Gerry and I hope your summer is going well, that you are planting foods that you love to eat, enjoying the sunshine, and perhaps taking some time off to be with friends and family. We wanted to share a few updates about what is happening in the Vineyard this Summer.
Below is a photo of Tamiami one of our older varieties ( 7 years old) in early June. Gerry is removing bunches from the vine for various reasons like the bunch is small, or growing in the wrong place, or too many small grapes, etc.
Spring growth in all the varieties this year was vigorous and many varieties began flowering and setting fruit very early which means some clusters will be ready to start picking by the end of July. Grapes mature slowly and fruit production will increase each year. Remember they can live to be 100 years old! All of our six Indian varieties have succumbed to the Chinese Beetle and we're not sure Southern Home is going to make it either. All of the other varieties are doing very well.
We are now into the 4th month of the rainy season in mauka Kona. In the first three months (April-June) we had high rainfall but in July/August we should have a little less rain and more sunshine which will be good for all the grapes. Also, with the Geneva Double Curtain Trellis design there are two wires instead of one so you can get more production in a smaller area, however it does increase the leaf growth over the clusters, so Gerry pinches many of them off to increase the sunshine and air circulation around the clusters.
The photo below illustrates the vibrant spring and summer growth and many of the varieties have a lovely pink or copper tinge to the new leaves.
We are expecting a much larger harvest from our older vines from July-September. Other varieties are only 2-3 years old and so are just beginning to produce. We are looking forward to making fresh juice, raisins, freezing some, making some vinegar, and perhaps a little wine if there is enough. We'll report on that in the next 2 months.
We hope that you had a chance to look at our Booklet "Growing Grapes in Subtropical Hawaii Using Organic Practices" that we mailed out or that you had a chance to download it from our website. If you have any comments or questions there is a comment section at the end of this Blog and we would love to hear from you, or you can email us at email@example.com
If you are growing grapes be sure to post some photos on Instagram #grapesforhawaii
Enjoy the Summer
A hui hou,
Gerry Herbert and Nancy Redfeather