This morning as my daughter and I pottered around the garden I noticed the huge bunch of grapes which were nestled by the small greenhouse looked about ready to harvest. This vine was planted several years ago in another area of the garden, after moving it to site the summer-house, I positioned it into the ground at the centre of the south-facing fence. The heat of the sun stores in the wood and keeps the vine warm during summer months, this is why it grows prolifickly in its current position, without this it would struggle to produce fruit.
The vine has flourished in this position, however in subsequent years I have left the majority on for the birds. Thinking it would only take a few minutes I proceeded to cut the bunches from the main stem of the plant, after taking a few cuttings that were suitable for growing on for next year, these stems I trimmed the lower leaves and placed them around the edge of a large pot. By next year these should have rooted to produce a few new plants to Donate to a new home.
As I harvested them, handing them to my daughter to place into containers, I was surprised at the size of the bunches which were massive compared to previous years. As I picked them, clearing the leaves and broken fruit straight into the compost bin I soon had enough to fill two steamer trays and several fruit crates which I had saved from the fruit I buy weekly.
These plastic punnets I had previously used for my plum harvest in august, which filled over twenty punnets, but today my second fridge has two shelves full of grapes to eat or blend dependant on what I choose to make with them. They seem very bitter so I may make a grape juice or a wine to give as Christmas presents.
For once the grapes are large enough to harvest, and whatever the end product they are a great addition to the yearly harvest. Hopefully the vine at the allotment will begin to produce a few bunches in the next few years although I doubt it will produce as much as the home vine.
So if anyone has a good blend or recipe for grape juice or wine feel free to direct me, as this will be the first harvest I will actually be able to utilise for something other than feeding the blackbirds.