Tuesday, May 24, 2016

History of Concord grapes

New England is the birthplace of the Concord grape. The Concord grape owes it origin to Ephraim Wales Bull, whose occupation was goldbeating, making gold leaf out of gold, and whose avocation was gardening. In 1840, he moved from Boston to Concord, Massachusetts where he would have more land to pursue his hobby.

It grew from a seed planted in 1843, which bore fruit in 1849. According to him, some boys brought wild grape up from the river and scattered them around his property.  A seedling appeared which he tended and when it fruited he panted seed from it.

Prior to the appearance of the Concord, grape growing in Eastern American had limited success. Bull planted some 22,000 seedlings before he had produced the grape that would own the jelly market his cutting eventually garnering him a tidy $1,000 apiece.

It took a man from New Jersey to turn Bull’s grape into an American legend.  In 1869 Dr. Thomas Welch, boiled and sieved 40 pounds of Concord grapes and employing the Pasteur method of sterilization, proceeded to bottle the world’s first 12 quarts of fresh, unfermented grape juice.

Today US grape farmers harvest more Concord grapes than all other varieties combined.
History of Concord grapes