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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

Next: Preserving The Fruit

Previous: A Few Necessary Improvements

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