So, in early spring, the branches
which are left at every joint bring forth a bud, from
which the grape, offspring of this bud, appears,
growing with the moisture of the earth and the
heat of the sun; and though at first it is very bitter
to the taste, it afterwards becomes sweet as it
ripens; and, enwrapped in foliage, it has no lack of
tempered warmth and turns aside the more ardent
glances of the sun. What, I ask, can be more
delicious to the taste or more alluring to the eye?
Indeed it is not only the utility of the vine, as I
said before, that gives me joy, but I find joy also
in its culture and very nature; in the even-spaced
rows of stakes, with strips across the top; in the
tying up of the branches; in the propagating of
the plants; in the pruning of some branches (to
which I have already referred), and in the leaving
of others to grow at will.
Why need I allude to the irrigation, ditching, and
frequent hoeing of the soil, whereby its productiveness is so much enhanced? Why need I discuss
the advantage of manuring, already dealt with in my
book on agriculture?