It was sad to watch the vine producers how they crying out of rage pluck the still unripe grapes to receive the 5000 € subsidy for not producing wine last year. In recession the produced wine is more difficult to sell and the wine as well. Yet, most of them don’t have the needed savings to overcome the years of scarcity.
However, I ask myself, if it wouldn’t be a better way to give the subsidies for the production of the ripe grapes and donating them to the kindergartens, primary, secondary and high schools, student’s organizations, Karitas, Red Cross, food bank, crisis center, women/men refuge and similar institutions. Or, they would invite the schools on a field trip, where they would participate in grape-harvesting, and the harvest would be taken to the school and partly home and maybe they could participate in making pasteurized grape juice.
Years ago, when I was still working in my profession, I didn’t think about this, yet I have been meeting lots of people to whom such a solution would be very helpful. Back then, people, if they had at least a bit of spare money, rented a gardening plot to produce their own vegetables for the summer, when the school meals weren’t available. If the hail destroyed their tomatoes, they cried, because it was the only tomatoes they could possibly eat that summer.
The period we live in now has much similarities with the one described above. That’s why it is worth trying. Maybe we will all be less angry, disappointed and sad.
The grapevine, though, is useful also for some other uses not only for making wine, especially, if it is of organic produce. The grapevine blossoms make good tea and help to improve eyesight and revive nerves. The leaves make a pleasant refreshing, a bit sour tasting tea, and are good for treating arthritis and other diseases. Tendrils taste sour as well, and are good for leveling the skin pigmentation freckles and cleaning the face skin. The grapevine juice from the stem is used against dandruff, skin diseases and hair loss. Grapes are good also to make juice, jelly and jam. And the washed out pips are used to make oil. These are only some medicinal uses of grapevine from folk medicine.
In organically produced grapes it is said to work well, if the rape is sown beneath the grapevine, hence it evaporates enough sulphur, so the use of phytopharmaceuticals isn’t necessary. The onion is supposed to work in the same way as well. I guess it also depends on the weather. Some also let the sheep to pasture in the vineyard, so the sheep graze all the grass and the grapevine leaves up to 1 meter height and also manure the vineyard. So the byproduct is also sheep milk, sheep cheese and wool.
So there are quite some other possibilities, and maybe it’s worth a try.