on trellising. We trellis our vines in two different ways: open lyre and bilateral cordon. Therefore, they’re pruned differently too: cane and spur pruning.

Guyot Style Cane Pruning

To get started, scope out all of the shoot growth from last year and choose the four best canes to be laid down as the new fruiting canes. We’re looking for healthy canes that will promote ideal fruit orientation with open clusters, even light (sun and shade) and airflow. Remember, all vines are unique.

Next, remove last year’s fruiting canes with all of the unchosen canes attached.

Cut the length of the new fruiting cane. Typically, this is 8 to 10 buds in length. In a perfect world, each bud will have one shoot with two clusters.

Carefully massage the chosen cane (you’ll hear a little crackle), wrap once around the fruiting wire (bottom wire), and tie down the end.

Move on to the next vine!


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Bilateral Spur Pruning

Look at the prior year’s shoot growth and choose the best oriented canes with the ideal wood diameter (a little bigger than a #2 pencil) and the healthiest looking buds on each spur.

The first bud on each cane is called the basal bud and it has the least amount of fruit. Count 2 clear buds (can fit your pruning shears underneath) above this and cut the cane. Ideally, the remaining clear buds are pointing upright and not crowding each other.

Repeat with every spur on the vine, then move on to the next vine!

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