Sunday, August 22, 2010

Harvest Monday - Got Grapes

I think these are Concord.

Last year, I nearly pulled up the grape vine because it had never produced when I noticed my daughter pulling small purple balls from near the bottom of the vine. This was surprising as they were supposed to be some sort of light rose coloured grape but colour mismatch aside, the grape death sentence was stayed.

To thank me, the grape vine is dripping with fruit this year. They are sweet but seedy. Not bad for eating, but probably better for processing into grape jelly or juice. I think that this variety is the graft stock and everything above suffered some calamity such as winter kill or rabbit nibbling.


Washed by the rain, harvested grapes in a colander.

What to do with grapes?

1. Eat them
2. Juice - you know squish and strain.
3. Freeze as popsicles
4. Jelly
- Jelly without pectin
6. Grape Butter
6. Stuffed Grape Leaves
- Lots more on the wiki page: Dolma
7. Dehydrate seedless varieties for raisons
8. Make Fruit Leather
9. Wild Grape Wine
10. Wild Grape Yeast Starter

Cold Hardy Grapes Supplier and Info:
Green Barn
Cornhill Nursery in New Brunswick
Manitoba Agriculture Site with suppliers and surival tests

Native Grapes

You may have a small mountain of these vines growing around your place or you may be looking for a really easy plant to grow... below is a list of some of the wild grapes that you might find nearby. Their mouth appeal varies between species and plant to plant. Many improve in flavour after frost or with plenty of sweetener.

Vitis riparia - River grape
Vitis labrusca - Fox grape
Vitis aestivalis - Summer grape (good link!)
Vitis vulpina - Frost grape (yes, it really is different from V. riparia)

If you go foraging make sure you don't sample moonseed by mistake.

What do you do with your grapes?


Anonymous said...

The most popular thing to do with grapes around here is to make wine. Actually, it's the only thing, either that or eat them fresh.
Variety that I'm growing is Isabella, it's also better for processing than eating.

Daphne Gould said...

I used to have grapes, but pulled them out one year because I had quit doing anything with them. I used to make grape jelly all the time when the kids were little, but no one wanted it anymore. So grapes became blueberries.

kitsapFG said...

Grape juice and jelly would be on my immediate list of uses! They look great and lucky you that you did not actually pull the plant up!

Stefaneener said...

Our grape jam was unbelievably good -- it's my favorite way to use it.

Manda said...

Ooh, dolmas sound great. We're just starting with grapes, so haven't had any to do anything with yet, but dolmas will definitely be on the list.

Dirt Lover said...

Ahh, beautiful grapes! My father-in-law was telling me his baby concords are loaded this year. Much more than they can do anything with. I'm going to see if they'd like me to juice them for later in the year. They have such a wonderful flavor.

miss m said...

Good call on keeping the vine. Those grapes look splendid !

Still waiting for my vines to produce. Got them last year (3 varieties - blue, green, red). Haven't a clue when that will be. Not much growth on them this season. Started some vitis riparia from seed this year too.

Thx for the useful links !

meemsnyc said...

I can't wait until my grapevines produce like this! Awesome.