It’s 3:45am. The phone’s alarm goes off. Who gets up at this hour? Pieter does. So does Julia. (And me, to lock inside doors and re-activate our house alarm). Without hesitation (them, not me). Their respective destinations: Wellington and TULBAGH. They need to be there by 6:00am with kissies for the pickers. Day 47 of the 2017 harvest, with this week being the peak.
We’ve picked 52 blocks, and with roughly 20 days to go to pick the remaining 10 blocks our kids might be seeing their dad some mornings before school in the near future.
This is normally the tipping point for me, where the going starts getting tough. Where I see a deep weariness creeping in, replacing the initial harvest adrenaline. And the subject lines of the unopened emails starts with URGENT. Normal life is starting to complain about being paused. This is also where I have to firstly start working towards keeping my weight below that of my husband, and secondly start studying the protein content of EVERY snack imaginable to throw into his bakkie. In fact, I am convinced that no amount of protein or boiled eggs could satisfy his constant hunger at this stage. Harvest is a marathon.
But before you start feeling sorry for him, 3 things have had a huge positive impact on our harvest, setting 2017 apart from all our previous vintages. The new cellar. The new cellar and the new cellar. More specifically SPACE. Our harvest estimate of 95 tons this year would’ve been impossible in our previous cellar, as cosy as it was. And as soon as things settle down, we will send you a photo. Buying a second bakkie has also saved so much time (except for Julia who’s driving the one bakkie and commented yesterday that she might as well have studied medicine with the hours she’s working). Then the team. Julia, Andre and Pappy – who’s positive attitude makes ALL the difference.
So please excuse any unanswered/delayed answered emails and missed calls. We will get there.