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Re: Onions and grapes

Cyndi, all I can say is that you all have way more energy than I do.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT" <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2007 1:04 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Onions and grapes

I harvested the rest of the onions, these are "Candy", a nice yellow
onion. They did extremely well this year and I'll definitely plant them
again. I only had a few of them show signs of stress (they start forming
double bulbs inside the outer layer) and their average size is a
whopping five inches across. I had a couple monsters at 8 inches across!
So the spare fridge is full of onions and there's another 20 pounds of
so just sitting in the garage waiting for inspiration to strike me -
they can't stay there long, it's too hot in there. You should be happy
that you associate with me only via email, because we'll be eating a lot
of onions now.
So we have these grapevines. They are wine grapes we planted many years
ago, mostly for fun, thinking one day we might get ambitious and try
making our own wine, which we haven't. Years ago I picked a bunch of
them and make grape jelly, and about all I remember of it is learning
that if you don't let the grape juice sit for a couple days you get
tartaric acid crystals in your jelly. We hack back the vines when they
get rambunctious and let the birds eat the grapes, they are very small
grapes and have lots of seeds so they're not good for just eating.
Anyway this year they had a nice crop and I've been looking at them,
thinking as I do every year I ought to do something with them. Late
Sunday afternoon husband and I got a wild hair and we picked about 20
pounds or so and dragged out the tomato squeezer, figuring we'll squeeze
them up and have grape juice. We found out right away that there's a
reason they have different "screens" for squishing tomatoes vs. grapes,
so plan B was removing the grapes off the stems and then sending them
through the squeezer, very tedious.  Well. The resulting, ummm, stuff
was pretty sludgy and just this awful color of green/brown (the color in
wine comes from the grape skins, not the juice). So I dumped a bunch of
the skins back in it and let it sit. This morning we now have more of a
brown/green color, only marginally better, and I managed to strain out
some of the sludge. It's fairly tasty though. I expect eventually I'll
get something drinkable but obviously we need different equipment if
we're going to ever do this again. Probably be another 10 years before
we forget this experiment! Not everything I do turns out well.
Husband and I did work in the dry garden too. I showed him the oenothera
(dune primrose) that could be pulled out, and told him not to touch
anything except that and grass. Instantly he says "how about this?",
pointing at freeze-damaged (but not dead) salvia. No, I said, don't
touch anything except those two things. "But how about this?" pointing
at the opuntia and so forth and so on. I had to threaten him with great
bodily harm but he did finally give in. So it doesn't look much
different - it looks like a desert garden at the end of summer, which is
to say, not too great - but I think he feels better. Oh yes and my
opuntia, which was greatly damaged in the Big Freeze, still does look
poorly - but it is putting forth new pads at the edges of many of the
damaged ones, and there were even some blooms. I dumped a couple gallons
of water on it and I have hopes that eventually it will be looking good


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  • References:
    • Onions and grapes
      • From: "Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT" <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>

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