Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wild Grape Jelly

I love this time of year when the landscape is dotted with all sorts of colors: yellows, reds, greens, and purples. I love the colors more if they guide me to free food. On our hike through a field the other day, we spotted many vines of ripe wild grapes.

Research needs to be done before harvesting wild edibles. It is very important to be 110% confident that you know what you are harvesting. We have learned about wild grapes over the past couple years, but this was the first time to gather the grapes. There are a few look-alike plants, so caution is needed.

There isn't much that one can do with wild grapes: juice, wine, or jelly. Don't let their tart flavor off the vine scare you away. Most recipes dilute the grape juice with water and sugar.

The grapes were on state land, and at first I didn't know if it was okay to harvest. I know for most people it is a "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy. But I was still nervous running into something while I was cutting off the grape clusters. Everytime I heard a car drive past, I ducked in the bushes. I'm still not sure what I would've done if someone actually saw me. My nerves were eased though when Eric called a local DNR office and found out that harvesting nuts and berries is legal at this spot.

Many pounds of grapes were needed for just a few pints of jelly. But it was worth it!


  1. I wish I knew more about wild edibles. I would love to take a class and learn what is edible but for now I always ere on the side of caution and just don't pick/eat anything out in the wild:)

  2. They sure do look yummy. I can almost smell them from here. Have a great weekend and thanks for your show and tell.