Harvest Is Coming


The grapes are turning purple in the vineyards around Sulzburg. Some of them anyway – many of the local varieties ripen green.

An unexpected benefit of COVID-19 is that we will be in Germany for the harvest, probably early in September. Our usual schedule has us in Canada then, so we’ve always missed it.

I do have mixed feelings about being here when the grapes come off the vines, and it isn’t just sadness at my normal routine being disrupted. I’m happy to be able to observe the harvest – but I’ve heard it is a lot of work.

It is pretty much a foregone conclusion that I’m going to get drafted as a grape picker. We have friends with a small vineyard, and my wife and I have both been pressed into occasional service when there is work to be done with the vines.

That has always been fun, and I’ve learned a bit about grape growing along the way. But it can be hard work – and I’ve heard harvest is the hardest work of all.

My friends, because they have only a small plot of land, belong to a co-op. That means they are given a harvesting date, they don’t get to choose. My understanding is that any friends who can come out and help that day are much appreciated.

I’ll admit I’m not a fan of manual labor, but I am looking forward to participating in the harvest (I think). Each day the grapes seem a little plumper.

Since I don’t really know much about grapes I’m wondering if the call to harvest may even come before September. The summer has been sunshine and nothing but. Bad for some crops, but I think good for the grapes. My wife sampled one the other day and found it tasty.

I have no idea when it will be time to help with the harvest. Given that I am naturally lazy and might look for an excuse to avoid it if I knew the schedule, that’s probably a good thing.

What about you? Anything you are looking forward to in the next month? Anything you are hoping to avoid?


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