How to Know When to Harvest ORGANIC Grapes for Wine

It was time to test the grapes and decide if I needed to start harvesting yet. I got out my trusty refractometer to see what the sugar levels were at.

There are a number of factors involved in deciding if it’s time to harvest grapes. It’s a balance between grape quality and suitability and readiness for winemaking. And it also all depends on the season–whether you got a lot of rain or very little. This was a great season for my grapes because we didn’t get any rain for the first three months of grape development, so the fruit got really sweet and the acid levels had the chance to lower somewhat.

My Permaculture Vineyard Produced A LOT More Than Grapes This Year

In the last several years I’ve been experimenting with making use of the space between rows of grapes to grow produce. Nature abhors a monoculture, so if I can grow other crops in what would be normally be wasted space in the vineyard, without them negatively impacting the grapes, I can get a lot more food out of my space. It’s particularly important when you are establishing a vineyard and waiting for your grapes to produce. If you can grow a crop that can bring in money in year or two, you can use the harvest to pay for the cost of vineyard establishment.

When I was setting up my vineyard, I decided to space the rows 10′ apart instead of the standard 8′ so that I could improve the air flow between the vines, but also so that it would be easier to make use of the space for other crops. If you plant low growing crops, they won’t impede air flow and as long as they are out of the way by the time you harvest the grapes.

Mangoes As Big As My Head and My Biggest Fish Ever: Foraging in the City

This is a little video about my trip to Florida earlier this summer. It was the time I’ve always wanted to be in Florida–mango season. There was pounds and pounds of delicious free fruit to glean in the neighborhood. I also had some surprise fishing experiences in my brief time, including my personal best snook, that was also the biggest fish I ever caught (and only my second snook ever caught). I’m glad I got some fishing in before the red tide killed everything in Florida.

Harvesting the Smells of Permaculture

Permaculture is all about making the human landscape more natural and productive for our benefit. When people think about a permaculture harvest, they don’t often think about anything but the physical produce, such as fruit or vegetables. There is so much more that comes from our altering of the landscape to suit our needs. The delicious scents of plants might not be tangible, but the benefits they can bring to our lives are. Get out and enjoy them while you can, just like you’d enjoy homegrown sweet corn, or a wild persimmon.

Check out the Hardcore Sustainable FB page at: