I’m taking a turn at being a gardener this year, as my Dad finally gave in to the fact that you can buy cheap and tasty vegetables at the grocery store with absolutely no exposure to dirt, biting insects or perspiration. Since I’ve never planted or maintained a garden on my own I reasoned that if I had any questions, I could ask my Dad for his experienced advice. I think that he liked this plan even better than me because it meant that he could stand back and tell me exactly what I’m doing wrong….over and over again. What’s not to love about that? However, having watched years and years of his gardening incidents, I harbor little hope that many of the crops I’ve planted will survive the onslaught of hungry bugs and slugs.
We have a grape vine that’s probably over 20 years old and I’ve trained all the new runners onto wires. If you’ve never worked with grape vines they’re amazingly alive. The curly tendrils the vines toss out are powerfully strong and amazingly elastic. Once they’ve grabbed onto something it’s really, really hard to pull them off. Training them is easy, just tip the vines close to the wires of the grape run and loop the tendrils around the wire a couple of times. You can almost hear the grape vine saying “okay, I understand…you want me to grab onto this wire…right?”.
Now, maybe if there’s a grape harvest this year I’ll be able to convince my Dad to let me have the last wine-making materials he has stored away. If I can match the flavor of his plum wine from the early 80’s I’ll be doing fantastic. If I match the flavor of his wine from the early 90’s I’ll dig up the grape vine and burn it.