Grape Harvest

Sorry for the months-long delay in posting. I’ve been a gypsy traveler all summer long. Went to Oaxaca for a month (I’ll post about the incredible farms we saw there), then North Carolina (Bill’s family reunion), and finally, to Lopez Island, up in the San Juan Islands. In between trips, we would come home for 4 or 5 days, long enough to harvest the bounty that grew even though I wasn’t there. In June, before we left, we picked all the plums off the big old Santa Rose tree, and the summer apples before leaving for Mexico. Then, when we returned, the mulberry tree was in full-glory. We ate so many! Frannie’s hair turned purple (from climbing under the tree and having fruit rain down on her).

Now, just getting back, because I planted late, the tomatoes are just coming on, as are the zucchini–I planted a nice one called Zephyr, and the sweet corn is, oh, about 8 feet tall. It was also time to harvest the grapes. They are Thompson seedless, an insipid green grape when eaten at the grocery store, but when grown at home, they pack a punch of sweet juice married to a sour skin. Yum. Course they all ripened at once and I can only eat so many. So we made ’em into raisins:


I have this pretty wimpy circular dehydrator, takes about 2 days of the thing on high to dry out two racks of grapes. Man, they are good, though. Kinda chewy with a big zingy punch. Got 3 pint jars of them from a giant basket of plump grapes. I wager they’ll last us a couple weeks…

Next up for harvest: cox orange pippin apples, figs (the tree is laden), pomegranates, kobocha squash. Have a happy harvest season–and let me know what you’ve been pulling out of the garden.

6 responses to “Grape Harvest

  1. Hello Novella, I’ve followed your blog for years. Live in S.F. growing food in my tiny backyard. I’ll be putting in a bid to buy Ruby’s place in Oakland. Wish me luck and if you have any pull with her, tell her to accept my offer!!

  2. I have been pulling weeds out of my garden. (you asked) Time to plant the fall garden so anything green goes into the compost. Your bounty sounds wonderful.

  3. Try freezing some too. They make great warm weather mini self contained frozen snack.

  4. We planted a variety of tomatoes, cukes, swiss chard and peas. We had a horrible rain when we first planted our garden and it wiped out the chard and all the pea seeds except for 1 plant. The kids are loving picking all the tomatoes and following the cuke vines to find the cucumbers. They are thinking of what they want to plant next Spring. (New Brunswick, Canada)

  5. Bermuda grass! We’ve finally gotten serious about fixing the Steinbeck-like situation in the front of the house, and that means removing the Bermuda grass, which has woven itself into the 40 year-old sod layers, which also have to go. We’ve taken 2200 pounds to the dump this month so far.

  6. I live and garden in Watsonville (south Santa Cruz County) and just learned that you’ll be speaking at the Sustain supper for Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz on October 22. That’s great! I’m wondering if you plan to appear anywhere else in the area (a bookstore, perhaps?) while you’re here?

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