Thursday, October 6, 2011

Local Abundance in October ~ The Wild Grape Harvest

Fall Harvest, Part 1


Bike foraging is my new favorite warm-weather activity.  Never know what I'll stumble upon, but this fall the wild grapes popped right out at me.  I cut them in bunches from the vine & bagged them for pressing:

then placed in a half-gallon mason jar in the fridge, during pressing procrastination:

Finally, keeping them on their small stalks, I dumped them in a big tub and pressed them with my gloved fists and with various kitchen implements.  (The fists were the most fun and effective.)  

When they all seemed as squished as they were going to get, I stained the liquid and into my jar and gasped at the loveliest, darkest, grapiest juice i've ever encountered:

Following Sam Thayer's instructions (his foraging book is my good friend), I left the juice to sit so that the bitter particulates settled to the bottom - unfortunately, they made up a good chunk of the juice, as you can see in the picture where the lighter purple is:

Originally intended to be made into various concoctions for storage, the velvety magical elixir was finished off in a few days straight up, in its simplest unsweetened form:

 How could I have lived this long never having enjoyed the zing of wild grape juice??!!!

This is what purple tastes like!  (as one of my friend's children exclaimed)

If you live in cooler zone 5 or below, you still have some time to harvest wild grapes.



* This post is part of the blog party, Simple Lives Thursday.  Head on over and check out all the fabulous, creative ideas: