We inherited a grapevine when we bought The Box House.
It's growing on a length of chain link fence that we plan to remove in order to build a wooden fence and create a more private back yard. Right now, every person that walks by can peek over the fence and see what we're up to--and there's a great deal of pedestrian traffic on a corner lot. I like our neighbors, but every once in a while I'd like to be able to sit in the yard with a book and a glass of iced tea and not have to make small talk with passersby.
I almost hacked the grapevine back this past spring, when we actually thought we'd get our new fence built this year. But we decided not to do any radical alterations to the yard until we've lived here for a year, and experienced the house and yard through each of the seasons. (This philosophy didn't cover the yew bushes; those just had to go.)
So I've been watching the grapes all summer long as they have slowly ripened. I've never tried growing fruit before, and I realize that I'm horribly impatient. I've plucked a grape or two every week to sample them, and they've been tart and bitter and have left me with a dry mouth.
But in the last few days, they've begun to swell rapidly and take on a purplish hue. I tasted one, and it was sweet and juicy and oh-so-summery delicious.
It also had seeds, which I discretely spit to the side.
So it looks like we'll have quite a bit of grapes to harvest this week. I don't have a clue about what I'm doing, so need some tips on harvesting and a few good recipes. And now, after having watched--if not nurtured--this vine all summer, I need to figure out how to get it off the chain link fence and onto an arbor of some sort.