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.
The Saratoga County Press says, respecting the Vermont Patent Grapery mentioned in-our September number: "In reading the notice of a Vermontor's patent for a grapery, we are reminded of a conversation with one of our subscribers, C. W. Dake, Esq., of Greenfield, last spring. He was telling us of the abundant crop of Isabella Grapes he raised every year, when we made some inquiries in regard to his way of saving them from the early frosts that generally prevented their reaching maturity in this latitude. In answer to this, he said that he set his vine on the south side of his barn, and had the eaves of the barn project over it, or else a sort of projection was made from the side of the barn for a short distance. Then the vines were trained up against the side of the barn, and some wide doors were made like ordinary cheap barn doors, and hung each side of where the vines were trained up. When there was a prospect of a frosty night, the doors were closed and fastened, thus in a single instant protecting them, and when morning came, the doors were opened to let in the sun on them. In this way, with a very little expense and trouble he was enabled to secure the ripening and protection of his grapes, and enjoy a luxury such as few persons know of hereabouts.
Although we have no recollection of speaking about it, we presume he keeps his vines shut up in winter, perhaps protected with straw, which might be done with little trouble, if necessary. If the Horticulturist editor or correspondents can suggest anything cheaper or better than this, Mr. Dake and our readers would like to hear of it".
Undoubtedly, this is a good plan in northern latitudes for grapes which only occasionally are injured by early frost We have seen something of the kind which was successful, and even for foreign grapes in cities, a simple protection might be sufficient Black Hamburg Grapes have frequently been thoroughly ripened on walls in the open air in Philadelphia - say one year in four, and under favorable circumstances; with doors such as described, they would probably ripen nearly always.