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Grape is the next plant on our Edible November list.  Grapes might be one of the most versatile edibles on our list so far. 

Grape vines grow wild in most areas of the country.  If you have spotted wild grape vines growing up a tree in an old field your region is suitable for growing grapes.

Grapes do require a little bit of maintenance each spring and fall to ensure your fruit crop reaches its potential.  If you have visited or driven past a winery you know that grape vines need a support system.  If you are only going to plant a few grape vines I suggest using a single post per vine system like the Germans use.  This consists of a T-post for each vine where your vine is trained and pruned up the post.  Look for more on this concept in the spring!

Grapes can be eaten fresh from the vine, they can be frozen, they can be dried and made into raisins, they can be made into vinegar, grapes can even be fermented into wine!

In the Northeast US Japanese beetles are attracted to the grape leaves.  I have often walked out and found hundreds if not thousands of beetles on a single vine, they can decimate grape leaves.  If you have chickens or ducks I have a solution to your beetle woes.  First you will want to plant your grape vines in areas where your birds frequent.  Each morning when I go out to feed and water my birds I will check my vines first.  If I notice beetles on my vines I will call my birds over and shake the grape vines.  The beetles will then fall onto the ground and be eaten by the hungry birds.

This not only solves your beetle problem but turns that problem into a protein source for my birds.  By the end of the summer your beetle population will have surely gone down and your eggs should be bright orange as a result!   


 


Comments

07/22/2016 2:33pm

Oh my.. I do love grapes, this is my favorite fruit. And as what many people say, grapes help minimize the risk of heart attacks because they increase the levels of nitric acid in the blood which prevents blood clots. Well, speaking of grapes, did you know that the oldest grapevine in America is a 400 year old Scuppernong vine in North Carolina?

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09/16/2016 7:04am

I like grapes very much. It's a good and informative post, good job!

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