Pat Shingleton: "A Grape Story..."
Our friend Bruce Childers is "testing" a new crop that may have a great yield and market not only here but through the country and the world. Another popular crop, grapes, have advanced to one of the "top crops" for Louisiana and include Bunch, Muscadine and Mayhaw. The Bunch variety include Fredonia, Blue Lake, Suwanee and Conquistador. The popular Muscadines include Supreme, and Sweet Judy. Our Mayhaw's are Royalty and Texas Star. Concord Grapes were also a staple for us in our younger years in Pennsylvania. Residents would sink posts, connect bailing wire and plant the young vines in late February or early March. Our vines were very old, producing enough sweet grapes for consumption and for our Mom to "can" jars of grape jelly. Our neighbor, Lee Whitmire, had a larger, more developed arbor that enclosed a portion of his backyard. His arbor seemed to be always loaded with grapes and also served as a quiet, comforting and inviting space. I remember sitting next to my grandfather, under the arbor's shade, in late summer. Bert and Lee would solve the problems of the world while I ate fresh grapes.