Saturday, 28 November 2009

Walking to the garden on Buy Nothing Day again

Last year on this day we walked to the garden, having bought nothing but bread that morning. Today we did the same, although we also bought some ham for our lunch before we went. This day isn’t about essential food shopping, though, but about refusing the desperate celebration of consumerism that can happen at this time of the year. There are more details on the Buy Nothing Day website. The main aim of this day is to encourage us think about what we consume and spend, as the website explains:

Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of shopping. The developed countries - only 20% of the world population - are consuming over 80% of the earth's natural resources, causing a disproportionate level of environmental damage and an unfair distribution of wealth.

Our garden is about ten minutes’ walk from our house, on a hillside above the village in a group of gardens which have been there for centuries. In the centre of the village where we live the houses are too close together for there to be room for gardens. The oldest parts of the village date back a thousand years and it was built on the defensive circulade pattern with very narrow streets. The distance from the village means that the garden is very peaceful (until they start building the new houses nearby next year) and we benefit from two groups of neighbours – those at the garden and those near our house.

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The main road looks bare now that the plane trees on one side have been cut down, but the remaining trees look beautiful against the blue sky and the old walls are still there, although tumbling slowly.

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The path to the garden …

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the garden at the end of November.

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A picnic lunch and a coffee with a long shadow at this time of year.

Wintry light and ripening olives

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Harvesting and clearing

While Lo Jardinièr cleared the aubergine plants, I picked the last of the green chillies. There may be a few more green peppers, so long as the nights aren’t too cold over the next couple of weeks. But we’re preparing the ground where we grew this years tomatoes, peppers and aubergines so that it is ready to put manure on in January.

Broad beans and peas

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Broad beans, Spanish habas, mangetout peas and a second sowing of broad beans

The way home

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past some of the other gardens
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and back through the narrow old streets of the village.


our friend Ben said...

What a beautiful tour! I loved the buildings and walls crowding the streets, and the garden shots were so atmospheric. Thanks You! Now I'm off to check out your falafel recipe...

Heiko said...

Looks like a beautiful place you live in. Buy-nothing Day? We at times are reduced to buy-nothing weeks! I suppose we represent the developing world within the developed world.

gintoino said...

Beautiful pictures! You sure live in a beautiful place. I'm also counting on some more green peppers if the temperatures dont drop.

syrahsuzie said...

Lovely photos, I especially liked the one of the wild clematis.

I followed your recipe for "pâte de coings" a few weeks ago - a real success. Thank you for posting it, it will be my lunch today with some local goat's cheese and homemade bread.

mo said...

You had a lot more scenic day than I did yesterday....thanks for sharing it, I really enjoyed the guided tour!

chaiselongue said...

Thank you all for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the walk!

Buying nothing didn't make the day unusual for us, it just created an opportunity to think about the issues.

Heiko: I like to think we're more developed than the so-called 'developed' world! Self-sufficiency, local buying and selling and less consumerism will have to come to everyone before long.

easygardener said...

Thanks for the tour. I hadn't realised your garden was a short walk away (or I had forgotten). Narrow roads always add charm to a village - you never know what is around the corner. It all looks very attractive.

impoftheyard said...

What a gorgeous place. This is a great set of photos. It's lovely to hear about your garden and what's going on there.

Jan said...

It's the same here, with few of the village houses having any outdoor space except a roof terrace, so they have land just outside the village. Love the three views which go to make the whole of your garden!

Jane said...

Thank you for the lovely tour from your home to your garden. How perfect that you can buy lunch makings on your way to the garden! The shots of the path to the garden are beautiful. I really enjoyed this "expanded" post: like easygardener, I hadn't realized your garden was a distance from your house.