|Posted by holidaysinthegers on November 2, 2009 at 5:42 AM|
I expect when you think of the Gers or SW France you don't think of Kiwis do you ?? Well, I have just finished a week of harvesting tonnes of them in the village.
For the last few years I have driven passed the groves, but never really gave them much thought as they were in the middle of the vines. I assumed they were apples or something. So when Paulette asked me if I was interested in picking Kiwis, I was intrigued. We all duly arrived at the farm for an 8am start. We were given instructions on how to pick them and told to treat them like eggs as they bruise very easily, then off we set.
The trees are grown in long rows and are trained along metal wires. I have never seen so many kiwis. The trees were really heavily loaded with some kiwis close to the ground and others so high you had to stand on a crate to get at them. The work was break-backing with each row taking more than two hours to pick, but with a great bunch of people we had a fun time, even if I didn't understand too much of the conversations/ banter !!! Luckily, the sun stayed out all week and it was around 24 degress for most of the time. Not bad for the end of October !! Over the the course of the week, week we picked somewhere in the region of 40 tonnes of them. So the next time you buy a Kiwi grown in France, it might have been picked by me !!
I have added a photo to the photo gallery. Next Wednesday we are getting together for the traditional end of harvest supper. Lots of good local food and wine. An excellent tradition I think !!
Over the last few weeks I have had Vivian Charlesworth staying with me. She is a young amercian artist who has just finished her studies in fine art. Vivian has created the most amazing mural on my barn wall and is finishing off a second one as I write. I have added a photo of the first to the gallery. She is superbly talented and I wish her great success in the future. Sadly, she leaves this Friday as she has to return to the States and she will be missed. However, she would love to return to Europe so, if you are looking for someone to do some painting for you I can pass on your details to her.