Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We have wild grapes!

I really didn't think we'd get any wild grapes this year.  This year's drought seemed worse than last year, but the grapes survived!  Since we didn't get to harvest any grapes last year, that meant no grape jelly for 2011.  I had to ration the 2010 batch which wasn't much fun.

The grapes seemed ripe for the pick'n this weekend, so I spent several hours picking clusters and plucking the tiny fruits from the stems.  There were three grape vines right by the house so I focused my time on gathering them.  There was, however, a vine right up the road in the ditch that had the biggest grapes on them I've ever seen in a wild grape:
My puny grapes on the left, Monster-Ditch-Grapes on the right.
I managed to snag about a dozen of those puppies and brought them home.  They almost look like table grapes!  I bit into one.  Most definitely not a fresh-eat'n grape.  Very tart, but oh so grapey!

I'm thinking I may take a cutting of that particular vine this fall and try propagating it.  I mean, can you imagine how much jelly / juice / wine I could make with those babies??

Anywho, there are still tons of grapes left on the vines here at home. Unfortunately most of them are like 30' up in the air.  Those suckers really like to climb.  My grape-picking height is restricted now to my reach while standing in the bed of the truck with a step stool (if you just so happen to be my homeowners insurance agent, please disregard that last sentence).  If I'm ambitious enough, I'd like to start pruning and training those vines lower to the ground for easier harvesting.  I just hope I don't kill the vines in the process.

I picked a total of two gallons of grapes this weekend.  It doesn't seem like a lot, but it was pretty time consuming.  I'd really like to get my bum back out there and pick at least another two gallons.

Tomorrow I'll be spending most of the morning processing the grapes into juice.  When I've got a good amount, I'll make the juice into jelly.  Stay tuned for juice and jelly pictures!


  1. I prune my grape vines back to about 4 or 5 ft off ground. They grow on an arbor and always recover it each year with growth and grapes. I have never noticed difference in quantity on the years I don't get around to pruning. Makes picking them easier so worth a try.

  2. Wow,I would try to get cuttings of that one too; in the meantime I would continue to harvest the ditch plant!

    I have never harvested wild grapes and lived in the country most of my life....what on earth have I been doing???

  3. Have fun! Those monster grapes look great!!! I would definetly try to move some of those to your place!

  4. Jelly! You know, I am not your home insurance agent, but I am a friend who would like to insure that I will be reading your enteraining blog for a very long time to come. So NO more ladders on truckbeds, missy. That's an order!

  5. YUM! Grapes! We transplanted our vine from the old house to here and now have to wait for it to produce. Who knows how long that will take...

    Oh. And yay for wine. That's all Ima gonna say. :)

  6. What a difference in the size of those ditch grapes! I hope you are able to get a cutting rooted! :)