We recently got a chance to go to a local vineyard and pick our own grapes. It was such a great experience! The vineyard was right on a lake and just beautiful, but the owner explained that the soil was terrible and not suited for much besides grapes. I didn’t know grapes thrive in lousy soil. These certainly do!
The kids loved picking grapes and were a bit too enthusiastic. It doesn’t take long to fill a 5 gallon pail with grapes and that $1 a pound adds up! 🙂
Alex mostly munched!
We all got to learn how the grapes were grown, help use the crusher to get out the stems and then watch them work the press.
When we got home, we made grape juice and canned concentrated grape juice and grape jelly. I’ve just recently learned to can after all of these years and I’m making sure to teach the kids so they don’t grow up being intimidated by the process the way I was.
The grape jelly was the best we’ve ever eaten, and we’ve eaten a lot of homemade and locally made jellies! Maybe it was because these were wine making grapes and just a little differently flavored. I’m not sure, but the jelly is a beautiful magenta color on bread and it’s just scrumptious. I didn’t take a picture of that, though, so you’ll have to just imagine it. 😉
All in all, it was a really fun and educational experience. We talked about everything from garden zones to phytonutrients to how canning works to wine making. We’re even talking about planting some grapes next year!