Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Harvest - Part Two

The grapes at Sleeping Cougar Acres are quite different from those you see at the store. They're small, seeded and they grow in very tight bunches. They're also delicious. Far sweeter than commercially-grown table grapes. We harvested the grapes from my plant and from hubby's plant, then continued on until we filled up our buckets.

Just when I thought we would be going into the house to dry off things got even wetter. The grapes needed to be rinsed, and where better to do that than out in the rain? Each white tub holds about 10 - 12 pounds of grapes. It was much easier to deal with them outside than inside. It was either the yard or the bathtub.

Once things started floating out of the grapes I was glad we were outside. There were several critters hiding in those tight bunches. Spiders, earwigs, ladybugs and other creepy crawlies drifted to the surface. L rescued some; the rest had to fend for themselves. If we had been inside they would have been washed down the drain, and we would have had to the clean bathtub when we finished.

Clean grapes in the basket ready for the steam juicer...

...water goes in the base...

...the steam kettle and steamer basket of grapes go on top...

...on goes the lid then it's just a matter time. While we waited for the steam to do it's thing, I headed back out to the vineyard to harvest some beans.

L was concerned that I'd run into a bear out there on my own. It is that time of year, but this was the only wildlife I saw. I left this one to its bean. There were more than enough to share.

It was so peaceful in the vineyard. The only sound was the rain on the plants.

When I returned to the house the steam had done it's thing. We had juice...

...and pulp. Other than picking and rinsing the grapes there was really no other prep involved. The grapes stayed on the stems, and the seeds stayed in the grapes. The pulp headed to L's compost pile...

...and I headed home with 5 litres of juice and a complimentary jar of unsweetened grape jelly courtesy of L. The grape juice has since been frozen in ice cube trays for use in smoothies this winter. The destiny of the jelly has yet to be determined, though L recommends serving it on cheesecake. I'll keep you posted on that.


  1. Once again, you've inspired me! While I have already devoured most of the green, seedless grapes growing in my back yard, I have yet to deal with the red, seeded ones (often they end up in the compost, sadly enough). I don't have a steam juicer, but perhaps I can improvise... any ideas?

  2. Hello again Bookgirl. Last year I bought a basket of grapes and juiced them using the instructions found here:

    Hubby helped, of course.

    After talking to CP today I realized it might be a safer method for juicing grapes. Ask her about her early-morning steam-juicer catastrophe next time you see her!

    Let me know if you decide to juice your grapes. I'll be happy to come over and help.


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