Sunday, April 10, 2011

Grape Vine

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.


Dennis said...

Jerry, this post brings back some good memories for me. My Grandparents had Concord grape vines and I well remember Grandma making grape jelly with them. I used to like to watch the wax melt and then watch her pour it over the jars to seal them.
I also remember as a little guy the laugh both Grandma and Grandpa got when they offered me a concord grape right off the vine. WOW! talk about sour. I'm sure the expression on my face after tasting that sour grape was worthy of the laugh. Good memories, thank you for the post. Dennis.

Donna Anderson said...

Concord grapes are my absolute favorite. I remember my aunt and uncle having an area at their place that was overrun with vines. She made countless jars of jelly out of it each year. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

ww said...

Jerry, just read your post about being sick a few weeks back ... so glad you're better and out tending "the grape vine." Do you still do the Life Story Writing workshop at The Clearing? Would love to get back there sometime and to see you.

Warm regards,
Wanda Worley