I pruned my grape vines this week; I really should say “vine” as I have only one. I planted it about 15 years ago in front of my house and next to my split rail fence. The idea was to add a “little something” to the fence as my wife said.
It’s a Concord grape and I really didn’t expect much from it, beyond tangling itself along the top rail of the cedar fence and looking nice. But was I surprised. This single vine produces up to a half-bushel and sometimes more of rich, lush purple grapes each year. By mid-summer Its leaves and vines cover an entire section of the fence. Last year the grape vine was especially rambunctious and threatened to overrun a rose bush that is more than dozen feet away from the base of the vine.
As for care, beyond severely pruning the vine each early spring, I do nothing but watch it grow. No watering, no fertilizing, no spraying—nothing. It’s about the easiest plant to take care of I have on my property. Come late August and early September, I begin checking for ripe grapes, snipping them off with a shears when they are ready and carrying them into the kitchen.
Ruth has a wonderful grape jelly recipe—we feast on grape jelly and toast all winter. And the family and friends do as well as we give away jars of grape jelly as Christmas presents.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Expect little from something and be surprised.
CHECK THIS OUT: The Sturm Public Library in Manawa has selected my novel, In a Pickle, for its community read program this spring. I will be speaking at the library on April 19, 7:00 p.m. Want to learn more about cucumbers and their history? Plan to attend.
Tuesday, April 12, 7:00 p.m., Fall Creek Library (Horses and Barns)
Thursday, April 14, 6:30 p.m. Marathon County Library, 300 N. First Street, Wausau. (Horses and Barns)
Friday, April 15, 1:00 p.m. Kaukauna Public Library (Fox Cities Book Festival. Horses and Barns)
Saturday, April 16, Wild Rose High School Centennial Program. 1-4:00 p.m. Program at 2:30.
Tuesday, April 19, Sturm Public Library, Manawa, 7:00 p.m. In a Pickle.