Of Grapes And Grape Leaves

grapes“If we get grape leaves,” a member asked me last week, “does that mean we will be getting grapes?” The answer is yes and no.

I grow Concord and Rutherford grapes as well as the native Fox grapes. The three grow well here and I don’t use commercial sprays of any kind. As a matter of fact, I haven’t used any spray in 18 years because I rely mostly on our biodiversity and cultural practices to ensure abundant crops. It is almost impossible to find a vineyard that doesn’t spray something for mold, mildew, fungus or the many other rots that affect grapes in our region.

But I don’t yet produce enough grapes to feed a crowd. Since, percentage-wise, we have far more native grapevines than cultured varieties there aren’t enough grapes to go around for the CSA. When we get our orchard and berries and vegetables to where we want them, I will again move more aggressively towards managing the grapevines here and perhaps we will have grapes to include in the shares.

You might be able to get a sample of our grapes this season, however. The Concords ripen in September and the Rutherfords a bit later. If you’re up on the farm for a volunteer day and the grapes are ripe, I’ll give you a taste.

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