These grapes lived here before I even knew this mountain had a name. There is a similar muscadine vine close by. The first year I moved to the countryside of Flat Top Mountain, I decided I was going to be a happy little homemaker and learn how to make things with them. I proceeded to get my google education in canning, jelly, and wine. They don't really tell you how time consuming and messy the whole process is. Having a pot full of pectin, sugar, and grape juice boil over onto the stove top is not an easy thing to clean. Apparently you can learn about anything on the internet, because my first attempt was successful. I watched the mason jars like a little kid waiting for each lid to go *pop* as they sealed. Days later, my jelly successfully gelled. Wine was a little more difficult, but marginally less messy. First let me tell you it's a bad idea to let the wine ferment in individual mason jars. Put it all in one big container so that it can be strained then moved to individual containers. I learned that one the hard way. My little trailer smelled like yeast and fermentation for a solid month. I still haven't perfected the process, and I'm no wine connoisseur but the results were good!
That was about two years ago, and we still have a pantry full of jelly. Apparently I got a little carried away. I haven't duplicated that adventure just yet, but this year I decided I would at least capture the beauty of the fruit. I put down a trash bag and laid down under the grape vines. Many, many grapes fall to the ground so I could feel them squishing underneath me. Under the grape vine is a world of bees and butterflies. It's beautiful. No wonder people build grape arbors for vines to grow on.
To see more of Christine's lifestyle portraits and fine art photography click here!