Sunday, 19 April 2009

Planting courgettes and eating the first broad beans / Les courgettes et les fèves

We are in a strange cycle of weather at the moment - fine, warm and sunny in the mornings until midday when the cloud starts building up to a thunderstorm in the afternoon. It's good growing weather because the plants and the soil are getting watered and warmed, but it means we have to get what we can done in the mornings before we're driven home by the threat of rain. Maybe I'm not very brave, but I don't like being out of doors in a thunderstorm.

Cette semaine il a fait beau les matins - chaud avec le ciel clair et le soleil - et puis à midi les nuages viennent et l'orage arrive. C'est bon pour le jardin parce que les plantes sont arrosées et chauffées, mais on doit faire ce qu'on peut le matin avant la pluie.

gabian 19-4_1_1 storm clouds_1_1

As we left the garden this afternoon the view was clear towards the village, but behind us the dark clouds were gathering.

The courgette plants were ready to be planted out. We've put some of them between two rows of lettuces which we'll eat before the courgette plants grow much bigger. We've protected the plants from snails by putting cut-off plastic bottles around the stems. Too often in the past snails or slugs have eaten through the young stems, destroying the plant.

Les courgettes sont prêtes à planter dans le jardin. Nous en avons planté quelques plantes entre deux lignes de salade parce que on mangera les plantes de salade avant que les courgettes pousseront. Nous les avons protégés contre les escargots avec des bouteilles en plastique coupées.

courgette1_1_1_1 courgette2_1_1

Eating our first broad beans / manger les premières fèves

harvest april 19_1_1 Today we picked our first broad beans of the year, small ones which we cooked whole, and ate with a little olive oil, chopped garlic and savory. They were delicious!

Aujourd'hui nous avons ramasser les premières petites fèves de l'an. Nous les avons cuites entières, et nous les avons mangées avec un peu de huile d'olive, de l'ail haché et de sariette. Elles sont delicieuses!

Victory gardening

The new White House vegetable garden seems to have become part of an encouraging increase in interest in food-growing. Perhaps this is because of the economic crisis, but for whatever reason it is good news that the idea of growing one's own food is becoming more popular and even fashionable. In today's Observer, online at, there is an article by William Shaw about the community garden movement in the US and a link to Fallen Fruit. This is an organisation in California which maps the fruit trees in public spaces so that people can go and pick their own. A great idea! Now it is moving on to planting fruit trees as well. As the organisers say on their web site:

We believe fruit is a resource that should be commonly shared, like shells from the beach or mushrooms from the forest.


Jan said...

We don't suffer with snails or slugs, it's too dry and stoney! I've put bottles on the cougettes etc more to protect them from the wind until they're bigger.

chaiselongue said...

Jan: I thought it was dry and stony here! But we still get snails, although not slugs as we did in Wales.

Michelle said...

Wow, it looks like 2 different days, the photos towards the village and the opposite direction.

I don't have many slugs or snails around, they don't seem to like crossing my gravel or wood chip paths. And the surrounding areas tend to be so dry that they don't have too many hiding places.

Isn't it nice to planting out summer vegetables?

Titania said...

I am always surprised how quickly everything grows once the weather warms up. The broad beans look good. Even the dried when cooked have a nutty flavour. Naturally so fresh from the garden is best, notably to be able to eat pods and all.

HappyMouffetard said...

Oooh - the first broad beans. We're a month away from our first beans, so I am immensely envious.

easygardener said...

I'm envious about the Broad Beans too. Ours are moving quite slowly at the moment. I am hoping our unusually cold weather has reduced the slug/snail population. So far there seem to be fewer around. Fingers crossed!

Weeping Sore said...

It's hard to tell what is driving the increased awareness and cultivation of community gardens, home veggie gardens, and all things home-grown and healthy. For me, it began in my attempts to grow veggies in a public demonstration garden. But once you bite into your own produce, there's no going back.

chaiselongue said...

Michelle: like Jan, you're lucky not to have snails!

Titania, Happy Mouffetard and easygardener: Yes, we're very lucky to have the broad beans ... but you'll have yours soon!

Weeping sore: You're quite right, once you've eaten your own garden produce nothing ever tastes the same again!