Monday, 15 April 2013

Woohoo...our own peaches!

Oh yeah! Getting ready for producing our own peaches this year. We have started planting a small orchard (well, orchard is a bit of an exaggeration - more like a couple of rows of fruit trees, but orchard sounds good doesn't it?).

A month ago, adorned in my pink cords and pink jumper - who said gardening couldn't be glamourous?...ahem!! - on a rather cold and misty, March morning I planted out six peach trees (baby gold 6 and baby gold 9 varieties for you fruit tree geeks out there!) some will be eaters and some will be for bottling, freezing and jamming...yum, yum...can't wait. 

In exactly one month, these babies have flowered with beautiful pink blossom and I had to share the photos with you!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Arrampicata! Sulmona Climbing Club.

In summer 2012, after several years of wondering whether there was any climbing in Sulmona and drawing a blank from most of my enquiries, quite by chance we discovered the Sulmona climbing club. What's more, we were even more impressed when we discovered it also had a funky bar on the side!!

Since September Jake has been going to climbing lessons twice a week and loves it, and mum (me)has been on the odd occasion too. What started as a way for Jake to integrate with other kids his own age in a less formal setting than school has now become a bit of a passion! Here are some photos of him 'doing his thang!' 
As of last week, the climbing club as we know it closed. It is re-opening in a different part of Sulmona in 8 weeks time. I want to wish Luca the very best of luck for the move and we look forward to trying out the new walls soon!! 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

More Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Oooo...nearly a month since my last blog. So much is going on and I don't seem to be finding time to write. I am going to try and blog more regularly throughout spring and summer so keep with it! 

Today, however, is an important update on the wine (let's face it, for most of us it is a mutual appreciation!!) 

In mid March, with Pasquale, the font of all knowledge, we went  to see "Hugo". I'm sure you are all bursting to know who Hugo is, so I won't keep you in suspense! Hugo runs a small hardware shop / building suppliers / garden centre under a mile from our house. It is not advertised, it's not on a main road, it's not even clear as to what it's purpose is when you get there, but he sells almost everything you might need for outdoors (and indoors I suppose, as he is also our bottled gas supplier!!). It is like an Aladdin's cave! It's a prime example of how businesses run on word of mouth and local knowledge round here, not passing trade and/or marketing.  Great for those of us who have been here for generations and know where to go, not so great for those of us who only moved here last year! I have yet to decide if Abruzzo is a marketer's dream or total flippin' nightmare!

I digress. From "Hugo" we ordered 6 peach trees and 45 new vines. 40 Montepulciano and 5 various eating variety vines. Once we got the nod from Hugo to say they had arrived, under instruction from Pasquale we buried them in the garden overnight (we are still not sure if this was to keep them alive or to stop them from being nicked from any wandering garden plant thief that might fancy a new vineyard on the cheap!) 

The following day we spent the morning planting our new vines in amongst the existing ones in places where we have taken casualties over the past 6 years. It was very technical, not recommended for beginners...we needed a bucket, a trowel and a pick!!

Team Reid saw Dougie digging the holes a foot wide for the centimetre wide stick, 30cm long new vines. The followup team - me, Jake and Josh (mainly me!) - had to plant, fill and water. I have to say we fulfilled our role pretty well!! Now we have 40 new montepulciano vines waiting to burst into action as the warmer weather approaches!