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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Purple on Purple: Grapes

Dear Garden Journal,

Today, I harvested some 'Concord' grapes. You remember grapes, don't you? Sure you do!

I first wrote about grapes on your pages in March 2003 when I put in the grape arbor and planted two kinds of grapes. The other kind was 'Himrod', but I wouldn't expect you to know about it. Even I forget about it sometimes because I've never seen it produce any grapes.

Then I wrote about grapes on your pages in August 2004 when I harvested my first crop. That was an exciting time. I thought how lovely to have grapes just one year after planting the vine.

But then there was really no more mention of grapes on your pages in 2005 and 2006 as there were no grapes to harvest. I don't know what was going on for those two years. But this year, once again, I have written on your pages that I harvested grapes. I hope you are as excited as I am. I feel like I should even use purple ink to write "Harvested 'Concord' grapes" on your pages.

Thank you, garden journal, for reminding me about the history of my grape growing here at May Dreams Gardens, I really appreciate the walk down memory lane.

Until tomorrow,
Your garden journaler, Carol


Yes, I harvested grapes today! Now I know why I painted my bench purple earlier this year.


So when I harvested the grapes, I could have this 'purple on purple' picture.

And after two years without any grapes, I think I've figured out the trick to better grape production.

1. Plant a grape vine.
2. Leave it alone.
3. Have a cold spring and a dry summer.
4. Harvest grapes.

I'm not sure if anyone, including me, could follow all those steps every year, or would even want to, so here are some more reliable tips on grape growing. (That will take you to a pdf file, not a website.

Before I harvested the grapes this morning, I searched the Internet to figure out how I should use them. Should I make jam, or jelly, or juice? Then I hit upon the perfect use.

I gave them to a friend who said she would make grape pie and give me a slice of or two of it. That's the perfect way to use grapes, don't you think?

Finally, in honor of my grape harvest, I made this picture the background on my laptop. If you would like to make this the background on your PC, double-click on it, then right click and chose "set as background". Then go buy some grape juice because when you see this background on your PC, for some reason, you'll want to drink a nice, cold glass of grape juice.

What did you write in your garden journal today?

16 comments:

Gina said...

carol - those are absolutely beautiful! they make want a PB&J sandwich.

Laurie & Chris said...

Your grapes look yummy!! I can only eat a few of these at a time but I love them. yours look perfect!!

bs said...

nice purple bench! it's beautiful with the greenery and the green basket... we don't have nearly so many grapes, nor are they ripe, but soon!

Annie in Austin said...

Carol, just looking at the beautiful purple on purple makes the roof of my mouth get that weird little pucker you feel when eating jelly grapes rather than table grapes.

You're not going to buy one of those amazing bread machines like Yolanda's that also make jam? And not have homemade grape jam on homemade bread?

[My diary says I had fun shopping and visiting other gardeners with Diva-of-the-Dirt Mindy - no weeding involved.]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Rosengeranium said...

Ooooh, grapes! Somehow my urge to grow them indoors become stronger and stronger. Your friend is a treasure, hug her dearly!

Carol said...

Gina... yes, if I made some jam or jelly with them, it would be a wonderful PB&J sandwich.

Laurie & Chris... Thank you! I did taste test several of them and they are very sweet and very grape-y.

BS... Thank you, I've gotten several compliments on my choice of color for that bench. I'm glad I painted it this spring. (It was cream colored before).

Annie... a bread machine that also makes jam? Homemade jam on homemade bread does sound really good. I think there are enough grapes still on the vine to make a small amount of jam...

Rosengeranium... good luck with grapes grown indoors. I've not tried that!

Thanks all for the comments!
Carol at May Dreams Gardens

eleanor said...

I don't think I have ever tasted grape pie, but since I love everything grape I'm sure it's good. We always turned our graped into jams, jellies, & juice. Carol, remember the grape punch Grandma always made at holliday times? You don't get that flavor out of commercial bottled grape juice, only home grown & canned

Layanee said...

I love the blush on a grape! I made a grape meringue pie many years ago. It was surprising but good! I don't think jam is too hard to make and the smell will fill the kitchen!

Chitweed said...

Oh, I love Concord Grapes! I have had a vine for 3 years, no grapes yet...someday I hope. I'll be checking out the PDF you mentioned for sure in the hopes of learning some tips. I work at a family garden center and produce mkt, and my cousin and I practically jump for joy when the Concords start coming in. During the Concord season we get a quart basket of them everyday and split them while we are at work.

Carolyn gail said...

Wow, Carol, those grapes look delish ! I've got grape envy. Do you have problems with the birds trying to harvest your grapes before you do ?

What a great idea to use the grapes for grape pie. That's one I've never tried but it sounds good.

Sissy said...

Those grapes are beautiful, Carol!
Even that "bloom" they talk about comes thru in the picture!
Enjoy your pie!

Kylee said...

OMG!! Have you seen my post from yesterday? This is just eery!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

The grapes are so pretty and they look delicious. I love the picture of the grapes. You wrote a post not too long ago about gardening patience, this proves that you have to be patient to garden. It looks like it was well worth the wait.

LostRoses said...

Just grape-alicious, Carol! Your advice on growing grapes is good. The Dubious Gardener would tell you that he hacks the crap out of the vines in early spring and then does nothing to them, thereby carrying on the excellent harvest he gets every year from a 50+ year-old grape arbor.

Leslie said...

Those grapes really do look wonderful, Carol. I hope we get a photo of the pie too! Or maybe the recipe??

Carol said...

Eleanor... I remember the punch but didn't realize it was made with home-canned grape juice!

Layanee... I think there are a few more grapes so I am going to attempt to make jam next weekend. Even if the jam turns out to be no good, the kitchen will smell good.

Chitwood... I'm sure you will get grapes pretty soon.

Carolyn Gail... I haven't had trouble with birds on the grapes so far. The grape pie was delicious.

Sissy... thanks, and they did taste good.

Kylee... I did see your post about also harvesting grapes this weekend.

Robin's nesting place... Yes, these grapes were worth the wait, and worth the space they take in the garden.

LostRoses... that gives me hope as I plan to hack back my grape vines next spring to keep them in some kind of control.

Leslie... sorry, no picture of the pie or recipe, but it was good! (The person who made it doesn't really cook with recipes, unfortunately).

Thanks all for the comments,
Carol at May Dreams Gardens