Thank you for all the lovely comments regarding our appearance on the Devon and Cornwall programme on Channel Four, as the camera followed Simon foraging for nettles at Torre Abbey, and making it into Sparkling nettle wine.
Ironically, the programme was narrated by John Nettles.
If you did miss it, you can catch up here on All Four.
We appear in the second and fourth part.
(First shown - Channel Four, Monday 28 June 8pm.)
Behind the scenes
Below is a photo of the film crew, with myself and Ali, head gardener at Torre Abbey. As you can see Ali (on the right), couldn't stop giggling after just one sip of sparkling nettle wine.
It's obviously good stuff haha.
And here is a photo of me during filming, after sipping the nettle wine....I didn't need to prop myself up or anything. I couldn't stop giggling either.
The original idea of the programme, was for the camera to follow me as I went to look around Torre Abbey for rare plants to create an unusual, quirky sparkling wine. As I know Torre Abbey fairly well, I was secretly hoping to pick hibiscus flowers in the palm house. But sadly the flowers had just gone over.
So, I decided instead to pick stinging nettles from the gardens for my unusual wild wine ingredient. They obviously, aren't that rare, but I thought they would make a fantastic, sparkling aromatic, and herbaceous scented wine. One of the advantages to picking from the walled garden at Torre Abbey as opposed to just about anywhere else, is that the gardens are organic, and as dog's aren't allowed in the grounds, are guaranteed to be free from dog wee!
I'm not sure Ali, Head Gardener was entirely chuffed at me drawing attention to the nettles at Torre Abbey on camera, but she is at least still speaking to me. And of course, nettles are wonderful for encouraging wildlife into the garden, and makes great liquid plant feed, rich in nitrogen. And I would add, the gardens are Torre Abbey are beautifully maintained and cared for, and not covered in weeds.
I must admit to having been quite nervous when turning up a few months later for the tasting of the nettle wine with all of Torre Abbey's garden volunteers. Channel Four wanted to make sure they got the genuine, authentic reactions from the volunteers, and so I was concerned that they might not like it, perhaps even spit it out and swear, and that would have looked terrible on camera. Thankfully, they all seemed to love it, and I was genuinely overwhelmed by all of their lovely comments about the nettle wine.
So massive thank you to Torre Abbey, the gardener volunteers at Torre Abbey, and for Ali Marshall the Head Gardener who allowed me to pick the nettles from the garden.