Disclaimer: All information on this site is for informational purposes only. Before using any alternative remedy, begin any new exercise routine or otherwise start trying any of the recipes included on these pages, check with your primary health provider. Many herbs, foods, and exercises can conflict with medications you are taking or have unknown side effects.
For Rural and City Living
Preserve a Grape Harvest
Concord grapes are the most common table grape and are used for making grape juice sold in every grocery store. Concords are often the grape grown by the home gardener as they are well suited for the climate conditions of the North American continent. Whether you grow them yourself or find a great deal at a local Farmer's Market, knowing how to preserve the Concord grapes will allow you to enjoy the harvest long after the growing season has come to an end.
8 to 12 quart stock pot
Canning jars, lids and rings or
Zipper type freezer bags
Wine making kit
Red wine yeast
Make grape juice by mashing the grapes with a potato masher to break the skins. If a potato masher isn't available, cut the grapes in half using a knife. Place the grapes in a large stock pot and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the juice through a cheesecloth lined colander. Freeze or can the juice for later use.
Make jelly, jam or preserves by purchasing boxed pectin in the canning isle of your local store. Follow the directions on the instruction sheet included in the box. Directions are included for both canned and freezer jellies, jam and preserves. Canned jellies, jam and preserves require a 10 minute boiling water bath. A stockpot that will hold the jars and enough water to cover the tops with 2 inches of water will suffice as a canner. You will also need a funnel and jar lifters to assist in the process of canning.
Freeze extra grapes by placing them on cookie sheets in a single layer. Lay the cookie sheets in the freezer until the grapes are frozen solid. This generally takes 1 to 2 hours. Quickly repackage into zipper type freezer bags and keep frozen until needed. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before use.
Dehydrate the grapes for 12 to 20 hours in a dehydrator or low temperature oven. Slicing the grapes in half will reduce the total drying time needed. Store in air-tight containers or freeze until needed.
Juice the grapes to make homemade grape wine. Winemaking kits are available online or at a local brew shop and include all the equipment and instructions for turning Concord grapes into a great tasting wine. All you will need to add is sugar and yeast.
Words to the Wise:
Only use fresh Concord grapes in these preserving methods. Inspect the grapes as you pull them from the stems to insure that you are not including severely bruised or damaged grapes.
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Kat and Kevin Yares
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