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When Liz and I bought this house four years ago, we didn’t one hundred percent realize that it came with a grape arbor. It’s a simple structure at one end of our backyard, and starting in late April each year, gorgeous, lush green tendrils and leaves start appearing. It ends up full and beautiful, and provides perfect shade in the summer – it’s enormously pretty.
The downside is that the grapes it produces are largely inedible – they’re awful and sour. And yet, said grapes need to be harvested at the end of each August. Otherwise they ferment on the vine, then rot and fall off, creating the stench of a distillery gone terribly wrong.
The first few years, our elderly neighbor, without any prompting from us, climbed up on top of the grape arbor early each April and trimmed the vines back. We had no idea why he was…
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