Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Gathering of the Grapes

Today I wandered back to the garden to check on the beans, tomatoes and squash and was struck with the sweet, wonderful fragrance of grapes. It was then I decided this lovely afternoon was the perfect day to harvest. Years back I bought 2 concord vines and one died the first year and neither one were ever trained properly. The remaining vine proved to not be a concord but a white grape. Sadly, and embarrassingly so, it took me quite awhile to figure out why all the grapes fell off the vines before they ever turned purple. Now I know. My career as a viticulturist is but a pipe dream.

Last year, Henry and I gathered all the grapes and sat on the front porch separating the skins from the pulp and then the seeds from the pulp to make jam. It is a memory I'll always have and Henry still talks about our jam making. That said, the grapes were sort of spotty and while the jam was good, the end result was a little disheartening after all of our toil.

It's been such a weird growing year and the Japanese beetles had been feasting I wasn't too sure what I'd find. I approached this task hoping for 3 1/2# so I could make 2 pints of grape jelly. I was shocked (to say the least) when I started rooting through the vines how many perfect bunches hung waiting to be plucked. After the work was done they tipped the scales at a whopping 15#!

Adding to my weekend to-do list, which includes completion of the ultimate burger project, I now add making lots and lots of grape jelly. Maybe I should have waited until Tuesday.

1 comment:

Georgine said...

Your kids will be the only ones at school with homemade grape jelly sandwiches. How cool are you? You have quite the garden this year. All that hard work paid off! Now, if you just had some chickens.........