This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
W. S., (New-York.) If you wish to preserve your grapes very perfectly, take large earthern jars and fill the bottom one inch in depth with dry charcoal dust. Pick the clusters in a dry cool day - dip the end of the stalk in melted sealing wax; cut out every decayed or wilted berry with a small scissors. Wrap each bunch in soft paper, and lay one upon another till the jar is full. Then put the lid of the jar on, and cover it all round the edges with pulverised charcoal. Set the jars away on shelves in a cool dry cellar, or room where the temperature is low without frost.
Dr. R. Liffingwell, of Aurora, N. Y., assures us that both himself and a neighbor have no more difficulty in keeping grapes than apples. Gather them carefully on a dry day, remove all unsound or unripe berries, and pack them in small, shallow boxen, with paper on the bottom and between the layers; set them in a cool, dry place for ten days, when they will have passed the sweating process, and then close them tight, and keep them at a low temperature, without freezing. A dry cellar will answer. Dr. L. promises us the results of his experiments with sorghum, which we hope to receive. We are prepared to hear of many successes*
At a late meeting of the Alton, Illinois Horticultural Society, a member remarked that he had no trouble in keeping grapes sweet and good till the first of April. Pick carefully, spread in garret to shrink several days, and then pack in shallow boxes about five inches deep, holding twenty-five pounds each, and lined with paper. In spring the grapes come out good and sweet, though somewhat shriveled.
A successful European method is to cut them with plenty of wood for stem, and insert this in a bottle full of water; the bottle may be set in a sloping direction upon a shelf, and the bunch hanging over the neck touches nothing. Kept in this way in a cool room, where the temperature never rises above 45 degrees, they have been known to last at least two months. The loss of berries is very small.