It’s that time of year when the muscadine and scuppernong vines are loaded with those funny named grapes we’ve come to love. We planted our vines three years ago, and although they’re a little sad looking due to a lack of rain, the fruit on each is still looking good.
We’re actually growing three different varieties: Tara, Darlene, and Pineapple Scuppernongs. Two have very large grapes on them, and one produces smaller ones more typical of what you’d see in the grocery store (though I can’t remember which is which right off hand). All three are the “white grape”, Scuppernong variety of Muscadines. We did plant some purple Muscadines, but unfortunately those vines didn’t survive.
This year, our most productive so far, I’ve discovered that each of our vines ripens at different times, with about three or four weeks between them. The first vine was ready to harvest last month. The second is ready now. And the third is just barely beginning to bare ripe fruits. I like that with these different varieties our growing season is extended, and the kids have a longer period of time to graze the vines. They just move from one vine to the next as the weeks progress.
That’s the best part about growing these grapes- watching the kids picking freely from them, enjoying a little snack while they play.
Muscadines make fantastic juice and jelly. But I’ve realized I also need to plant some seedless grapes to make raisins for the kids. I hope to add a few of these varieties to our little “vineyard” in the near future.