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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Grape Harvest

Last year, Steven discovered a grapevine hidden in all the weeds of the then neglected veggie garden and just threw it up and over a nearby bridal wreath spirea to get it out of the way. This spring, we were delighted to see that it had set fruit! (Apparently this will never happen if the vine is lying on the ground, regardless of how healthy it is.) All summer I've been checking, checking, checking the progress...and yesterday, when I approached the vine and inhaled that sweet ripe grape scent, I knew it was time to grab a bowl, some clippers, and Steven.
I figured we wouldn't actually get enough grapes to make anything significant, maybe just a grape syrup to use in spritzers or something, but we ended up with a total of ~4 lbs! Most grape jelly recipes I've seen call for 5 lbs, so it would be totally feasible to make jelly out of our own backyard grapes! How adorable is that?

BTW, not sure what kind they are. Any guesses? Of course Concord is the go-to answer, but I think they seem a bit sweeter...

Anyways, we were downright charmed by this harvesting process, and kept the momentum going in the veggie garden, where things are winding down...just as they got going. (Note to self: start earlier next year!)

We ended up picking most of the acorn squash (6), even though they could have hung out for a bit. Powdery mildew had become an issue about 1 month ago, and although it supposedly only damages leaves, I was paranoid about losing the fruits that I had lovingly nestled in straw, and creepily stalked for months, LOL!
So hopefully I'll get a chance to play in the kitchen this weekend, in between coats of paint. I'm shooting for just one of the following: grape jelly, tomato sauce, eggplant bruschetta, or acorn squash risotto...


  1. AWESOME!! If you make grape jelly, I will need to sample it. :)

  2. They do look like concords, but maybe a cultivated variety or mix???

    Wow-isn't fruit of the earth a wonderful, soul rejuvenating gift????

  3. Bren, you know there will be a jar with your name on it! (if it works out, that is--cross your fingers for me.)

    "Anonymous": Hi, Mom. ;)

  4. Laroos! If you need more grapes, my parents have tons. I bought jars at walmart this week to make grape jelly this long weekend!!! Great minds think (and daydream about food) alike ;-)

  5. Thanks, Susie, but I'm afraid of biting off more than I can chew...so I'll stick to my little "microbrew" so that the "terroir" really comes through, LOL. ;)

    BTW, what recipe are you using?

  6. For some reason, when I read the sure-gel instructions for grape jelly, I figured I could make 3 batches in about an hour...the box said 3.5 pounds of smashed grapes needed to cook for 10 minutes. add a few minutes for cleaning and smashing, then a few more minutes after for straining and cleaning...an hour sounds fair, right?? 3 hours later I'm still in the middle of batch 2! DOH!!!