Fresh Off The Vine

We are thankful for a decent grape harvest this year, especially since we had no grapes last year.

We grown both Niagara and Concord grapes. My husband harvested them as they ripened. Since not all of the grapes on the same bunch ripen at the same rate some may have been a little under- ripe and thus more tart than the riper ones.

He ended up harvesting them in three separate batches – each about the size of the one in the above picture. I didn’t weight them but would guess each batch was between two and three pounds.

In the past I have used homegrown grapes to make jelly and wine, but the thing we enjoy the most is drinking grape juice with our breakfast. :)The juice is naturally tart so I add raw honey as a sweetener.

From the three batches I produced 11 pints of juice.

We currently have eight pints in the freezer. Yes, we have enjoyed this juice three times so far with our breakfast and I really don’t think the other 8 pints are going to last very long.

You’ll notice that I did freeze the juice in jars, so I thought I should mention that not all glass jars are suitable for freezing liquids. Jars, like the ones I have used, where the sides are straight and the opening is the same size, or maybe a little larger, than the jar are suitable for freezing. Jars that have a curved sides that form a neck and a smaller opening at the top should not be used for freezing. The following article explains in more detail https://www.gardenbetty.com/how-to-safely-freeze-liquids-in-mason-jars/. The other thing that is necessary when freezing liquids in jars, or other containers for that matter, is to allow plenty of head space in the jar. You can tell in my photo that the jars are not filled all the way to the top – that is what I mean by head space.

Thanks for visiting.

Now tell me do you prefer juice, jelly or wine?

40 thoughts on “Fresh Off The Vine

  1. Great post – not a huge fan of grapejuice admittedly – but what l was astonished to find here in Sandwich was a house was growing grapes on the outside of their front door up the wall!? I have never seen that before as in grapes not being grown in land more suitable – but they had extremely healthy bunches ready for the harvesting. Wonderfully bizarre.

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  2. That grape juice looks delicious and beautiful! We have grape-growing friends. Their vineyard was decimated this year by the lanternflies. They got only about 1/5 the number of grapes they typically get.

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    1. That is a tough loss. Last year our grapes got a fungus and after they were treated the birds and deer got the remaining grapes before they were ripe. I do think having none last year helps us appreciate the juice even more this year.

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  3. I like grape jelly and peanut butter – yes, a kid at heart. After I gave up sweets around 2012 or so, I no longer buy jelly or even marmalade for toast as I find it so sweet. I give myself permission to have more peanut butter that way. πŸ™‚ I used to eat peanut butter and marshmallow fluff all the time and find that very sweet now. Your grape juice sounds like a reason to jump out of bed for!

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      1. It’s really portable and doesn’t need refrigeration which is good. When I went to school I always took a PF&J sandwich as I’d be gone a good part of the day – I don’t think granola bars were a “thing” in those days. Peanut butter is good for you in many ways – I like it on Triscuit crackers … to me that is a real satisfying treat/snack.

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    1. HI Cobs. I was just wondering… You don’t by chance like jelly do you??? LOL!
      I can’t take all the credit – my husband (partner in crime) is responsible for tending to the vines with TLC and picking all those little beauties. We do make a great team. πŸ’–
      Squidges and love back atcha.

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  4. Ruth, this may seem a stupid question, but how do you make the juice? Crush and filter out the skins? I like those blue grapes you can buy in the fall, but I don’t know the name of them – the skins are tart.

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    1. Not stupid at all. I add a little water then boil them for a few minutes to soften them. Then I crush them with a potato masher and filter them through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth – a jelly bag would work as well.

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  5. My poor little grape vine actually produced 4 bunches of grapes, not enough to make anything with, but they’re very sweet to eat. In the past, neighbours gave us grapes and I made jelly with it, which is my favourite thing to do with them aside from drinking wine!

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    1. They are not the easiest things to grow. Some years are good some years are not. Homemade grape jelly is really good but in our house strawberry jam is always first choice. I read this morning that I can juice the grapes then use the left over pulp to make jam. I think I will try that next year, assuming we have grapes.

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  6. All three choices are delicious. Anything made with grapes is extra labor intensive. You are smart to choose your favorite and focus your energy on the one you will get the most enjoyment from

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    1. That’s right – washing them and taking them off the stems takes time. There is also the spider issue – they love to hide in the bunches amongst in the the grapes. Not a job for the faint of heart.

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  7. I have a friend with concord grapes and I was able to make grape jam for the first time ever this year. She has told me I can have some cuttings next spring and I am so excited about that. Now I just need to now where to plant them! I would love to make grape juice.

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    1. I have never made grape jam – only jelly using the juice but I was just reading an article that said you can make jam with the pulp after extracting the juice. I like that idea. Getting the most out of the produce. Of course the pulp, skins and seed that I had left over didn’t go to waste – they were fed to this chickens.

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  8. I tried making wine from my own grapes but you need an awful lot of bunches to get a bottle of poor wine! I also now just crush them for breakfast juice . You can freeze it small or large screw top plastic beer bottles after you enjoy the beer of course , in the spirit of reusing not recycling!

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    1. I don’t think I have ever seen beer sold in plastic bottles. I’m sure they would be similar to plastic soft drink or water bottles. We pay a 10 cent bottle deposit on each beer and soft drink bottle so when we finish the drink we return the bottle to the store and they refund that money and send the bottles off the be recycled. Thanks for the idea.

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