Making grape juice and harvesting sunflowers

P1040098The table grapes have finished but the wine grapes (Shiraz and Grenache) are ripe and ready for harvest. As I have only a single vine of each I’ll turn the tightly-packed bunches into grape juice rather than attempt to make wine.

The process is simple, if messy.

P1040033Pick the grapes, wash them to get the wildlife out, then push them through the juicer, compost the skins and twigs and filter the juice through a sieve.

The juice tastes fine when diluted with mineral water.

But most of this juice goes into ice cube trays and will be stored in the P1040036freezer for making homemade fruit sorbet, along with frozen raspberries, blueberries, mangoes, bananas, peaches, mint and other fruits from the garden. These are whipped up in the Thermomix along with some dried fruit and almonds (to slow down the digestion) and served with whipped cream or fresh fruit salad.

P1040211Despite the hot weather, the ‘Multi-Flora’ sunflowers are doing well and make a charming gift from gardener to cook to brighten up the kitchen table and our frequent trips to the garden.

The seeds from this bank of sunflowers will be dried off and stored for chicken food; sunflower oil provides much-needed fuel for the hens in the cold of winter.

The seeds that grew these fifty or so plants were in turn grown on year after year from a single packet of commercial seed purchased for about three dollars many years ago; seed-saving always repays the effort involved in both quantity of seed available and beauty in the garden.



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