Yesterday we harvested our first Himrod grapes!
That basket is the harvest in its entirety. It's maybe about as much as you'd get in one bag of grapes at the grocery store, but for us represents several small bunches from two vines. We planted our grapes back in the spring of 2012, and most vines have fruited this year. The Himrod vines are our second-best producer of grapes, and they are definitely our earliest to ripen. Since they are green grapes, the only way to tell was to taste them. A week ago I had some sour, pucker-producing taste tests, but now they are ready to go.
Since there aren't that many, harvesting them was a snap. They are easy to see on our newly re-trained vines, and all it took was a few quick snips of the stems with kitchen shears.
These long, thin bunches bunches aren't packed full of grapes, and the grapes themselves are fairly small--about the size of raspberries. But they are sweet, with a just a little bit of tanniny tartness in the skins. I imagine they will be gone by the end of the day with four people snacking on them.
We also had a few ready-made raisins, and they were quite good--very sweet, even without any extra sugar. The ones in the photo above aren't quite there, but will be soon. And then we'll eat those up, too.
Himrod grapes are meant for eating, not processing. That's just as well, since we only have about enough to snack on for a day or two. They are also one of the earliest grapes to ripen, and it's nice to finally have a point of reference about when to pick them. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if they were ready a week or two earlier in the future--everything was late this year due to our long winter and cold spring, so I can't yet be sure if the end of August is when they typically ripen or not.
At any rate, it's always a good day when something new comes to fruition.