In an effort to share a little bit of color and wisdom from my fourteenth harvest as a partner in my family’s vineyard, I’ve rounded up five things that stuck with me the most this go around:
1) When your dad text messages you to say it is go time, drop everything and go. Our time on this earth is not forever and maximizing our time with family and nature should be a priority.
2) When your mom wakes you up at 6am and you say: “I am right behind you.” And she replies, “no you should get up now or you’ll never get up,” know that she is 100% right.
3) There is an entire population of incredibly hard working agriculture workers that we have little-to-no contact with in our daily lives. They pick our bananas and apples and grapes. They drive the tractors, box and clean the fruit. They work faster and harder than anyone I’ve ever met in the tech or startup world (present company included) — industries that purport to be the hardest working around. They often work in familial packs… husband-wife, brothers and sisters, uncles and nieces. They have such focus and yet laugh often and celebrate together once a harvest is done.
4) Making hay while the sun shines is a fitting saying for more than just hay. We were able to pick 80% of the vineyard before rain hit at 11am. This meant a super early morning for everyone, especially the crew that had to drive out to our farm from their homes. But working together we kept everything relatively covered and dry — and in the refrigerated semi truck by 12:30pm, just over five hours after we started. Hustling, teamwork and a clear end goal made it possible. And hey, you know what they say about urgency… It creates action.
5) Bring a plastic bag for your iPhone. Things get sticky. Wanting to digitally document everything as we do in our modern society, I had to get creative with keeping my phone protected from the grape juice that ends up on everything. Your fingers. Shoes. Hair. Back in 2009 I made the mistake of not covering my BlackBerry and that was almost the end of ‘er.