Grapes are a great perennial for your edible garden. They are beautiful, easy to care for, and can add visual interest to walls, fences or arbors.
I planted my little Red Flame seedless grape vine 3 winters ago. It came in a 1 gallon pot. First year I got 1 small cluster of grapes. Last year, just a few more… enough to provide a little snack for the birds. Finally this year, I was rewarded for my patience. Now, I am not sure if it was the time or the pruning, or a combination of both, but either way, 3 seemed to be the magic number.
I used the method here, except I did 3 arms instead of 4. Click here for the instructions. Three arms may not be a “standard” choice, but I like odd numbers (and I’ve never been good at following rules).
From what I have read, and speaking to winemakers over the years, grapes don’t need a heavy fertilizing or watering. So, I basically just relied on the compost I put around all my plants and a dripper at its base so it got watered when everything else did. Nothing extra. My grapes were a bit small, so I will do a little research to see what I need to increase to improve the size of the grapes.
The birds were enjoying the little grapes, so I was forced to pick them all at once. Now what?
Since these are seedless grapes, I thought there must be a quick and easy way to make jam. I decided to put it to the test. So many recipes out there want you to remove the skin from the grape and cook them separately. I thought, 1. removing the skins from these small Red Flames would be impossible, and 2. they’re skins are thin, so what’s the big deal?
So, I washed, removed all the stems, put them in a pot with just a little water and boiled away for about 10 or 15 minutes. Then took my hand blender to them.
I am thrilled with the results. Not the prettiest jam I’ve ever made. But who cares if it tastes this great?
Easy Seedless Grape Jam
- Fresh grapes – enough for 5 cups of cooked pulp
- 1/2 cup water
- 7 cups sugar
- 1 package powdered pectin
- 1 tbsp butter
1. Thoroughly wash and stem your grapes. I started with about 6 lbs. Your goal is to have 5 cups of cooked fruit to work with. You can add organic unsweetened grape juice if you run short or make extra batches if you have more.
2. Put grapes and about 1/2 cup of water into a large pot. Bring to boil. Boil about 10-15 minutes.
3. Use hand blender to puree fruit. You don’t need to totally puree the fruit, just enough to chop up the skins.
4. Measure out 5 cups of juice and return to large pot. Add pectin and butter. (Butter helps keep the foaming down and helps yield more jam.)
5. Bring to boil. Pour sugar in all at once.
6. Bring to rolling boil that can’t be stirred down. Boil for 1 minute.
7. Remove from heat. Stir and remove an foam. Ladle into jars. Seal.