y Mom showed me how she prunes her grapes the other day. When my parents took over the farm in the early 80’s there where several old vines in the middle of the garden by the house that my great-grandparents probably planted. My great-grandma showed my mom how to prune them. She told her you have to prune them until it hurts! “If you’re not wincing, you’re not taking off enough”, she said. Mom said she tries to find 3 or 4 lively looking canes for each vine from the ground. The younger canes are a brighter brown color and smoother, the older canes are faded and dead looking. She says you normally prune them in the spring when the plant is still dormant, usually in March. Here’s a before and after:
We also noticed the rhubarb poking up in the garden. It has a rather strange pod form at first. I can’t wait to make rhubarb cakes and pies.
Rhubarb Streusel Bread Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh or sliced frozen rhubarb
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cold butter
- In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar and oil. Add egg, mix well. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into brown sugar mixture just until combined. Fold in the rhubarb and nuts. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans.
- For topping, in a bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and butter until crumbly; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Cut with a serrated knife.