One of my (many) winter plans is to get my little vineyard up and running. Shortly after moving into Knight Rd, we discovered a massive grape vine, straddling the fence with our neighbour and even crawling up at least four or five metres into an apple tree. Last fall, we harvested over 50 lbs of grapes from this vine which produced very nice fruit and lots of it despite the fact that it had not been pruned or maintained. So after looking at this vine, I’ve decided to create a little vineyard. I don’t know how much fruit it will produce or when and I’m not sure exactly what type of vines I will plant but we have the space and the sun is free!
The first batch of grapes harvested produced about 30 bottles of an extremely clear white wine. It needs a couple months to mature but even the ‘test’ bottle was nice; a smooth, somewhat viscous liquid, quite palatable indeed! It had a hint of marmalade on the back of my tongue, followed by the scent of cut grass and wood smoke. Well, not really but I just find it funny how some of those wine people describe a nice wine in such strange terms.
Anyway, if we get these vines pruned and ready to roll I anticipate we will triple our harvest next fall. Wine anyone?
I’ve had a few emails from blog subscribers in the US and UK regarding our garden so here is a bit of an update. Let me say that we are still in our infancy as gardening goes – we learning more by error than anything! We were late planting this spring, chiefly due to the fact that I hadn’t built my greenhouse (Fall 2010 here I come) so had no seedlings plus we had an inordinately wet spell. We decided not to plant until early June so while are a few weeks behind last year, our garden is actually in better shape. We’ve learned from the jungle last year to space things a little more accurately and I got the soil prepped into rows using the tiller so that helped.
We re-started our raspberries so our crop this year will most likely be a bit thinner than in the past but I think going forward they will be great. This year, we added melons and eggplants to the mix. While I think the melons will be fine as we are in a high sun area, I have my doubts about the eggplants. I’m going to try them in the greenhouse as well as some peppers and pineapple.
Our rutabega (small, sweeter cousin to the turnip) is doing very well and seems to like the deep soil we have here. Actually, I guess the same holds true for parsnips, carrots and other root veggies. When I tilled the garden, I determined we had an average soil depth of twenty inches. I guess it has just build up over the years but it’s great for us! Anyway, back to the veggies. We have zucchini, butternut squash, okra and cabbage, leeks, carrots, radish, chard, beets, scallions and two types of onions, pumpkins, rhubarb, soya beans, snap peas, green and yellow beans and corn (lots o’ corn). We’ll test some of this out and then add or subtract as necessary next spring.
I think our next challenge is to figure out some storage methods as our garden is producing massive amounts of food!! More updates to follow along with pics!
Well, our first year with the veggie garden was a big success. We harvested lots of beets, beans, onions, radishes, zucchini, squash, corn and carrots. Our raspberries had a decent yield, given that it was their first year and we had a massive harvest of apples, pears and grapes. Next year we should see our Kiwi come in a bit and our plum trees should begin to produce. We had some volunteer plants such as kale and rhubarb so we’ll have to learn how to manage those ready for next year. In our 2010 garden, I think we’re going to plant a bigger corn patch as well as add potatoes into the mix. Wait…there’s more
Josée battles the vine!
On one side of our property, we have a massive grape vine. We haven’t yet got around to maintaining it but when we do I’m sure it will be a champion producer. Over the last couple days, we harvested what grapes were there. I don’t think they are Concord grapes as they aren’t blackish-blue but they are tasty. We’ve now got around 50 lbs of grapes some of which we’ve frozen to take in to be pressed for wine, some of which we’ll eat. We should get about 30 bottles of wine from around 35-40 lbs of grapes.
Over the winter, I plan to build a small ‘vineyard’ right where the vine is located now. Hopefully by training and maintaining it, the vine will up its production substantially. I might even move our Kiwis over to join the grapes so all our vines are in one section. I’m not sure if Kiwi transplanting is possible – one more task for my list.