I have always heard that grapes are the most labor intensive crop because of pruning. And that is true. But it is also rewarding to have producing grapes and to join the ranks of countless farmers who have enjoyed and drunk the fruits of their labor for thousands of years. Master Gardeners at The Raincatcher’s Garden began their orchard with Champanel and Carlos grapes in 2015.
In mid-July Jon Maxwell and the Master Gardener 2020 interns picked 2 buckets of champanel grapes. Jim Dempsey (and lovely wife, Martha) took on the job of juicing the grapes and jelly-making.
See the beautiful product below.
Later this year we hope to sell grape jelly to raise funds for the maintenance of our garden. Raincatcher’s exists to teach and demonstrate good horticultural practices for North Texas gardeners. We have hosted several grape classes and events and plan to begin classes again when it is safe to do so and in accordance with the city of Dallas guidelines.
Until then, here’s more reading on grapes:
Dallas Garden Buzz gives a short history of grapes, with how-to grow them and use them in making dolmas and 3 more “grape” recipes. We heard it through the grapevine
Grape variety profile from Texas AgriLife Extension– Champanel Grapes
Denton County MG’s promote viticulture–Growing Grapes-Viticulture in your Backyard
Dallas Morning News Article advising grapes provide excellent shade when grown on an arbor and provide the fruit we are all after. Growing Grapes in your Backyard, is not an Indulgent Fantasy
Pictures by Starla Willis