Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Feast For All The Senses

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When I arrived at Les Fontenelles in the first week of August it was obvious how much work Ian had put into the summer garden. Look, there's even Bari cucumbers !

As well as all this, the salad garden, which has some afternoon shade in summer, was full of lettuce and my favourite taste sensation, fennel flowers.

image Next to be harvested were the potatoes. It had been very dry and the crop was disappointing but the potatoes were excellent and lasted us for more than 2 months.

We had to eat Charentais melons daily, to keep up with the bounty and on top of our own melons, old M.Gary, who farms some of Ian's land, kept leaving us more at the back door!

image On and off over the next few weeks we spent hours sorting bean seeds for next year. And the dresser in the kitchen was lined with other seeds we collected from our own and other fruit and vegetables given to us. The weather was hot and very humid and I took on the job of chief pool cleaner, having to spend time in the pool, scooping out leaves and vacuuming the bottom. It was a hard life but someone had to do it !

image One of the gite guests did this beautiful little water colour of Ian's row of cherry tomatoes in pots. Luckily he left out all the messy bits! Oh to be able to paint like that....

Next to ripen were the figs, grapes, apples and walnuts.... so much produce and so much to learn.

image The birds didn't eat the figs, unlike in the Adelaide hills where the parrots would have devoured them, but the squirrels ate or collected the walnuts, which was very new to me. Ian says he has about 20kg of walnuts now, despite our daily efforts to eat them. They were the best tasting walnuts I have ever had.

image We collected 3 boxes of fallen apples and took them to Rene who crushed them for us and took some of the juice for payment. We froze it in one litre bottles.

The very worst of the apples were later rotovated into the next empty bed in the vegetable garden to help add some organic matter to the hard clay.

image A plate full of home grown fruit plus some of the peaches we picked from the little park in Beaumont.

Autumn is a time of abundance.

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