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Borrow a Cup of Sugar?

October 14, 2011

The Canadice grapes

It is official now. I heard it on OPB earlier and read it in the Oregonian today: grapes are not as sweet this year in Oregon. For the record, I still think the grapes we are harvesting taste good. They are just not as fully sweet as they have been in other years. I will keep the grapes on the vine as long as possible, but I don’t know that there is much more I can do at this point to make them sweeten up. I have to admit, I don’t do a lot with our grapes. I kind of take the hands-off approach. Sure, I prune them in February and sometimes Steven or I will cut them back in the summer so we can get to them, but basically, we let them go and they do pretty well on their own. These last two years are making me think I am going to have to get a little more involved in the process and give those grapes a some direction for how I want them to grow. I have also been thinking about taking out a couple varieties and replacing them with more Canadice and another, yet to be determined, seedless variety. That would be another good project for winter!

Chesnok Red garlic cleaned up

In other garden news, I used some of the rainy days in the past week or two to trim and clean up the garlic. I’ll pick out the best heads to use for seed and am planing to plant next week, if we get the dry days that are forecast. I am excited to be using my own garlic for seed.

Cleaning up the garlic gave me some table space to start bringing in the winter squash, as it ripens up. I have brought in all the Rogue vif d’Etampes, Galeux d’Eysines and miniature pumpkins. Since we don’t have any forecasts for frost yet and some of the vines are still kicking, I’ll leave the other squash out a bit longer. It is good to know I have a space for them when I need to bring them in.

Galeux d'Eysines squash and Rogue vif d'Etampes pumpkins

Finally, the cover crop we planted a few weeks ago is getting a good start. We got it in just before some rain and it has been warm enough for good germination. Steven is taking next week off work, so I may get a little extra help from him to get some more cover crop planted.

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