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It is the time of year when I start to cut back my rampant grape vines. I usually tie them together and leave them for the birds to nest, but this year I am creating a hugelkultur bed and I was wondering if these long vines would be good for composting. Or anything else. If there or any ideas for using these vines, other than for decoration, I would appreciate suggestions and advice.

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    I usually run them through the chipper and compost them, but I like Stephie's answer (burning them to heat food). I gotta ry that – J. Musser Nov 7 '15 at 18:41
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Sure, you could put them in as woody material to compost slowly. You could also bundle them and burn.

Some folks make baskets with them. Depending what you then do with them that could be either practical or decoration.

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A side note re. burning them:

A small German company (in German, sorry) sells them as charcoal alternative for grilling. The most important information as per their website and newspaper articles:

  • They claim that they are ready for grilling (embers) in only five to ten minutes and supply good heat for about twenty minutes.
  • It is said that the smoke is very aromatic and "tasty".
  • If you want to try it yourself, you need to dry the twigs for at least 14 months - so you'd have them for the 2017 barbequeue season.
  • Not all grapes are equally suitable, Chardonnay is said to be best and Riesling a bit hit and miss.

Disclaimer:
I have no affilliation with the company mentioned above.


Update:
I got a bit curious myself and did a bit more research. It seems in some Spanish regions using the vines for grilling is customary too. The method there is called "al sarmiento". And likewise in France, in the regions of Camargue and Languedoc.

  • Now that is an idea! – J. Musser Nov 7 '15 at 18:40
  • Given how much grapes may be sprayed with various things in commerce, I'd be more prone to do this with ones I knew/grew personally. – Ecnerwal Nov 7 '15 at 19:57
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    @Ecnerwal They even offer organic chips for smoking. But yes, always better if you know what went in/on something. – Stephie Nov 7 '15 at 20:09

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