Gathering The Fruit For Market





In this, the vineyardist, of course, only aims at profit, and for that

purpose the grapes are often gathered when they are hardly

colored--long before they are really ripe--because the public will

generally buy them at a high price. Let us hope, however, that better

taste will in time prevail, and that even a majority of the public will

learn to appreciate the difference between ripe and unripe fruit. I

would advise my readers at least to wait until the fruit is fully and

evenly colored; for it is our duty to do all we can to correct this

vicious leaning towards swallowing unripe fruit, which is so prevalent

in this nation, and the producer will not lose anything either, because

his fruit will look much better, it will therefore bring the same price

which half ripened fruit would have brought, even a week sooner, and

will weigh heavier. Every grape will generally color full two weeks

before it is fully ripe; and as they are one of the fruits that will

not ripen _after_ they are gathered, they will shrivel and look

indifferent if gathered before.



To ship them to market any distance, they should be packed in low,

shallow boxes, say six inches high, so that they will hold about two

layers of grapes. Cut the branches carefully, with as long a stem as

possible, for more convenient handling, taking care to preserve all the

bloom, and clipping out all the unripe berries. They are generally

weighed in the basket before packing. Now put a layer of vine leaves on

the bottom of the box; then make a layer of grapes, laying them as

close as possible; then put a layer of leaves over them; on them put

another layer of grapes, filling up evenly; then spread leaves rather

thickly over them, and nail on the cover. The box should be perforated

with holes, to admit some air. The grapes must be perfectly dry when

gathered, and the box should be well filled to prevent shaking and

bruising.





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