Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The joys of summer

One of the joys of summer - fruit picking. Who doesn't enjoy picking a fruit right off the tree/plant & eating it there & then ? I must have mentioned that Rene, X's father has an organic garden but let me clarify this further, it should be called a plantation. This man has vegetables & fruits of all variety, a pond for trout & some 300+ plants of raspberries. And he maintains all this by himself. I will do a post about this plantation another time, because today we're talking raspberries.

So when I say I'm going raspberry picking, it's not a leisurely stroll in the garden, picking fruits at random. It is work. We leave at 6 in the morning, collect till noon, go back for lunch, continue in the afternoon & transport the crates to the wholesaler in the evening. It's not as back breaking as say picking strawberries & I enjoy doing it. I'm constantly asking Rene if he needs help which he does cos he has really outdone himself by planting so many. So for those of you planning to come this summer, don't be surprised if you get roped in to help pick raspberries.

The garden is on a slope - better irrigation but that also makes the whole process a bit of a challenge. As you can see, he has found a way to carry the crates downhill. Anyway I'm off again this weekend to help him. Apparently they have to be picked every 2 days else they will be too ripe. Hopefully I will have some to make jams & sorbets next week.

On Monday, being le 14 Juilet (also known as Bastille day is France's National Day), after a day of berry picking, we went to a field nearby to watch the fireworks, together with the rest of the family.

Typically the villages would have their own celebrations either on the 13th or 14th with dinner, drinks, dancing & their own feu d'artifices. From where we were, we were able to see the fireworks from St Andeol de Vals, Aubenas, Vals les Bains & some others in the horizon. It was perfect cos the kids could run around & it wasn't near enough therefore not loud enough to scare them too much. One of The Girl's cousin is terrified of fireworks. Driving back, we even managed to catch the one from our own village. I'm afraid no pictures until I get a tripod (which would be on my Christmas wishlist along amongst others).

It has been a long but fun day.


Chawanmushi said...

Wow ... a plantation as a garden ... this I would really love to see. It must be beautiful seeing all these raspberries.

Rei said...

That's alot of raspberries! Much care are need to transport these? They seem so fragile. I tried to bring some back from Aussie, half of them became raspberry juice. :p

petite fleur said...

C - I'll post about his garden soon & you'll see for yourself the kind of fruits & vegetables he grows. And yes it's wonderful seeing all the raspberries. I'm literally begging him to let me go with him.

Rei - That's the problem - even after you've picked them, you need to eat them within the next 1-2 days else they'll go bad.

Tsu Lin + + said...

Oh how envious am I!! A whole farm as a garden. And you are a lucky DIL (daughter-in-law)... you get fresh fruits (and veggies) from here. :)