Friday, September 28, 2012

Sticky Fingers

So today was a different kind of harvest: grapes from the vineyard.  We have two kinds of grapes: Riesling wine grapes and Concord juice grapes.  Michigan is actually one of the largest producers of Concord grapes but the majority were lost due to spring frost, which was discussed previously.  Below is a pic of the Riesling grapes ready for harvest.  And I promised Brian a day of harvest help, so here it is.
This was the start of a looooonnnngg day.  Every bunch had to be hand snipped.  Here is Dan in action.
Here is a shot of Tim B snipping a bunch. (Note: I'm sure that the Tim's are tired of the Old and New names.  So now it will be Tim B and Tim D.)  Tim B likes to wear gloves.
Here is a plot's worth of grapes. Pretty, huh?
After the Rieslings, it was on to the Concords.  They are easier to see, and have about twice the yield of the Rieslings.  Lots of picking.
Brian, who developed the plans and made the treatment applications, completes the process by checking the yields.
Tim B, who loves having his picture taken, shows a basket of Concords ready for weighing. 
So I don't wear no stinking gloves.  But it does make for sticky fingers.  And purple too.
Is the job over after picking?  No it is not.  First you take a sample from each plot, put it in a baggie, and squeeze to make juice.
Then Brian puts some of the juice onto his refractometer, and gets a reading of how much sugar is in the juice, or Brix.  The higher, the better.  This should appear in the research report.
So that was a day.  Have a great weekend.