OK, you’ve guessed our secret – we’ve been picking chestnuts for the past week! Although there are still some left on the trees, we’ve picked all we intend to sell. The remainder will be picked to save for that delish baked chestnut stuffing of mine, or to give to chestnut-loving friends.
It’s been an incredible year for chestnuts, the price we are getting isn’t too bad and the chestnuts are good quality and plentiful. That combination doesn’t happen very often! We’ve picked about half a ton of the things, from some of our most difficult terrain. All day long we slip and slide down hills, have spiny husks stuck in our hands, knees and….well, everywhere! As Kenton and I climbed up the hills with great difficulty, we were often overtaken by the dogs tripping their way lightly up and down as part of a game.
Take a look at the process in the video. Then imagine repeating this over 5 days, and you’ll know why we’re so tired! And if you like to buy roasted chestnuts while Christmas shopping, spare a thought for us poor farmers who only are paid 85 cents/kilo for the things!
The chestnut harvest is celebrated locally, too, in the Yunquera “Chestnut and Wine Festival”. Over the weekend, local shopkeepers and artisans set up their stalls to sell everything under the sun, including chestnuts! We decided not to sell either our Lujos products or our chestnuts at the festival, and I’m glad we didn’t – all we had to do is have fun!