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.
2 years ago