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Some people call them unwanted. Some people call them weeds. To me anything that puts its roots down without my planning or intent is simply a volunteer. I for one think we do not have enough volunteering in this world, and when they do occur, they should be encouraged.

Sunflower volunteers in the vineyard are allowed to grow.

Sunflower volunteers in the vineyard are allowed to grow.

Sunflower volunteers can't help but make you smile.

Sunflower volunteers can’t help but make you smile.

Volunteers some times attract other volunteers. In this case a honey bee.

Volunteers some times attract other volunteers. In this case a honey bee.

Oak tree volunteer carefully staked to indicate its position so it is not cut down accidentally by routine field mowing.

Oak tree volunteer carefully staked to indicate its position so it is not cut down accidentally by routine field mowing.

Some volunteers need help in finding their way. This first year walnut tree was found growing in the vineyard at the base of a vine. This volunteer will be carefully replanted this fall in a more appropriate location.

Some volunteers need help in finding their way. This first year walnut tree was found growing in the vineyard at the base of a vine. This volunteer will be carefully replanted this fall in a more appropriate location.

Other volunteers are left where they are found. Upon removing a small garbage pile of broken concrete pieces left over from cellar renovation, a sapling walnut tree was found and left to grow. Now at six meters (seven feet) tall it shades visitors to our winery over a new sitting area with a lake view. Volunteers can end up having quite a positive affect.

Other volunteers are left where they are found. Upon removing a small garbage pile of broken concrete pieces left over from cellar renovation, a sapling walnut tree was found. It was simply left to grow. Now at seven meters (23 feet) tall it shades visitors to our winery in a new sitting area with a lake view. Accidental volunteers can end up being quite a positive addition to one’s life.

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