At the weekend we took part in our local urban grape harvest. This is a fantastic community co-operative organised in our neighbourhood (a sub area of the town of Tooting called Furzedown). The project is called the Urban Wine Company and here is a little about it from the website:
The Urban Wine Company has grown from a simple idea that sprung up two seasons ago in a community called Furzedown in Tooting, South London. Grapes that were growing in Richard and his neighbours’ gardens were unfortunately going to waste. The only beneficiaries of the grape glut were the local birds!
Sitting under the vine, glasses in hand, Richard and Tim decided to team up and do something about it. After rounding up a group of local friends the first collection of garden grapes were pressed into London’s first urban wine. There was nervous excitement as the first bottle of “Chateau Tooting – Furzedown Blush” was uncorked.
We duly did our first little grape harvest on Saturday, Isabella helping to place the cut grapes in the bucket and Toby participating to the extent of wanting to go up and down on the tail gate of the lorry where all the grapes where loaded on Tooting Common!
It was quite reminiscent for me as my family used to own a large vineyard in Southern Italy so I have lots of memories of harvesting grapes and the amazing smell when they were all collected together (I jumped onto the van with all the cut grapes, sniffing and ahhhhing a few times as the memories flooded back!)
I am looking forward not only to our wine (which I am told will be ready to taste in March -in time for a celebratory drink for Neil’s birthday and our 16th wedding anniversary!) but am also excited about the community aspects of this brilliant project. Neil and I are also hoping that promised local Community Supported Agriculture scheme will start up soon as we love the community elements of these initiatives.
When we got back from dropping off our little grape harvest, we found two bunches that we missed. So glad because we at them and they were oh so sweet. Thank you September sun, you did your job so well.