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Grape Vine

As soon as we had plans for the Greenhouse, Eric was particularly keen on the idea of a grape vine along the ridge, with an idea to make wine from the produce.

Grapes like their roots cool, and where they can find water, so part of the greenhouse design was to have the roots outside the greenhouse, and trail the plant in through a convenient hole.

The hole was achieved as part of a cunning plan, which was to raise the entire greenhouse by 30cm or so, by cementing recycled breezeblocks above ground on the footings. So the internal headroom of the greenhouse is higher, it is easier to get in through the door (and Barry designed this so he could get his mother’s wheelchair into the greenhouse). There are also four gaps in the breezeblocks which were intended for cowling vents, but we only got as far as wooden boarding slats which could be removed for additional ventilation, but rarely are.

Grapes in the TOP Greenhouse Aug 2009

Grapes in the TOP Greenhouse Aug 2009

Mark provided a Black Hamburg cutting (one of the few varieties that grows successfully outdoors in the UK), and it took several years for it to enter the greenhouse with a strong enough bough to train, (having fallen victim to Bramble clearance pruning at least once).

But now it has grown along the entire length of the greenhouse, providing natural shading in the height of summer, and a very tasty crop.

The grapes are small, very sweet, and melt in your mouth. They do have pips which most commercial varieties now avoid.  But ours are of course better, no food miles, and a sweet taste.