Saturday, 29 September 2012

Differing Styles.



Above is my friend José's new-ish Chestnut plantation. He regularly mows, waters, and prunes; in other words he pampers his trees rather like he does his cows. His plantation is always tidy, and is a real pleasure to walk through.



This plantation, however, is left to it's own devices, and, if lucky, it's mowed once a year (this year by José, but I'm not yet sure why). The lower branches almost touch the ground making it very inconvenient to mow with a tractor. Most years the owner doesn't even bother to collect the nuts.

The field in which they grow is directly behind my back in the top photo. The contrast between the two plantations, as you walk between them, is 'in yer face'.



Anyway, it's all about the final harvest, and although José is always justly rewarded for his attention to detail, his neighbour's trees usually do reasonably well too.  But I do like José's attitude towards his work; he always does everything 'correctly'. 

Last year the first Chestnuts began falling on the 6th of September. This year's Equinox is already behind us, and there are still very few on the ground. I predict that tonnages will be down considerably this year, so look out for ready-peeled Chestnuts in vacuum sealed tins; don't buy them tinned in water, they're horrible. 

We ate our first few fresh ones a couple of days ago with a roasted Chicken... as usual they were delicious. (The Chestnuts were first given an X shaped cut on the pointed end, boiled for ten minutes, had their outer skins removed, and were roasted, complete with inner skins, under the Chicken for the last half hour)

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16 comments:

  1. We have a wild chestnut wood near us which is left as cover for foxes - I have been know to collect chestnuts there - but it is a painful business.

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  2. I am really looking forward to the cauli - for the past week I have been on a very bland reduced diet due to the virus symptoms. I do miss my greens.

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  3. I envy those people that do everything correctly...I never seem to manage that. The only chestnuts I have tried are those from street vendors ... they might be an acquired taste.

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  4. We had a stew with chestnuts and pinto beans, butternut squash and all sorts of other goodies!

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    Replies
    1. Sounds a bit like our lunchtime soups.

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  5. Actually, I like both approaches. One is orderly and must be a pleasure to walk through and the other is, well, natural.

    I wonder if they would grow in Angola...

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    Replies
    1. The Chestnuts in the plantations are all grafted trees. Ordinary trees would, I imagine, grow almost anywhere. It would just be a matter of getting hold of the right grafting scions.

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  6. I like seeing the differences in the plantations! Growing up in Toronto, we used to see vendors selling hot chestnuts on the streets from little carts. I think those days are gone!

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  7. All we have here in Ontario is Horse Chestnut trees.

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  8. How efficient you are! I was just about to ask you how to prepare them, and the last paragraph told me!

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  9. I’m firmly in Jose’s camp as far as my plot is concerned, and similarly it doesn’t seem to make things grow much better than those who have a more carefree approach.

    Now this talk of chestnuts, it’s got me going all seasonal it has. Am I too early ?

    Altogether now...♫ Chestnuts roasting by an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose ♫

    Pass me another sherry dear.

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  10. Your friends property is stunning! Thanks for the chestnut tips!

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