Posted by: puebloman | September 17, 2009

Grapes of wrath

The recent weather has totally buggerd the lives of the grape growers (everyone) here. One or two heavy showers a day keep everyone on their toes. The canvas “tents” that protect the drying grapes from rain also sheild them from the sun and prevent them from drying. Whole families pull the canvas over for the cloudburst and pull it back for the sunny spell. This is supposed to be a lucrative hobby. You can’t make a living growing and drying grapes. Even moscatels.

Mercifully we only have “dessert” grapes. We have no “moscatel” and are not therefore shamed into pretending to dry ours. After all, who wants twenty stone of raisins all full of pips?  Dessert grapes are incredibly sweet but flavourless compared to the moscatel and I have been planting grape rootstocks and trying moscatel grafts with little success.

The hot air that feels like a fan assisted oven in August has given way, under pressure from the cloudbursts, to a cool damp atmosphere – something more suited for humans to live in.

I examin our vines – which are now so laden with grapes that they have broken the frames they hang on. We can neither eat them(I am diabetic and Judy doesn’t touch fruit), sell them (they are too stringy) or give them away (everyone’s got too many stringy dessert grapes).

I now find that they are starting to take on mould. It seems that as soon as the climate threatens to support sentient existence, every bit of low-life spoor gets its filaments into your fruit.

The triumph of autumn is the asparagas. We couldn’t get any crowns here. Assistants at the Spanish garden centres said ” why do you want to buy aparagas? It grows all over the campo. When it rains, go out and pick it”

We had to buy crowns  at B&Q – an English hardware chain store. We planted them, they grew and seemed to have been burned to death in August. However, with the first autumn rains they have shot green shoots everywhere and were clearly lying doggo – only pretending to be dead.

I am expecting to have to fight off the locals . . .


  1. After picking grapes for 3 days, I can hardly stand to look at the things! Our friend Manuel says that grapes are the hardest work of any crop – you have to manure them, rotovate around them, prune them, sulfur them, and so on. You can’t get rid of the mould once you have it, but you can prevent it via a sulfur powder. Not ‘green’, but at least you get grapes…

    BTW, our asparagus bed is in full flow again – we’re making a thin onion and asparagus omelet tonight for dinner!


  2. I can’t get to B and Q where can I buy asparagus crowns here is azarquia Would it be worth importing them from England


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