As we wander through the Merlot vineyard we approach Flamur & Vassily busily clipping away at the old canes. We are behind on pruning this year and there is a lot to be done. The children are excited to join in and the two men enjoy showing each of them how to safely hold the pruner and clip off the old wood. They explain that the vines are pruned in their dormancy (while they're asleep) to make them stronger. They point out the buds which will grow into the fruit bearing shoots. The children continue down the row bearing canes transformed into magic wands, tractors and ponies to ride on.
We have our picnic out in the fields today surrounded by wildflowers, we gather flowers, leaves & twigs to take back to the schoolroom to make bookmarks.
I spend the afternoon gathering canes suitable for building a little hideout for the children and we weave them into shape, just like making a basket.
A spontaneous game of the piggy and the wolf starts up...