Seed Collection in El Astillero

José María from El Astillero neighborhood tipped me off that there were loads of Grosella seeds ready for harvesting. Grosella fruits can be used to make a traditional wine and the fruits are also a popular snack, so the species is highly requested for planting.
We spent the morning collecting several bucket loads of seeds, which were sorted into seeds for making a batch of wine (ripe, plump fruits) and overripe or damaged fruit to use for germinating seeds.
Two full five gallon buckets of Grosella fruits were collected for the wine. 20 lbs of white sugar were dumped on top of the fruit in a plastic water barrel, which was covered with a lid. In 3-6 months, the wine should be ready.
In the meantime, we also collected two small sacks with hundreds, if not thousands, of Grosella seeds to take to the greenhouse.
While collecting Grosella fruits in José María’s backyard, we noticed that Pechiche fruits were also coming into season and some of them had already fallen to the ground, so we were able to collect a small portion of Pechiche seeds, too. Jose Maria’s neighbors visit him to harvest Pechiche seeds directly from the tree to make sugared Pechiche, which is considered a local delicacy.

Ripe Pechiche fruits on a tree in Jose Maria’s backyard.
10 gallons of Grosella fruit ready to be turned into wine.
Jose Maria adds 20 lbs of sugar to 10 gallons of Grosella fruit to make wine.
Matej watches as Lada climbs into a Grosella tree to shake down fruits for seed collection.
Volunteers collecting Grosella seeds.
More Grosella seed collection in the Astillero neighborhood.

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