Friday, October 11, 2013

Official Declaration of Victory

   I've finally declared victory in my efforts to preserve this year's harvest from my grape vines.  The official total for 2013 stands at eleven gallons of grape juice processed with my steamer juicer. If eleven gallons seems like a lot, realize that the juice is somewhat concentrated and we have to dilute it 50:50 with water to get it to where it is drinkable. That actually makes 22 gallons of juice to drink. For those unfamiliar with a steamer juicer I'll include a little tutorial. This is a very handy tool for the home canner and can be used to juice and preserve all kinds of  fruits.
2013's harvest of grape juice

     The steamer juicer consists of four parts. The lower part is filled with water and sits on the burner of the stove. The next section is the reservoir  where the juice collects.  This section has a short outlet tube which has a piece of surgical tubing attached which is kept closed with a small clamp. The next section is the strainer basket which holds the target fruit. The last piece is the lid. This device is the handiest way to process grapes or any other fruit into juice.

This is the first section which holds the water and sits directly on the stove burner.

This is the second section in which the juice collects.

This is the an inside view of the collecting reservoir.
The basket which holds the fruit
Fully loaded steamer juicer

     I have used a steamer juicer to make grape juice for years. The steamer juicer was a gift from my mother. The juicer basket holds about two gallons of grapes which makes one gallon of juice.  This year I only harvested grapes from six grape vines.  I had pruned several vines way back in order to transplant them so they didn't produce grapes this year. I had another grape vine die for unknown reasons.  I think 22 gallons of grapes is a pretty good harvest from six vines. The vine that died was an early Concord variety called "Valiant". I have another Valiant vine but it is only three years old and just produced a few clusters. Consequently, I got no purple grape juice this year, just different shades of pink grape juice.

Our entire 2013 harvest of hardy kiwi.

   I finally harvest some fruit from one of our hardy kiwi vines.  The harvest wasn't bountiful to say the least. Just one little bowl of cherry sized smooth skinned kiwi fruit.  That is a pretty meager harvest when compared with the grape vines. The little hardy kiwi do taste like kiwi and there is no fuzzy skin. We're hoping to have a better harvest from the kiwi next year.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, you got kiwis! Cool! ...and your grapes and juice both look so pretty. Good job! :)