Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grow Muscadine Grapes on your Urban Homestead

Muscadine Grapes also known as Swamp Grapes are native to the south. Ironically, the conditions for which these grapes grow are considered too harsh and destructive for other sorts of grapes that are more common. But there is a caveat to this and it is; what does not destroy you makes you stronger and the muscadine grape has proven to be a true champion in this arena. If your walking around the Georgia Brush on some hot summer day you may just walk up on a cluster of extremely dark grapes that are sooo sooooo sweet. A variety of the muscadine that many refer to as the scuppernog has a very thick shell with very sweet flesh inside. This thick skin that the Muscadine has developed causes it to develop under the harsh conditions the Southern weather exposes it to. Tons of research have been done on the benefits of grapes and in-particulary the health effects of red wine that are used by grapes. It is said the darker the grape the more health benefits it has. Many people are raving about the studies associated with Resveratrol, this is one bi-product of red grapes that seem to show some promise for anti-aging along with many other health benefits. But there is some caution that should be adhered to because most if not all of the studies have only been in pre-clinical trials using rats and mice. it will take some time for Human clinical trials to produce some real satisfying results. As for now the research has shown that dark red grapes harbor the qualities of Resveratrol. The longer the grapes skins ferment in the mixture the more Resveratrol seems to be extracted. But there is one grape that has been reported to have an overwhelming amount of resveratrol and that's our very own Swamp grape the Muscadine. Growing up my fathers, father who definitely learned the technique from his fathers, father who probably was running barefoot around Georgia at that time made potent concoction that they called Kick-a-boo Juice. Well it's no secret that a swig of the Ole "kick" would probably feel like you have been kicked by a mule. But Dad and his brothers to this day have fond memories of the thick shelled grapes that grow rampant in the south. My muscadine vine is in it's second season and has started to grow strong. There a self fertile vines and female only vines at this point they have to just grow and I will scale them back until I get the main beams to run along the fence line. Hopefully in a couple of years I will harvest enough grapes to make myself blind:)


happyskunk said...

I'm trying to grow peanuts for the first time this year. I see that they are also high in resveratrol. I guess I will find out if peanuts can be grown in Idaho.

Doug said...

We have been making wine the old fashioned way - big tubs in the kitchen - using our very own swamp grapes. They're also great for jelly/ jam. You just need a lot.

Security Guy said...

I have a very good friend that introduced these to me about a year ago. You will be surprised at how sweet they!