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Mike and Liz Medes of Rocky Fence Vineyard produce table and wine grapes near Emmett, Idaho. The farm has been producing certified organic grapes since 2004.
Mike and Liz produce Purple Passion, Blueberry Grapes, Sweet Petites, and Prince Alborz table grapes. They also grow one white wine variety, Viognier, and one red wine variety, Tempranillo, which are sold to Cinder Wines.
While Mike has developed overseas markets for the table grapes in Taiwan and Singapore, the farm is now transitioning to primarily wine grape production. Once producing table and wine grapes on 11 acres, the farm now has 4 acres under production.
Mike is a leader in on-farm research. He conducted a project on organic methods for managing powdery mildew and is currently finishing research on organic methods of enhancing berry size. Berry size was increased with cluster tipping and thinning, cane thinning, and application of a natural plant growth regulator called gibberellic acid.
This summer Mike launched a new project testing methods of composting the grape vine prunings to retain nutrients, reduce and potentially eliminate burning of the prunings, and to control the spread of diseases and insects with proper composting techniques. He is working with Mario de Haro-Marti, University of Idaho Extension, to test several methods, including different manure sources and carbon sources. Mario de Haro-Marti will join Mike at the field day to discuss the composting project.
Organic table and wine grape production
Organic methods for managing powdery mildew
Organic methods for increasing berry size
Composting of grape vine prunings
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