30 August 2019

Berries and other fruit

Maybe it's because we haven't had any significant rain for months now that there is so much fruit all around the hamlet. I've picked plums several times and made more jelly that I know what to do with. I just can't pick any more, and now they are really ripe. Why aren't the birds eating them? The plums are sweet and juicy.

Most of the blackberries I see around the hamlet and vineyard are tiny. While they look ripe, they don't taste or feel like they're ready to pick or good to eat. A day or two ago on my morning walk I saw these growing over a hedge right on the paved road that ends right behind our house. These are ripe and sweet, but nobody is picking them. Maybe I should.

And of course this is grape country. Wine country. It's time to start thinking about picking these too. The harvesting here is done almost exclusively by machine. One day soon I'm sure we'll see and hear the harvesters out in the vineyard and the grapes will be gone pretty fast. Because of the drought, this will probably be a banner year for Touraine wines, even if the harvest is smaller than usual.

It's just so dry. I wonder if the last time northern France experiences such a long summertime dry spell was the one everybody remembers from 1976. I wasn't living here then — I had gone back to the U.S. in February 1976 after living and working in Paris for a couple of years. I believe weather patterns are cyclical, but this current one is way off the charts. It really does seem like the weather is completely out of whack. And now there's a big hurricane moving relentlessly toward Florida...


  1. Blackberry clobber for sure!

  2. Yes, you should pick the blackberries. Blackberry jam for your bagels. Or baguettes in the morning.

  3. In my neck of the woods - blackberries in the public right-of-way are fair game for everybody. And...the vines are often picked clean but once-in-a-while I get lucky and pick a few to eat right then. My family would plan car trips to a favorite post office on the Oregon Coast that always had loads of blackberries and we never found the vines picked clean!

    Happy picking, Ken!

    Mary in Oregon

  4. Oh, my goodness, that all looks so fresh and fruity!

  5. I'll bet Tasha would be happy to help you pick blackberries. I've had dogs who ate them right off the plant, sometimes getting farther into the brambles than I was willing to go.


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