Wednesday, July 2, 2008


One of the things I loved about this house when we moved here (13 years ago this week!) was that it had a grape arbor out back. The grapes were dark purple and sweeter than any grapes you'd ever buy in the store. The first couple of years I made jellies and jams but then between new babies, cancer and heart conditions (not to mention sports practices, scouting and homework) the grapes were quite neglected.

My dh got really motivated this year and designed a great arbor for the grapes. Rather than the two simple rows of fence which we originally had (and which had fallen apart through the years), the new arbor is designed to get the grapes up, off of the ground and make them much, much easier to pick. There are still quite a few weeds left to pull and a few more grapes to tie up but so far it looks great! It's going to be beautiful when it's done.

The grapes are looking good. We were afraid all the moving them around and ripping out part of them might have damaged the plants but it doesn't look like it. There are grapes all over the place! More than enough for our family to use.

Since we've started the project, the grapes have really taken off. Here you can see they are already starting to grab onto the wires. :-)

And here's the best part. With this new design, the grapes are hanging down from overhead, ready -- and easy-- to pick. Way better than before when the prior owner had planted berry bushes (thorns and all) between each grape plant. Picking grapes used to involve lots of blood loss.

I can't wait for fall! Anyone have any good jam or jelly recipes? I did find one that has lots of potential: Great Grape Sorbet from Su Good Sweets. Mmmmm! I can't wait!


running42k said...

I built a very similar pergola a few years ago, but your's looks wider.

Why not make some wine?

Greg said...

I would definitely try wine with those. Although table grapes often have a high amount of acid and the wine comes out unbalanced if dry. Makes an ok sweet wine. I wish I had the space for an arbor like that.

Becca said...

I'm SO jealous. Those grapes look amazing. I'd love to have a yard big enough for something like that. You should check out the Ball website for some canning/jam recipes:

I don't know if they'll have grape jam, but it's worth a shot.