The chestnut picking season is over on the mountain. This year, due to recovery from surgery, we weren’t able to pick our chestnuts, but Manuel and family took care of that for us. We now are totally chestnut-free – they are much more thorough than we are, and don’t miss anything! It’s a shame we didn’t get any chestnut money this year, as it is one of our bigger profit centers on the farm, but it couldn’t be helped.
It reminded me of years past, when visitors have helped us pick. One year, niece and nephew Tayler and Bradley helped us pick, for a share of the profits. One of them was a much better helper than the other! I’ll leave it to my readers to figure out which, but suffice to say one of them didn’t pick chestnuts after being frightened by a bug!
Another year, Kenton’s cousin and her husband were visiting, and they helped us for a day. Being super competitive people, they raced to see who could pick the most, which is pretty handy when picking chestnut crops! That approach isn’t the Yunquera way, however – here, it’s “poco a poco” to get the job done.
We read on the town hall website that 400,000 kilos of chestnuts were picked this year in Yunquera. That sounds pretty impressive, until you remember that the price usually averages 1 euro or less/kilo, and it’s split amongst all the farmers who harvest chestnuts.
This weekend is the lovely “Castañas y Vino” fiesta in Yunquera, an artisan fair celebrating the chestnut and grape harvest. Well, chestnuts we have, but Yunquera is “wine-less” after the loss of the grape harvest. It will be interesting to see how they get around that one!
Here’s a look at last year’s fiesta.