We have tipped over the edge of summer and are sliding down the long rainy slope of fall. That means that any last hopes I had for my tomatoes — which I managed to really screw up this year through a combination of a late start and neglect — are fast fading.
Fortunately there are other crops that don’t require any effort, and thus did quite well. The current, for example: this year it fruited for the first time, producing lovely red chains of berries. There weren’t enough to do anything with, but Ryan, who’ll eat anything resembling a fruit, consumed most of them. I was impressed. They were not very sweet.
And the grapes did very well indeed. The vine, crawling along a wire ten feet up, manages to drape the entire south side of our house in a lush green skirt (conveniently protecting those windows from the summer sun, I might add). As the rain comes back it gets a fresh spurt of growth and the vines begin to push out over the driveway, looking for more territory to conquer. The marionberries are doing the same thing to our front walk. I love this climate, but I’ve loved it even more since I started enjoying the “hack it back” method of pruning.
Our vine provided us with lots of fresh grapes, about a quart of raisins, and six quarts of juice thanks to an extremely handy gadget from my dad. It isn’t the tastiest juice; my tastes were formed by the Island Belle grapes of my childhood, and I’d still like to grow one of those. But it isn’t bad for a start.