While we're waiting on the seeds planted Sunday to sprout (and thus give me a useful picture to post), let me take time to share with you my ultimate goal. Simply put, I dream of combining my love of horticulture and my love of wine into the ownership of a winery/vineyard east of the Mississippi. To this end, I've been researching incessantly for over three years. From alcohol-related bureaucracy to the most cost efficient tractor for a vineyard, I've been poring over everything I can get my hands on.
Most resources I've found say that starting a winery under romantic notions is an awful idea, and that it should be approached with a clear head and as a solid business venture. Despite this, the draw of country living, doing something with tradition and history attached to it, making my own hours, being close to home to help raise my children, making a living by at least partly working with plants, and participating in the blend of art and science that is winemaking really stimulates something powerful and elemental in my gut.
However, I'm always grounded again when it comes to figuring out the cost of this dream. Even if I started with just a vineyard, the cost to buy ten acres, plow it, plant it, install the hardware and bring it to fruition is well over two hundred thousand dollars. My current means will not provide me this level of disposable income for tens of years, let alone the three to five million bucks it'd take to do it perfectly as I'd want it. Enter: funding.
Funding comes in two forms. The first involves involving my brother in the process. This is an extremely good idea anyways, as he's a very good people person, a better manager/leader, a solid guy, shares my love of wine and dream of winemaking, has this insane luckiness about him, and with his doctor wife, doing much better financially than I. This is difficult in the short term, as he's tied heavily to his current location due to work and family issues, and just had a kid in January. The second form involves, well, let's give it a fancy name and call it the Hand of God. Whether it involves winning that free house on HGTV, winning the lottery, or finding an investor who is willing to wait five to seven years before seeing a profit, this is difficult both in the short and long term, because it relies on fate or luck, two things I'm not so good at influencing.
I suppose my best bet at influencing the funding issue is to make this blog so popular that people scream to sponsor me. So...uh, invite your friends! And uh, a free bottle of wine to blog followers once I get set up! Yeah, that's the ticket.