Learning to tend the vines
Adele Harrison Middle School horticulture students braved the chilly weather last Thursday to prune the school's zinfandel vines, which were planted in 2011. While last year’s harvest was small, the school is hoping to grow close to half-a-ton of grapes this year, enough for 30 cases of wine. Larson Family Winery has been working with Adele students on the pruning and training of the vines. Here, Isidro Corona (center), vineyard manager for Larson Family Winery, guides Louise Murphy, 13, and Maddie Cashel, 13, on how to properly prune. Becky Larson and her vineyard manager plan to return in May to help the students re-tie the vines. Said Adele teacher Shirley Austin-Peeke, “As much fun as it would be to make wine in school, I don't think that will happen. We are working on a plan for the grapes as we speak." The original plan was for all Sonoma schools to eventually have a small vineyard, and for the grapes to be made into a wine that could be used to raise funds for the district-wide School Garden Project.