Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Cette vie Rustique!
Last nights rain folded a heavy drape across the orchard floor, droplets of water bouncing back the morning sun that was fast rising through a knitted canopy that runs along the Eastern edge of the college. Jays were rasping from the old apple trees, an invisible Wren propelled it's machine gun song into the still air and a crowd of rain soaked 'Tenby' Daffodils begged to be photographed, for which I was more than happy to oblige.
Today was going to be a craft day, building Hazel wigwams to grow the sulfurous Golden Hop. Taking a saw down into the old orchard where we have a decent sized Hazel copse, we were looking for some clean straight growths to use as stakes. The pieces we cut were a good fifteen feet or more in height and some of them could be aged up to 9 years by counting the rings on the freshly cut bases.
Lunch came and went, the ripe whiff of Rustique Camembert challenging the sanitized English nose. Oatmeal crumbs falling into loose overalls, a gardener eats roughly cut hunks of cheese and apple from the blade of a sharp knife, peasant style. Quietly seated, pondering the passage of time, ruminating, and as our Head Gardener pointed out 'from the dawn of time, man climbed down out of the trees and sat down'.
It was great fun plashing and lashing the wood, reviving ancient land skills, wielding a hatchet in order to give our stakes fiercesome spikes, deadly enough to slay any blood hungry vampires lurking in the trees. In situ, our first wigwam looked the business, a curvaceous corset of Hazel strapped and lashed into its garden setting. Tomorrow we transplant the Hop, and next year we plan to grow beer hops this way. A limited edition 'Bothy' conditioned ale is on the way!