Two years ago I smelled it. It was early in the morning as I walked through my neighborhood and I smelled grape bubblegum. Sugary, sweet, winey.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that it wasn’t bubblegum. It was the real deal. Grapes. I could see the vines snarling almost over every tree on the side of the road and I plucked a fruit and ate it. Fantastic.
That year my friend Chris made some nice grape jam and it made us desperate for the return of the grapes. But they didn’t return. Somebody decided that they needed to be cut down. Terrible! Now, I get how these vines can smother trees, but if I could be smothered by anything I’d pick wild grapes in my top 3. (The other 2 are probably NSFW.)
This year? They are back and better than ever. You can’t keep a good grape vine down.
Now part of the problem is that TECHNICALLY the grapes are on somebody else’s property on two sides of the road. But since it was really only me and the yellowjackets who seemed to notice that they were there… I say they are mine by divine providence. Snakes, fruit, and my own knowledge.
Chris and I made the pilgrimage to the trees yesterday and through a sophisticated fruit extraction method (tree bending, plucking and shaking) we got a bunch. Today, Chris turned them into delicious jars of sweet perfection. I will ration them all winter.