Day 15 Let Them Pick Grapes

Today actually started extra early for the youngest member of the Alton clan.  Reid asked Gregor if he could milk the cows with him.  Gregor was thrilled that Reid was interested in learning how to milk and told him that they would begin early at 6:30 a.m. Yes,  I will admit that my cynical little mind was thinking that my son, the one who hates to get dirty, doesn’t like stinky things, and these days does not like to get out of bed before 8:00 a.m. is in for a big surprise.  The time came for him to get up…6:15 and he jumped out of bed, got dressed all on his own (that is a pretty big feat for him), and went to milk the cows.  I have to say that I stand corrected, because he LOVED it, guess he is a farm boy after all!

When our day finally began, the job we were assigned was to pick grapes.  The grapes are going to be used to make juice and some sort of wine (I am not understanding the explanation…so we will find out I guess).  When I see the vines that we are going to pick, I think naively that we will be done in about an hour and what are we going to do for the rest of the day…oh how wrong I can be sometimes!  Russ had a ladder and I stood on a rickety box that shook and wobbled each time I moved…and we clipped and picked and clipped and picked…for hours!  With a nice break for lunch…then back at it. We filled up 4 large tubs with these tiny little spheres of loveliness…I had grape vines and leaves in my hair, on my pants, and even down my shirt…it wasn’t pretty!

I have to say that Monika makes us a traditional Slovenian lunch each day around 2:00p.m. I have discovered that I really enjoy Slovenian food.  It is a mixture of German, Hungarian, and several others…yum yum!  Today we had some kind of meat in a cream sauce, organic oats (they were kind of like large grained brown rice…oh and by the way these were the grains I was packaging yesterday) warm cabbage with bacon, and celery root “french fries”.  Last but not least, let’s not forget the organic beer.  We ate on their beautiful outdoor patio complete with antique wooden sleigh, old farm table, and lots of other Slovenian trinkets…it is so wonderful!

Between picking, mashing, and cooking…we had a day full of grapes.  When we cooked the grapes to make juice, we used an outdoor wood stove with a pot that I can only describe as a double boiler with a garden hose coming out. We heated and siphoned and mixed and mashed our way through the evening.

Today taught me several lessons:

1.  Never take wine for granted.

2. Do not wear a tank top when picking grapes

3. There are a lot more grapes on a grape vine than you think there are

4. Having beer with lunch is a good thing


Well that is all for today…off to sleep and to see what new adventure awaits tomorrow!