I went to York Victorian Cemetery on Sunday morning with Claire, Rachel and Duncan, fearing the worst. It was quickly apparent that - as is usual - my worries were foundless. There were large blackberries hanging over the main path from the chapel within easy reach. Claire says that she can't remember a year where I have not worried. Rachel suggested that we stay together but then immediately wandered off.
Picking was a little slower than in past years, and I did rather more clambering on top of gravestones and stretching to pick those tantalising perfect specimens I usually ignore for something within easier reach. My best graves were Frances Craven, Jeremiah Riley, Dora Wil- (there was too much ivy on her gravestone to determine her name properly) and John & Bessie Carr. Claire made a note of Mary Somerset and William W Wilberforce. She thinks she picked from Thomas Douthwaite, but he was hidden by vegetation this year.
Between the four of us we picked 15 pounds of blackberries. Claire won with 4 lbs 13 oz. I came second with 3 lbs 15 oz and Duncan and Rachel got the rest shared equally between them. Though I should really have 16 lbs for a quadruple batch, I have decided to make 24 bottles anyway.
|Blackberries before crushing|
|Fermenting crushed blackberries|
|This will be 24 bottles of wine - eventually|