It has been well over a month since I last posted anything about Far Niente and I don't want the folks over there to think that I have given up stalking their vineyard.
The cover crop in the FN vineyard is looking fabulous right now and it's growing like, well, weeds. The vineyard crew seem to choose the same mix of plants each autumn; bell beans, field peas, vetch, and some weird wheat/barley hybrid like Juan Triticale, all high in nitrogen content. In the spring the cover crop will be disked into the soil. A green manure cover crop, such as this, can add 150 lbs or more of nitrogen per acre, which could possibly cause excessive vigor in the vines, particularly on highly fertile soils. The Chardonnay vines that are grown here don't seem to be overly vigorous, so I can only assume the vineyard manager knows what he is doing.
What's different about this picture though, is the fact that a heavy rainfall last November 20th resulted in some of the cover crop seed being washed out into a low corner of the vineyard. Deposited against the roadside fence, and the culvert that runs alongside it, some escapees are opportunistically flourishing in the nooks and crannies where they came to rest.
Can you blame these poor little fava beans and field peas for wanting to abscond? I'd do a runner too if I knew I was going to be disked into oblivion.