Today we harvested our Muscadine grapes that grow here on our farm. When I moved to the farm in 1980, the grape vines were already here and were already very old. Over time they were neglected and nearly died off but a few years ago we rehabilitated the vines, built new trellises and began a multi-year process of bringing them back into production. This year was our first payoff year and today we harvested our 2014 grape harvest.
We had lots of help with our grapes. All three kids, SWMBO, Dustin, and Justin were all on hand to pick grapes. A goodly portion went to pay the help but we still managed to harvest a heavy load.
Remember the apple press? We realized that with this many grapes, we needed a larger press to handle the volume. The apple press we had restored was made for volume so we pressed it into service as a grape press.
It took three of us to work the press most of the day. But then we had the idea of tie the press to the gator, so that it was anchored securely and we could concentrate on just cranking the press down. Worked like a champ and we made good progress after our rope work.
The final result? Four gallons of grape juice, plus 10 gallons of hulls in the two fermenters starting to percolate away. And some sticky, happy children.