Sunday 7 December 2008

The garden changes shape / le changement de forme du jardin

At this time of the year the garden seems to change shape. It has lost the structures, the uprights, the tall tomato plants, peppers and aubergines, the spreading courgette plants of summer. There's a lot of flat space - looking uninteresting perhaps, but waiting for spring and a new cycle of crops.

À cette saison le jardin change sa forme, il me semble. Il a perdu ses structures, ses hauteurs, les plantes grandes de l'été, les tomates, les piments, les aubergines, et les courgettes qui grimpaient le long de la terre. Il y a beaucoup de l'espace plate - sans intérêt peut-être, mais la terre attend le printemps et un nouveau cycle de culture.

space 1_1_1_1 space 2_1_1

A few months ago these plots were full of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and courgettes. Now the ground has been cleared and the tomato plants have gone on the bonfire:

bonfire_1_1 dec sky 1_1 A good, still day for a bonfire, with a few feathery clouds.
cabbage leaf 2_1_1 cabbage leaf 1_1_1 cabbage leaf 3_1_1

I love the colours of red cabbage leaves / j'aime les couleurs des feuilles de choux rouges.

red cabbage   herbs_1_1

Red cabbage and pancetta / Choux rouge et pancetta

red cabbage   pancetta_1_1

I picked 4 or 5 of the outer leaves of the red cabbage to cook with pancetta. I cut the pancetta into small pieces and fried them in a heavy cast iron pan with a little olive oil, then I added the sliced red cabbage, a chopped clove of garlic and a little water and steamed them for about 10 minutes, until the water had evaporated. Serve with crusty bread. This simple dish is delicious when made with green cabbage too, a recipe first suggested to us by our son.


Anonymous said...

I think a cleared area of ground can be very inspiring - especially when looking through vegetable seed catalogues for next year!

Michelle said...

The cabbage dish sounds delicious. I love all kinds of greens cooked like that.

I wish I could burn my dead tomato plants, but that's a no-no around here, too much of a wild fire danger.

ilex said...

There are few things prettier than water drops on fresh cabbage leaves. Well, ok- maybe cabbage cooked with pancetta... yum.

MaryAthenes said...

Le jardin ! Un grand bonheur qui me manque !

Kate said...

Chaiselongue, why don't you grow lots of Asian greens and broad beans and kales etc during winter? Autumn / Winter is my favourite growing season because of the rain.

chaiselongue said...

Thank you all for your comments.

Hi Kate: we are growing quite a lot - leeks, spinach, turnips, chard, rainbow chard, cabbage (several varieties), lettuce, mizuna .... we're eating something from the garden every day. In the photos, it's just the part we're leaving to rest until spring! We don't get much rain here, though, even in winter, but I will try some more Asian greens.