In my Occitan class this week we read a piece by Gui Benoet about the knowledge of the natural world that older generations pass on to younger ones. Benoet comes from the Minervois area of the
While we were talking about all this, several members of the class spoke about learning from older people where they could find certain plants, especially the wild salad plants of the garrigue and mushrooms in the woods. Benoet mentions several varieties of mushroom which grow locally, including las aurelhetas, chanterelles. One class member said that his father-in-law had taken him to show him special secret places which he knew were good for mushrooms, passing on the information, keeping it in the family. It made me think about how important it is to have this transmission of knowledge from one generation to another. It happens in the gardens too, where we see a lot of middle-aged people who have taken over their parents
We had two bits advice today from our neighbour as he walked past. We should tie the leaves of the garlic, which are dying off now, into a knot to prevent bolting and to encourage the bulbs to swell. And we should put vinegar on our artichoke plants which have been infested with black fly.
garlic leaves tied in knots