Thank you, kymber - you are a special friend indeed :)
Well, t'would seem that I finally got the pruning of the grape vines right last winter.
For the first time ever I have been able to harvest more than 1 or 2 bunches of grapes from our grape vines.
|Some of the grapes I harvested this summer|
I always thought that it was the hares that were emptying the grapes from our vines before we had had a chance to munch some, but have just discovered that the mousebirds don't need any help from that quarter and that I had erroneously attributed the loss of grapes to the hares.
When I set about protecting our fruit trees from the mousebirds with the foil trays, I didn't have enough to protect the vines.
|Recycled onion net bags - used to protect the|
grapes from the mousebirds
I did, however, have a few empty onion net bags from waaaaaay back when I was still buying them (yes, I am a hoarder, and proud of it ;) ) so they were wrapped round the larger bunches of grapes.
Thankfully, the limited number of net bags I had worked their magic and allowed me to harvest a third of the bunches of grapes - the mousebirds got the rest.
Big bowls full of grapes to munch on after dinner...
|Dessert in the evening :)|
... and some to turn into raisins and sultana's.
|Dried fruit in the making - they will be a good reminder|
of summers harvest in winter when we eat them :)
|Soft, almost discard-able grapes weren't wasted|
|Did you know that chickens l-o-v-e grapes?|
It has taken 3 years to come to grips with how to prevent (larger) pests from eating our fruit - be that the strawberries, youngberries, apples / pears / apricots / plums / pomegranates, or grapes. Next year, hopefully, I will be able to harvest more so that we have enough to eat, and a surplus which I can preserve through drying and canning.
That is my aim for summer 2016 / 2017 - to have enough of summer's fruit bounty left over, in one form or another, to tide us through the winter.