Friday, 1 November 2013

Autumn In The Valley









I love autumn.  I feel sad saying goodbye to summer, the dark mornings arrive too suddenly, replaced by marginally lighter mornings and shorter days once the clock goes back.  I wanted to photograph my neighbour's grape harvest, which took place on Sunday afternoon, just before the storm.  They'd invited the pickers to arrive at 3pm, forgetting about the clock change, so there was a frenzy of activity to get the grapes picked before dark.  There wasn't enough light to take photos and I stupidly cut my finger on some blunt kitchen scissors.  However, the vendange was successful with a record amount of grapes picked.  The grapes were sent off to Carr Taylor just outside Hastings, where they are made into some very good sparkling wine.  We drank some 2009 vintage with our pickers' supper in the barn, while the rain poured down outside.  The chestnut crop has been abundant this year, I've picked kilos of them.  It's proper slow food: I painstakingly cut a little cross on the top of each chestnut and roast them in a hot oven for 20 minutes or so, then snack on them.  I haven't made sloe gin before, I've been advised to wait until the first frost, which was two days ago, and now those sloes are just saying 'pick me'.

I've headed out of the garden this week, up the valley and am linking up to Mammasaurus's How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mammasaurus - How Does Your Garden Grow?


12 comments:

  1. Beautiful - I love the chestnut photo especially. Can you believe I have only found 2 of them this year - and they weren't tucked up in their shells. How exciting to pick grapes to be made into wine- that really appeals to me in so many ways. I love that row of trees, such colour - oh I love Autumn!

    Thanks for joining in and sharing x

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  2. Really love your photos of the chestnuts! I'd imagine the effort of roasting them is all worth it when you get to eat them :)

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  3. Sounds like fun, apart from hurting your finger! Beautiful pics and now I'm craving gin....

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    1. That was stupid of me. I always crave gin.

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  4. We have sloes in the freezer - to trick them into thinking its the first frost!? - and a bottle of gin in the cupboard so need to actually make the stuff now. Also how fab to harvest the grapes for future wine to drink!

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    1. What a great idea tricking sloes...

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  5. Love that first photo! It is almost surprising and I stared at it awhile because those spiky things are really crazy looking. It looks like you are having a beautiful autumn!

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    1. The colours are wonderful this year.

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  6. Gorgeous photos. I do love chestnuts and can't wait to have my first ones of the season.

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    1. Hope you've found some chestnuts.

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