Grape

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A bunch of grapes. Copyright © 2003–2007 Norman Walsh.

Grapes are a type of fruit. They grow in bunches on grape vines. They are classified as a type of berry because they grow on vines. Grapes can be green, red, pink or purple.

Grape cultivation is called viticulture. Viti means vine in Latin. Grapes grow on long thin vines that twist around just about anything. Most commercial growers set up some type of trellis system in fields to support the vines. Trellis systems are a series of posts, sometimes with cross arms, connected by wires which the grapes twist around. This keeps the grapes off the ground and allows workers and machines easy access to the fields. Vineyards are rows and rows of grape vines trained on trellis systems. A grape vine does not produce a full crop for 3 to 4 years. It takes five years before a grape vine produces at full capacity. Vines are pruned to limit harvest so the vines reach mature size quickly. Grape clusters form in spring and are harvested in the fall. Grapes are picked by hand or by machine. Table grape and fresh grape clusters are individually picked by twisting the stem by hand or by cutting them off with a knife or pruning shears. Wine grapes can be harvested by a machine which shakes the clusters off the grape vines.

Production

90% of the grapes grown world wide are used in wine. Wine grapes are green and red. Grapes are also eaten fresh. Purple or white grapes are squished to make juice. Jams and jellies are made from juice and pulp; fruit leather is made from the skin and pulp. Grape seed oil is made from the seeds. This oil is used for cosmetics and cooking. It is rated higher than extra virgin olive oil. After harvest, table grapes are sent directly to market. Wine grapes are picked into bins and sent to a winery. At the winery, the grapes are crushed. For white wine the skins and seeds are removed. The juice is put into containers to ferment. This fermentation process which creates alcohol and carbon dioxide takes 10 to 30 days or more depending on the type of wine that is produced. Then the wine is racked and all the pulp, seeds and skin are removed. The wine is put into casks or barrels to age; then it is bottled and sold.

Early grape growers tried to import European varieties to grow in North America. These vines were ruined by the cold winters and various diseases and insects. Now European grapes are grown by grafting European grapes onto North American stock. Grapes also need to be protected from birds. This can be done by netting the grapes, using gigantic noise machines, or using colorful streamers which frighten and annoy the birds. Fencing a vineyard is important to keep deer out. Rabbits like young grape vines, which is why poison must be placed around the perimeter of the vineyard. Insecticides are sometimes used to control many insects that damage grape plants.

Diabetes treatment

Natural diabetes treatment.

Evidence has been mounting that grapes have genuine benefits for heart health and diabetes. [1] [2] Still more interesting fact is that grapes acts as a preventative agent in prostrate, lung, liver, and breast cancer. Grapes activate liver to glycogenic functions and bile secretions and is highly useful for all types of liver disorders. [3]

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