The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Some of you in the past have showed interest in picking fox grapes and making either Wine or Jelly...

Was out tonight at 1 of my favorite places to pick Fox Grapes....got maybe 4 pounds..Seems someone else found my little Secret spot, but they didn't pick the grapes that they had to work to pick them...


They are Ripe and Ready to be picked!

Give it another week and you'll be able to follow your Nose to those that are DEAD RIPE and Hidden!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,084 Posts
I picked about 7-8lbs yesterday. There's probably another 5+lbs at the spot but it got dark on me and I could only do so much with the cherry picker I was using. Off to make some jelly!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ship,

You didn't happen to pick there at the 1 place I told you about that is East of the Gun Club??

I was thinking of going there today and picking some!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
when they mowed the 1 field off and put the Soccer/Baseball fields in back there behind the pond, they tore up a mess of Fox Grapes, Black Berries, Black Raspberry and Elderberries...

I remember back in the 70s going with my Mom and Dad and brothers and sisters and picking and picking and picking all over the place back there...Had to wade around in mud and muck..all that used to be was an over grown swamp there behind the pond!

Guess I'm just going to be stuck with making only Jelly this year, doesn't look like there is going to be enough for wine making!


The place I was at last evening, I think I had told you about it....the field I had found 3 years ago where there was an Old Vineyard, someone from the state had went in and bush hogged a big trail back around the grape vines and also went around and mowed the hidden Fox Grapes open to be able to pick...

Who ever was picking there did not try their best to get the high up grapes, they just picked what was at head level and left the rest hang up in the tree limbs...

Took very little effort to pull on a limb and get the grapes down to pick without breaking tree limbs or ripping vines apart...

I think I'm going to look at the pear pole picker my Mom still has and see if it will work for getting high up grapes...I know where there is a bunch up high on the Farm I hunt and Trap on...would be easy to pick them if there was a tree limb hanging down about 8 feet lower...all the wines are hanging up at about 14 feet and there is a good 10 pounds of grapes hunging on the vines!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,084 Posts
I use either a limb trimmer or cherry picker for getting the high ones. With the limb trimmer I can get the ones within 15 feet of the ground and the cherry picker allows me to get at least 30 feet. I also take a rake with me. I'll first go through ones on the ground and find which are still good then I take the rake and rake the area clear. Using the cherry picker or limb trimmer I'll shake the vines and the grapes come raining down. Since I know all of the bad ones are gone, everything in the area is good to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
OK YOU GUYS STUMPED ME ON THIS ONE. WHAT IS A FOX GRAPES? WHERE DO YOU FIND THEM? AND ARE THEY ANYTHING LIKE THE RANDOM WILD GRAPES THAT MAKE UP MANY A DEER THICKET?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Fox Grapes are BIG Grapes that grow along creeks or near water...

If you are meaning the small grapes, NO that is not what we are talking about..

What we are talking about are Grapes that are normally bigger then a Cultivated Concord Grape and are found almost all over PA...

Walk a Stream this time of year and pay close attention to Vines, some places you might have to look up high to see grapes, other places they have nothing to climb and will be low to the ground....

Close to the time where if you walk an area that holds Fox Grapes, you will be able to let your Nose lead you to them...when they get DEAD Ripe, you can smell them a good 100 yards away!


Can't tell you any of the hiding places I know...I already Told Ship about 2 places a few years back and he and I take care of them....

Once you find a Spot, DON'T Tell about it (Unless you Trust the person to not tell others)or you will end up loosing out on that place!

Fox Grapes are not worth Money like Wild Ginseng, but when you find spots to pick from, you tend to keep hush hush on them for they very GOOD made into Wine or Jelly!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
WWD, THANKS! i thought i knew what there was to know about pa wild edibles. but you educated me today, thanks again. so they are found all over pa not just certain areas? can you give me an idea of areas i would want to check? like large creek or ponds, lakes? or do you find them near any water like small feeder streams would these be good places to look? what smell do they give off? i take it they are pretty hard to find, and not very common, so i understand you if you dont want to give away your secrets
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
All the areas you mentioned will most likely hold Fox Grapes..You just have to look for them..



What Smell do they Give off...A Nice Rich Smell of DEAD RIPE Grapes...


Pretty Hard to Find...NO, just Over Looked....I make Mental Notes when out Trout Fishing in the spring, I see grape vines, I go back and check them about the middle of July...
Just seems this year the vines are not all full like in past years and the spots I know of that have Produced Very Good in years past, someone else happened to find them and picked from them...The 1 area is state owned property...I happened to be picking a few years back and pushed my way thru thick briers to get behind the fox grapes to pick and found an Old Vineyard that had all kinds of grapes that I had no clue what they were (I knew the Concord and Deleware Grapes but the pink ones I had no clue what they were and still do not know what kind they are)...I kept hush hush on this area, went back there at the end of August each year and picked fox grapes and the other grapes...this year, I walked in and found that someone had used a Bush Hog and cut a big path back into the old vineyard and picked every last grape that was on the wines in the vineyard and then cleaned up almost all the Fox Grapes in the area!

From what Ship posted about what he found on the place he and I both pick from, and what I saw at the other 2 places that were hidden, this year isn't a huge crop year for fox grapes in our area...the area ship and I both pick from, in a good year, he and I both could pick from them and both have plenty of fox grapes to make wine and jelly!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Dayton,

there is an area that I'm pretty Sure Ship picks from and I'd LOVE to pick in that area...it is Private Property, Ship has Permission to be on it, I do not...


I'll give you a little discription of it but NOT an Area in the state, it may help you out on places to think of to find Fox Grapes, other then the lakes, ponds, creeks, streams and river areas...

There is an old farm in our area...parts of the old barn still standing....near the old barn is a small pond...there is Fox grapes in there growing pretty good...been growing in there Since I can remember!

The place is over grown around the small pond, I think I remember Ship telling me that the pond has pretty much dried up and is just a small mud area from what it had been years ago...yet the grapes still grow in there!

I've never come to find out why fox grapes are not like cultivated grapes when it comes to water...cultivated grapes, the LESS water there is, the Sweeter and Better the grapes grow, the MORE water there is around cultivated grapes they are not as good, do not grow as much and rot faster...

I have found that Fox Grapes are the complete Opposite of the Cultivated Grapes...

back in 04,05, which ever it was when we had nothing but rain rain rain all summer long, I was picking Fox Grapes that were the size of half dollars.....they filled up with all that water and the grapes got HUGE...they tasted just like they should have yet were much sweeter, never have I seen that in Cultivated Grapes and everything I have read points to Cultivates Grapes are better with less water, all the Owners of Wineries I have talked have said the Same thing...

Don't feel bad on not knowing what a Fox Grape is...I had almost every Owner of the wineries tell me they didn't know what they were and Ship and I have had to explain it a few times on here what Fox Grapes are...There are a few others that are picking or getting ready to pick their areas...I'm sure once they do, we will see reports of jelly and wine being made!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,084 Posts
Woody,

The grapes around the pond and barn there are few and far between. Maybe the vines you're remembering got ripped out when they logged in 1997 & 1998. I've searched hard for 3 years only to find one vine down near the one field that produces a pound or two at most. I get the bulk of my grapes from a place that 100's of people drive past every day. I have a secret trail to get in to them and then a tunnel that I maintain to get me through the briars so no one knows that I'm in there. The fresh jelly and fruit leather I made on Sunday reminds me how much the effort is worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Shippinit said:
Woody,

The grapes around the pond and barn there are few and far between. Maybe the vines you're remembering got ripped out when they logged in 1997 & 1998. I've searched hard for 3 years only to find one vine down near the one field that produces a pound or two at most. I get the bulk of my grapes from a place that 100's of people drive past every day. I have a secret trail to get in to them and then a tunnel that I maintain to get me through the briars so no one knows that I'm in there. The fresh jelly and fruit leather I made on Sunday reminds me how much the effort is worth it.
Keep it that Way!!

I know a place that has Thousands driving by it each day, BUT I don't think PSP would take to Kindly to me picking in there if they caught me...and I think You also know the place
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
There used to be A LOT hanging off the Old Dam back there on the Game lands, but when they ripped out the Dam, the Fox Grapes went with it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ship,

Side Thought on the Old Dam on the Game Lands that was torn out...

Do you happen to Remember Back in the late 80s when the Stock Truck Broke down on the main road and the trout started to go Belly up...they had to do something with the trout, so they went up to the old dam and started dumping trout in that little creek...

I know your a little younger then I, but I'm sure, seeing you lived close by, you might have heard about it and even fished for the trout...

I remember for a few weeks that little creek in that small stretch from the dam right down over the hill from the "Home" down to the main road was wall to wall guys fishing for trout!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,084 Posts
I'm a bit too young to remember that, but I have heard of people talking about trout being in there at one time. Have you looked for grapes around the home there lately? I went in there 2 years ago, but didn't see a thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Last I was in there looking was 3 years ago...all I found were those Small grapes that I've always been told were poisonous...the ones that are about the Size of Poke Berries...

I've went back on the Game Lands behind Benny's and found some by the small pond back in the woods...picked from them a few times and thought it was SGL Property then found out last year the SGL line runs that old road out thru to the pipe line and the pond is Private Property..the way the SGL Signs go out thru there it can confuse you in some spots!

Have you ever went back in the Watershed? My Sister told me there are some back in there, she and her Husband pick from them every now and then but not every year.
I'd like to be able to find the old well house on the Game Lands (Across from the Home, NOT back in the Watershed), I can only find it if I stumble onto it while hunting back there...if you happen to know how to go directly to it, you may want to check it out, I know there were Fox Grapes back there in years past!

I'd really like to know why not many grow on the Clubs Property, seeing it is pretty swampy back in there where the old swimming pool used to be!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,084 Posts
I've been back at the watershed before but it was before I knew about fox grapes.

Not too sure about the old well house. My Dad might know. He used to hunt in there quite a bit.

I find it strange that there aren't very many on the club land as well. There are a ton of vines below the old pond, but the leaves aren't right. There are a lot of vines with the right leaves along the creek down at the field, but like I said before the grapes are very scattered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Thanks for that link. I always wondered what the guys were talking about when they said fox grapes. And for the info to look for them. Dick
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top