Yes, it’s a very sweet life!
The grapes were ripe a little earlier than usual, and as I had the day off work, I decided to harvest. On this farm, we have six vines that are currently bearing, one of them a Concord, that I know for sure, but the rest of them… I’m not nearly so sure of, as Rosy the Most Excellent Farm Dog (you’ve not yet met, but soon, dear readers, soon) ate all the tags several years ago. So this year was our best so far, at 35 pounds of grapes so ripe they were nearly bursting their skins. And sweet? Oh, boy! But as I’ve learned today, 35 pounds of grapes goes a looooooong way.
There were the 15 pints of jelly–
and 17 cups of juice that I’m freezing into individual portions and then tossing in a bag–and there’s still more! One of my goals for next year is to learn to make wine (how hard could it be, right?), but until then everyone on my Christmas list is getting grape jelly.
We live in growing zone 7.5 and it’s pretty wet here for 8 or 9 months of the year. Our summers are Mediterranean, with relatively low humidity and temperatures around 80 degrees for most of the summer. Other than cutting the vines back after the leaves have fallen, my grapes flourish without any additional care from me. No pests, no diseases. They’re easy, and they give so very much in return. Grapes, like most other vibrantly colored fruits, are loaded with nutrition. They’re a great choice for the home gardener!