The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Good grapes and bad grapes

Golden Muscat grapesOne of the hardest parts of running a homestead is killing.  It took us quite a while to wrap our heads around killing our chickens...but it seems to be taking me even longer to wrap my head around pulling out perennials which just aren't functioning properly.

Monday, I realized that we had ripe grapes on one of the Golden Muscat vines we put in this spring in the well-drained soil of the mule garden.  The grape vines there, despite being less than a year old, have grown rapidly until their tendrils nearly touch the next plant over along the trellis.

The mule garden grapes' exuberance makes it hard to continue ignoring the sad state of the grapes along the driveway.  These grapes are anywhere from one to three years old, but none have ever fruited. Most of the vines there are French hybrids, so the Japanese beetles have eaten the leaves down to lace despite my thrice-weekly picking.  Their decline is exacerbated by soil that is pure clay where water puddles during wet weeks.

And yet, even though my mule garden grapes have done more in one year than these grapes have done in three, I have a hard time pulling the driveway grapes out.  Why is it easier for me to kill a spare rooster or bottom of the pecking order hen than to kill a grape vine?

Shame-faced plug: Check out the chicken waterer that funds this blog.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I read that a grape vine that didn't have to struggle could not make a good wine. My Concord vine took five years to produce the first grapes, and then the raccoon got them!
Comment by Errol Tue Aug 25 08:31:13 2009
Good thing we don't want wine! :-)
Comment by anna Tue Aug 25 12:32:12 2009

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