After the party’s over

When in doubt, rake.

Yep. I haven’t quite thrown myself into proper gardening yet. So instead I just wander around the terraces raking chestnuts.

I missed the entire crop.

Most years I can count on the nuts falling during the first ten days of October. This year it was the end of September.

And as you know I was on the other side of the world. The harvesting of nuts in this part of France is very time specific. You have a few mad days to pick the lot.

Flies get in and lay their eggs in the nuts when the husk splits. And as most of the trees left on the mountain are poor varieties, the flesh is exposed.  Just a teensy bit in the ripening burr, but that’s enough to cause damage.

I barely picked more than a bucket. Which is dreadful.

Call myself a chestnut farmer.

But the good nuts have been collected already while I was away and have gone to the co-op. So I am feeling like someone who has come late to the party.

And ends up just sweeping up the mess.