Grateful for Grapes

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Learn how to grow grapes and make grape jelly, jam, wine and more.

Learning how to grow grapes is easy, and the heart-healthy fruits can be used in a wide variety of recipes. Over the years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has accumulated a wealth of knowledge about grapes, here’s a collection of our grape-based features divided into categories. If you want to learn the best grape varieties for your region as well as the best composting and pruning techniques, see How to Grow Grapes.  If you already have your grape supply and want to turn the fruits into something delicious and lasting, see How to Can, Dry and Press Grapes, Homemade Grape Wine, and Homemade Grape Juice and Soda. There are some uses for grape that don’t include eating, such as grape face masks and beautiful grapevine wreaths. For how-to-information on grape-related projects like these, see More Grape Ideas.

How to Grow Grapes

All About Growing Grapes
By Barbara Pleasant
Learn how to grow, trellis and prune the best grape varieties for your region so you can enjoy delicious, heart-healthy grapes in homemade jellies, jams, juice and wine.

Growing the Best Grapes E-Handbook
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
Grapes are among the most desirable and best known fruits on earth, prized for its beauty, succulent flavor and its role as a source of wine, fresh juices and tasty jellies.

Growing Grapes Is Easy
By Nan K. Chase
As The Encyclopedia of Organic Growing puts it, “Of all the fruits grown in America, grapes are the most widely adapted to varying soils and climates. Our first settlers found grapes growing from the coast of Maine to Florida and inland to the Rockies.” Good and good for you, grapes will grow just about anywhere.

Growing Grapes and Making Wine
By Jef Cox
With a few grapevines, some patience and a little know-how, you can make fabulous organic wines at home, including selecting varieties, planting and tending vines and wine making supplies.

Sensational Seedless Grapes
By Kris Wetherbee
Grow seedless grapes and fill your pantry with luscious jams, jellies, juices, raisins, wines and vinegars.

Grow a Vineyard to Create Homemade Wine
By Kenneth Balliet
When you grow a vineyard to create homemade wine sharing a bottle of wine made from your own vineyard harvest is sublime. Includes information on grape varieties, establishing the vineyard, pruning and kniffin and high-renewal training diagrams.

A Permaculture System:  Growing Grapes, Raising Chickens
By Herbert H. W. Heesch
This permaculture system allows chickens and grapevines to work together for mutual advantage.

Gardening Hand Tools for Harvest
Garden harvest tool designs for grapes, beans and corn.

Can Milk Control Brown Rot?
By Barbara Pleasant
It happens every summer. Just as your beautiful cherries, peaches, plums or grapes start to ripen, disaster strikes. As the disease called brown rot takes over, fruits become covered with a powdery brown coating as they quickly rot and shrink into mummies.

How to Can, Dry and Press Grapes

How to Can Jam and Jelly, the USDA Way
By the United States Department of Agriculture
Why buy from the store when you can make your own jam and jelly at home? With a little help from the USDA, learn how to make grape jam, or any other flavor jam or jelly, and this delicious bread spread could be yours.

How to Make Your Own Canning Syrup
By the United States Department of Agriculture
Grapes are just one of many fruits you can better preserve with homemade canning syrup, which helps maintain a fruit’s color, shape and texture.

Make Your Food Dollar Go Further: Dry Your Fruits and Vegetables at Home!
By Lorna Peterson
When it comes to preserving fresh edibles economically and conveniently, it’s hard to beat the centuries-old technique of drying!

How to Build a Homemade Fruit Press
By John Vivian
How to build a homemade fruit press from scratch; this article includes materials list and step-by-step instructions.

Homemade Grape Wine

Artisan Home Distilling
By William Rubel
Use a small pot still to make “eau de vie” (brandy) from your fruit wines and capture the flavor of ripe fruit.

Good Libations
By Megan Phelps
Small breweries and wineries are thriving by crafting high quality, flavorful products. And with a growing number of breweries and wineries, it’s easier than ever before to find a wide variety of good wine and beer, including organic versions.

Home Wine Making the Right Way
By Erin Shafer
Home wine making is easy to do if you have the right equipment and the patience to wait for perfection.

Wine Maker Guide to Making Homemade Wine
By Edward A. Wilson
An assistant biology professor turned home wine maker gives the guidelines on how to make homemade wine.

Homemade Grape Juice and Soda

How to Make Grape Juice the Old-Fashioned Way
By Lois Diguglielmo
Lois Diguglielmo shares her grandmother’s Concord grape recipe and tips to make grape juice the old-fashioned way.

Make Your Own Fruit Juice from Berries
By Barbara Pleasant
Drink to your health by harnessing the flavors and antioxidants in grapes, raspberries, blueberries, and other prolific summer fruits.

Fruit Juice From Fall’s Harvest
By Nan K. Chase
I got started with this seasonal hobby years ago when I began growing fruit myself as well as foraging friends’ overabundant fields. It’s a shame to let any of autumn’s bounty go to waste, so give the juice method a try.

Brew Better Soda at Home
By Anne Vassal and Megan Phelps
Make your own root beer, ginger ale and grape soda with these easy recipes

More Grape Ideas

The Incredible (Totally Edible) Homemade Face Mask
By Tabitha Alterman
In more robust times, I’ll spend $10 to $15 on a body care product that I really love. But how about this? For just a few cents, you can treat yourself to this fabulous at-home facial, and then eat the leftovers!

Easy, Elegant Homemade Wreaths
By Marlene Hurley Marshall
You can craft your own beautiful, rustic wreaths with just the twist of a vine! Learn how to make these simple wreaths embellished with berries, flowers and other treasures of the natural world.

Plant Edible Ground Cover
By Deanna Duke
For fruiting ground cover, try planting a mix of lingonberries, strawberries, American cranberry, Creeping Oregon grape (tart but edible) and wintergreen.

Foraging for Edible Wild Plants: A Field Guide to Wild Berries
By John Vivian
Foraging for wild edible plants can be tons of fun, and you’ll be treated with sweet edible berries as your reward!

American Humor: Foraging Wild Country Grapes to Make Homemade Wine
By Don Mitchell
The Last Laugh shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS submitted American humor with our readers. The author shares a story about foraging wild country grapes to make homemade wine.

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