Since we moved here in May, I’ve been irritated at the 20 feet of vines growing along our front fence perimeter. The rest of the fence line was completely clear, so why did the previous owners allow this to grow so wild? About 3 months ago, we were about to pull onto the road when Tim said, ”Wait, are those grapes?” We stopped the car, got out to investigate, and sure enough – those vines were grape vines! Thanks to my handy plant identification app, I discovered that they were California Wild Grapes. Since then, we’ve left them alone until this past Monday, when it was officially harvest time.
And ohhhhhh boy did we harvest! And harvest, and harvest.
We easily have 30+ pounds of grapes sitting in our fridge.
These grapes are very sour, but they are (according the the sources I read) fantastic for jams and jellies. I ordered a foley mill, which is arriving today, so that we can more quickly process the grapes for juice. I cooked down about four pounds the other night and got close to seven cups of brilliantly bright purple juice.
For now, I’m freezing the juice. This fall, I will defrost it and make batches of freezer jelly.
I’m amazed at the amount of grapes we have, and I have since committed to those vines. They are perfectly fine staying right where they are!
Unrelated to our grape harvest, I’m planning a lot of future updates, as life has really changed since we moved here. Well, life itself hasn’t changed, but my soul has. My internal spiritual life has. I’ve learned a lot since the start of the pandemic and have come to some difficult realizations that have made me take a hard look at myself and my motivations. These decisions have set me on a new path, which I will share soon.