This is Joy, in a photo from Idaho, where fruit breeder Esmaeil Fallahi included John Clark’s table grapes in his trial plantings.
courtesy of John Clark, University of Arkansas
Much of John Clark’s success as a plant breeder rests with blackberries, but he also breeds grapes, as well as peaches and nectarines.
Four new seedless table grape varieties named Faith, Hope, Joy, and Gratitude, which were released last year, are available from nurseries in limited quantities. These are the ninth through twelfth grape cultivars released by the Arkansas program.
“These releases expand options for table grape growers for local markets in the United States,” Clark wrote in describing them. “All four cultivars have non-slipskin flesh with good skin quality, fruit cracking resistance, and good vine health and winter hardiness.”
Faith is blue-fruited, he said, slight fruity to neutral in flavor, and semicrisp. It is the earliest of the four and ripens in late July to early August.
Hope is green-fruited, has a fruity flavor, is rather soft in texture, and has high production potential. It ripens near August 19.
Joy is blue-fruited with exceptional fruity flavor but very soft texture, and ripens the first or second week of August.
Gratitude berries are green with exceptional flesh crispness, and neutral flavor, ripening usually in late August.
“These cultivars, in addition to prior releases from the program (including Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune), provide for a range of dates of harvest along with choices of fruit colors, shapes, textures, and flavors for local market growers,” Clark said.