Harvest time! I couldn’t wait for this morning. I love being in the vineyard. And this would be the first year for a real harvest of Midsouth grapes being grown by Dr. Eric Stafne, Mississippi State University Extension Service.
I have watched these grapes for a few years and in particular their evolution from being dormant, to first leaves, to flowering and fruit set all this year.
We arrived at 7:00 a.m. to the research station at McNeill, MS and began shortly thereafter with help from Butch Bailey (The Timber Beast and founder of @raiseyourpints), MSSTATE Extension Associate, Butch’s son, a post-doc from Iran, and a couple of MSSTATE extension employees from the Poplarville station.
We wanted to get an early start as a heat advisory with temperatures in the 90’s and heat index 108-110 were predicted. The grape clusters were so beautiful. I love to watch the trains that pass the station.
Eventually all of the totes we had brought were filled so it was time to begin pressing with the new bladder press from Italy that Dr. Stafne had purchased.
The beautiful juice was released from the pressed grapes.
When enough totes were emptied, some of us went back to picking.
Later, I was so hungry, I almost ate an entire cluster. Almost. #sharkweek. By 11:15 I was sweaty and pooped. More than three hours into it picking and still some to go, but alas, I had to mosey on and leave everyone else to the task.
Mark from Lazy Magnolia showed up around 11 to assist but I never got to say hello. 😦 The entire affair was wrapped up at nearly 2 p.m.
Are you a student interested in pursing a degree in horticulture? There are many great programs at fine Universities all over the United States. As an alumna from the UA, I have particular interest in the programs in the Department of Horticulture at The University of Arkansas, Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture and also Michigan State University Department of Horticulture. Find out more about horticulture at the American Society for Horticultural Science website. Read about horticulture careers and opportunities at SEED YOUR FUTURE.
It sure was a great morning here in south Mississippi.
Your Green-thumbed friend,
The Garden Maiden
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