While I know that a pretty fair portion of my psyche is taken up with negativity and fatalism, I also realize that I have inherited some “farmer” genes that always manage to show themselves when it comes to growing things. I become really optimistic when I think about putting new plants and seeds into the ground and I am taken over with dreams about how beautiful and productive the plants will be.
I was reminded of this the other day, when I saw an acquaintance at the weekly McBride farmers’ market selling grape vines. The Robson Valley is not really “grape” country, but he lives in town and does have an extensive grapevine growing along one side of his house. His grapes, while not real big in size do have “grape” taste and they are hardy to our cold climate.
Full of optimism, I laid my money down and bought 4 vines and which I planted along the fence surrounding our garden. Now, every time I walk past them, I can’t help but visualize the day when I can cut off a bunch of grapes from the vine.
I have fond memories of the grapes that grew at my grandparent’s old farm house in Indiana. They had a bower that ran the whole length of the house in the back. During the summer, it became a shady tunnel, where you could take relief from the heat under the foliage and pick from the bunches of grapes as you walked through it. My grandmother made grape jelly that I looked forward to spreading over my buttered bread.
Some years ago, neighbors who live down the road, planted a whole field with 3 different varieties of grapes. This was a long term project and they were thinking in terms of growing for wine production. I haven’t talked to them about the grapes for several years so I don’t know how successful their experiment is doing.
My plans are a lot less ambitious, I would be happy just to be able to have a few grapes to pop into my mouth when I am out working in the garden.
See my paintings at: www.davidmarchant.ca