Saturday, October 08, 2011

Grape Harvest

This year's grape harvest was a pretty good one.  For some reason, last year's was a big disappointment.  But I was pleased with the harvest this year.  I asked my daughter to take a photo of me, with my basket of grapes :
Grape harvest
These are wonderful grapes of an unknown variety, but they have seeds and are a bit too sour for easy eating.  So I only reserved two clumps (for now - I may yet juice them), and promptly converted the batch into 5 jars of grape/apple juice (I added in the remaining apples from my espalier tree, the ones not already snatched by the squirrels).

I didn't take too many photos, since I already have photos & posts from 2 years ago...

... about my grape harvest then, which appears was even larger than this year's : 2009 Grape Harvest.

... about the 3 varieties of grapes : 2009 Photos of Grape Varieties

... and about my new juicer, which is like a reliable friend to me (I've made 3 different batches of juice in the past 3 weeks) : My Stainless Steel Juicer

Based on my experience these past 3 years, that the red variety of grape bears only a couple of bunches (this year, only 1 pitiful bunch smaller than my fist), which rot on the vine, I think I will cut down this vine entirely, and make room for another variety of table grape.  My mother-in-law has a table grape which bore fruit for the first time this year, and if I like the flavour (I haven't tasted it yet), I will ask her for a cutting.  I have a neighbour also who has wonderful sweet table grapes, who could provide a cutting.

The other variety of green grape which I do have, that is seedless and quite delicious (although a bit tart) also bears very few bunches.  This year, only 3.  But I will give it another chance.

My espalier apple tree bore a large abundance of apples again this year, at least the top and bottom varieties.  Again, the middle row didn't bear any apples.  The apple tree in the yard didn't bear any apples.  Nor did the pear tree, for that matter.  Disappointing.  But perhaps since I pruned the apple tree back a bit, it may respond with fruit again next year.

My espalier asian pear bore wonderful fruit on all 3 rows, and if it weren't supported, I'm sure the branches would have broken under the weight of the fruit.  See photos from 2009 of my espaliered apple and asian pear fruits.

My relatively new espalier european pear tree bore 2 fruits, which I believe were the red bartlett pears.  The first one, I picked while still a bit firm, let it ripen inside, and enjoyed with the family.  The second one I left to ripen a bit longer on the tree, but I see that the squirrels must have enjoyed that one.

PS. Oct 11 - It's funny how taste is so subjective.  My mother-in-law brought me a sample of her wonderful, sweet green table grapes to try, and they tasted almost identical to mine!  Hers are labelled Niagara Table grapes, and bear the description "Large bunches of tasty, green fruit used for wine, desserts and juices".  So I guess I may have one of the sweeter varieties available.  Likely the best I will get, for our cool wet climate on the west coast.  I dream of the yellow-with-pink-blush Muscat grapes I only once ever found in a grocery store, and the tiny green (almost yellow) Champagne grapes which I found in a local produce store for the first time this year.  But I'm sure neither of these would ripen here.  I remember when I was a kid, my mom had grapes growing on the side of the garage, but they never ripened enough to be edible.  So I guess I should be happy with mine which make great juice, and are edible for those who like a real zippy flavour.  I will, however, remove the red one which is taking space and sunshine and not successful at all.


Rohrerbot said...

Love the pic. Those grapes look delicious. I wish we had the space to grow some here....and the kicker is that they love to grow here....just don't have the space. Enjoy the harvest!

Grace said...

Hi Garden Lily, Your grapes look wonderful even if they aren't the tastiest. Good luck with trying new varieties next year and we'll keep our fingers crossed for a great harvest.

HolleyGarden said...

What a wonderful harvest! And your idea to combine them with apples to sweeten them up a bit is so smart. Now you have me thinking - I wonder if I could grow some grapes around here.

flowercents said...

Yummy looking basket of grapes. My parents used to grow grapes, but the green ones were always on the sour side, and the red ones barely produced. We had a couple of apple trees years ago, and they only produced every other year for some reason.

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