Our wooden shelter is at the centre of the Forty Hall Vineyard community. It’s here that volunteers gather at the start of each session, and for a well-earned tea break. We gather here to talk about the challenges we face in the vineyard and also to celebrate our successes. It also provides shelter from the rain and shade from the sun.
The shelter is a great place to sit for a moment and appreciate the well-tended rows of vines in front of you. Depending on the time of year, you might see bare brown canes or neatly pruned trunks, or the vines bursting back into life in the spring, when you can almost watch them growing. In the summer, you’ll see the flowers and tiny bunches of grapes that will swell and ripen before being harvested to go into our next vintage.
During the pandemic, in 2020, our usual volunteer sessions were suspended and just a handful of key worker ‘Guardians of the Vineyard’ tended the vineyard. One of our volunteers who was unable to come to the vineyard wrote the following poem:
Up before the gleaming dawn
Cup o' tea and biscuit
Chug Chug Chug
Meet the crew
March down the fields secateurs in hand
Now it begins
Under an early spring sky I touch the vines
They stir beneath my gentleness
We whisper together a hundred secrets
Talk of lost harvests and bud beginnings
Secateurs used skilfully
With pride the vines shiver off their winter coats
Together we create the shape of things to come
Teatime talk of goings and comings
Mud on the track
Homeward on the chug chug
Bliss in my heart
Nature in my Spirit
Christine Pennington ,FHV Volunteer
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