By VINA MEDENILLA
In Bauang, La Union, you’ll find Climasenrose Grape Farm, a 3000sqm grapes farm owned by Rosendo Calica, 73, who has been into grape farming since the ‘80s.
Over the years, he has extended and shared this love for farming with his three children: Clifford Calica, 44, full-time farmer, Rosemarie Calica-Claessens, 42, the youngest, and Mary Ann Calica Mueda, 46, the eldest.
At present, Clifford mostly maintains the grape farm with the help of Rosendo, while the two sisters who live in Qatar also help in marketing the produce.
(Read the full story of the Climasenrose Grape Farm here.)
Viticulture is the process of growing and harvesting grapes. The family shares how they grow grapes in their less than a hectare farm.
Propagating through cuttings
Grapes are mainly propagated through cuttings. “Selection of good and quality branches are done from the mother vines during the pruning season, a few weeks after harvest,” said Rosemarie. The branches must have three to four healthy, well-developed buds before cutting them for about 10 to 12 inches long.
Make a bundle of 50 to 100 stems and soak them in water for four to five days. Days later, remove cuttings from water, cover the root area with damp newspapers, place them in a plastic bag, then store them in a shady area away from direct sunlight. Once the leaves have sprouted and roots have developed, they are ready for planting.
When planting, place the cuttings in front of the poles to support the vines as they grow. “A distance of approximately 1.5 meters between plants must be observed to avoid overcrowding of vines. As the branches grow and reach the trellis, tie the vines with a plastic straw or rope and position [them] beautifully in the trellis so that the vines will not overlap each other,” she added.
Maintenance and harvesting
The Calicas water the grape vines twice a week and ensure that the plants get sufficient sunlight. They collect mature fruits after eight to 10 months. Harvesting is carried out three times a year with a month-long interval after every collection. “This is important to allow the vines to rest before pruning again,” Rosemarie said.
A 1000sqm land can yield up to 700 to 1000 kilos of grapes depending on the weather and timing. While one grape plant can yield about five kilos of grapes, said Rosemarie, adding that grape vines hate the wet season as their fruits are fragile and easy to rot.
(Read more about Philippine viticulture here.)
Photos from Climasenrose Grape Farm.
For more information, visit Climasenrose Grape Farm.