Monday, September 16, 2013

Canopy Splitting (or) Pigs In Space

     Forget all you've learnt from Ensminger's Swine science: History and development of the swine industry; World and U.S. swine and pork - past, present, and future; and read on.
Once upon a time there was a swine with strange habits. You see, he really didn't want to be a pig, so all the long day he would peer through the dirty claustrophobic bars of his particular sty, and dream of being a classical ballet dancer, with classical non-cloven hooves and an ever so delicate elegance of gait. And, what's more, he'd practice. Every evening after the last late bucket of swill was splashed into his grubby little trough, he'd surreptitiously tip-toe about his peculiarly smelly sty, perched on his hind trotters imagining, for all the world, that the dung passage sliming dimly in the yellow, incandescent light along the front of his grungy little sty, was a bank of spot lights, and the slats of his ugly, dangerous floor, the firm, strong, clean, safe stage of Madison Square Garden itself.

     However, on Monday evening, he really did have an audience, not of a paying, more of a slaying kind! Vladimir Lemming, a Party man of scientific-non-empathetic background, noticed something of immense practical and ideological interest to the local backfatter industry. He noticed that Boris Porker, which was his, the pigs, stage name, balanced on his hind legs as he was, took up much less horizontal space vis a vis the pen floor, than any other recumbent porcine, which he most definitely was not!
And so, it happened that later that evening, Vlad composed a paper entitled The Ideological Importance of Vertical Displacement of Swine-in-Situ which he submitted for publication to the Australian Pork Talk News newsletter. The following Thursday, the 22nd of the month, two days after his actual observation, his practical paper on pig performance and perching possibilities was front page news in Porkda, the official Party magazine, which was to be read by everybody.

In essence, comrade Vlad proposed that a swine supervisor could, by arranging pigs vertically, halve accommodation costs. Or looked at it another way, he could double production per unit area of sty space. A revolution in pork was born! Vlad was commanded to investigate other areas of animal accommodation; such as the application of a similar approach in Party mental hospitals on prime residential land, and the  (by now) obvious advantages in these times of economic restraint, of having the inmates stand with their arms raised in all Party prisons. After all, this arrangement always works well at Party rallies.

Vineyard pruning is a Teutonic exercise at Bloodwood.  And from a reductionists viticultural point of view, Vlads divide and concur approach, applied to pruning, works well. Separation of the canopy of the vine in to an upstairs downstairs configuration allows the beneficial effect of light to enter into the potentially dark bud renewal zone near the cordon and enhances the ripening process through improved UV light exposure.

There are also great advantages for effective spray penetration in disease control. You don't need to saturate the entire canopy if you use, say, systemic bunch rot fungicides as one well directed spray can be applied efficiently to the exposed bunches.

The dormant vines may look a little strange at this time of year, and pruning involves much more care, but this is one revolution in pruning systems which works for us at Bloodwood in bringing home the bacon each vintage.               

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