Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sweet Vineyard Fragrance

A family drive this week-end took us past a large vineyard. The rows went on for miles and miles. The fragrance of Concord grapes filled the air and because of the lateness and the coolness of the season, many of the leaves on the vine were withered and yellowing. This only enhanced the fully ripened grape clusters that still clung to the vine, missed by the automatic harvesting machines. We stopped to gather a sack filled with this fragrant fruit. Have you ever eaten a 'fresh off the vine' Concord grape? The skins are deep purple and have a whitish haze on the surface. Once squeezed, the skins crack open easily and the juicy, fragrant insides can be popped into your mouth with ease. Because seeds grace the center, they are meant to be swallowed nearly whole and enjoyed for their sweet flavor. Local news tells that the juice plant that has been a part of our community for years and years is closing it's doors. Evidentially it will be more cost efficient to ship this fragrant fruit to other ports than to process it here where the farmers grow this crop. What will happen to this local farm? We are hoping their fruit really is desired yet and that it will ship safely to new ports instead of the vines being ripped out of the ground and another less fragrant crop planted instead.

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