A Sampling of Grapes

This is my “short list” of American varieties which do well in most parts of the Pacific Northwest. There are many others not covered here that are worth growing, so don’t stop with these if you have room for more. In cooler parts of the NW, it’s best to confine your selections to early ripening types. Descriptive Code (appears at…

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Growing Grapes in the Pacific Northwest

Though the Pacific Northwest produces high quality wines, few people make the connection that great wine also means great grapes. table grapes, that is. Thanks to breeders of American grapes, both in this country and Canada (hang on,that’s correct) there are quality table grapes that grow without disease in the NW. American grapes in this case means grapes with a…

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A Grape that isn’t a Grape but is a Grape

If you’ve ever had currant buns, or any other baked product with “currants” in them, you, like 99.9% of the public, thought the “currants” were the little red fruits that grow on bushes. Nope. The dried “currants” used in baking are actually a true raisin, a dried grape. Called “currants” because one of the names of the grape they come…

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Grapes for the Tiny Backyard

Grapes are man’s oldest form of permanent agriculture and really have only one requirement for the backyard grower-full day long sun. (Of course a swampy condition or severe frost pocket eliminates most fruit.) With a postage stamp size back yard it is possible to have a few varieties by head training them on a post (steel or wood) that stands…

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Propagating Figs

Figs are easy to propagate as they root very easily. There are several ways to propagate them. The most common method is to root leafless cuttings taken in the late winter or early spring. Here’s how to do it: 1. Take cuttings which are 3 to 6 inches long and pencil to finger thick. The best cuttings will have some…

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Pruning Kiwi

Kiwi vines climb by wrapping around like pole beans or wisteria. So they need a support structure or host plant. My kiwi is using the deck supports and a flowering cherry tree for support. Mature female, Actinidia deliciosa, (the kiwi in stores) can produce up to 300 pounds of fruit each year. They can grow as much as 15-20 feet…

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Kiwi is On! Now What?

Make Kiwi Ice Cream! For maximum flavor, make sure the kiwi fruit is ripe. 4 ripe kiwis, peeled 2/3 cup orange juice 2 eggs 1-1/2 cups sugar 2 cups whipping cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 6 to 8 drops green food coloring (optional) In blender or food processor, puree kiwis and orange juice until almost smooth; set aside. In a…

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Common Pears in the USA

You can easily become familiar with the many varieties of common pears available in the USA. Each one has a distinctive character, texture, and flavor. You’ll enjoy them more if you know what to expect from each kind. Try them all to find your favorites. Bartlett and Red Bartlett Available: July through December Bell Shaped, ripens to bright yellow or…

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