24 July 2012

Seaside vineyard

   Not actually a vineyard since the plant's not a vine, but the sea grape is pretty amazing and it really does produce grapes. The plant's deep, spreading root system clings to the sand, often right at the edge of high tide where it's daily washed by salty water...to no apparent ill effect.  On a windy day the big leaves drip from the salty water that coats them, blown through the air from the Caribbean...again, to no apparent ill effect.  The sea grape thrives in this coastal environment.  

   The fat grapes form in long clusters of a size between twenty-five cents U.S. and five cordoba Nicaragua.  They ripen unevenly - that is, not the entire cluster at once but one at a time - to red.   The single seed in each makes up most of the grape; but what's edible is sweet and a bit tart.