The purpose? To pick the sweet, plump, juicy Thompson Seedless grapes and lay them out on large paper trays. Why did we place these grapes onto paper trays? So that they would dry in the sun and turn into raisins.
The grapes were left to dry in the sun for about two weeks. Then, volunteers returned to the vineyard to roll the grapes, or should I say raisins, inside the paper trays. The raisins were processed and made available to people around the world as part of the LDS Church's welfare and worldwide humanitarian aid programs. If you'd like to learn about the LDS Humanitarian Aid program, please click HERE.
This vineyard is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the Church in eight stakes volunteer to work in the vineyard throughout the year. For my non-LDS readers, you may be wondering what a "stake" is. A stake is a geographical unit that is made up of a group of wards. And a ward is a local congregation that is organized geographically. Members of the Church attend a ward near their home. Each ward is assigned a certain number of rows in this vineyard.
I took these photos after my husband and I had finished working in the vineyard.
Newly picked grapes. Isn't that a beautiful sight?
A row of grapes in the vineyard. See how they are changing color? These were picked several days before we arrived. They were already on their way to becoming raisins.
Grapes beginning to dry in the sun.
Grape picking tools – grape pan, grape knives, garden pruner, and water. My husband uses a grape knife. I prefer my garden pruner.
To learn more about the LDS Vineyard in Madera, please click the following link. There's a great video that accompanies this brief article. The video shows volunteers working in the vineyard.
Raisins: Part of the Lord’s Work
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