The Season begins

Oh yes, it’s nut time.   There is just no avoiding it.   Your car tyres crunch with the chestnuts all over the road, and all the punters are out, picking up the free chestnuts that grow close by.

I had strimmed a few areas under the choicest trees on our farm, and  now it was time to get on hands and knees, don the washing up gloves and get collecting.

I am sadly not a great fan of the nut myself; a little goes a long way.   But they were a great garnish on the winter vegetables that Robyn baked.   And I seriously doubt my ability to return to Primrose Hill cafe society without a few kilos for my friends.

I tend to ignore the hard to reach trees up in the forest.   But the giant one that grows beside my potting shed and drops onto the relatively flat terrace below is easy peasy.

No excuse.

And the huge storm we had last night has moved things on nicely.

Artur was not madly keen on the burrs that litter every surfact of ground around the potting shed. Sorry, his house.   So I started by clearing away the nuts on the path.

And then he was able to supervise my work on the lower areas.   I have no idea how many I picked. But I’ll be happy with ten kilos for friends.

The tedious part is what we call triage. Tri – to sort.   You have to check each nut to see if there isn’t a worm inside. The little pin prick is the give away.   And then put all the nuts in a bucket of water and skim off the ones that float.

My friend Manu at the market told me she does the soak in the bucket process every two days to make sure all her chestnuts are perfect for storing.   I think I’ll just do the checking and the dunking and warn my friends that they need to cleaver each nut in half before they boil them, just to avoid a thrilling extra dose of unwanted protein.