Jamie walked into the kitchen today bearing gifts of concord grape clusters and I nearly fell down! You see, he planted a small area of of these purple beauties over 20 years ago but we’ve never harvested more than a few grapes each year. So other than snipping leaves to add to the pickling crock, the vines have been less about function and more about beauty each summer (the tannins in the grape leaves help the pickles stay crispy). Jamie never bothers to spray them, not even organic friendly sprays, and each year the clusters get mildew or shrivel up for one reason or another. Grapes can be finicky like that. Well, they must have really liked the dry weather we experienced this season because WOW they finally produced 🙂
The “grapes don’t fall far from the vine” as they say. In our family this seems to hold true since our two grown sons are proving to also be serious gardeners. I was so impressed to see that they both created beautiful hand woven arbors from foraged tree branches this summer, adding to the functionality and beauty of their individual gardens. They didn’t know each was creating an arbor; they live in different states. I love getting new ideas from our kids and I’ve already put in my request for Jamie to create a similar grape arbor next spring to support the vines! This way the clusters will be aerated, which will hopefully prevent mildew. They taste and smell incredibly good, we really need to figure this out. Now that I know what I’ve been missing, I don’t want to miss out anymore!
Besides tasting delicious, grapes are also very nutritious and medicinal; they’re packed with a wallop of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including anthocyanin and resveratrol! Just be aware that commercial grape growers tend to heavily spray this crop. So if you don’t grow your own, be sure to only buy organic grapes.
And please remember, if you aren’t eating for health, you’re eating for dis-ease.