New Potager

I haven’t written in ages, for which I apologize and blame a brutal case of flu. I’ll have to give up my “germs build resistance to disease” philosophy and start getting a flu shot, no question.

When I finally crawled out of bed, this is what I found. Julien was so pleased. His childrens’ schoolteacher has a potager as part of her program. She finances it by growing a few dozen extra seedlings, selling them for enough to pay for her school potager. At least one dozen of them found their way to my house.

I guess Julien likes gardening. Little by little he has been taking over out there. His own tiny outdoor space is entirely paved and overrun with kids and dogs, while mine is big and scarcely used. Time to share the wealth, he figures, especially because he can get me to buy the tractor mower, the rototill, generally whatever equipment he needs. Buying a machine is nearly always cheaper than paying labor costs, so I have been okay with that.

The good news is, home-grown veggies are in my future. The bad news is, even if I just pay for the soil amendments, I’ll be paying about retail for those tomatoes. The other good news is, as he was making an uninvited forage through my seed packets — I have quite a stash and it is, after all, planting time, so it’s no surprise he figured I’d be okay with this activity — he found mizuna and tatsoi. In California those are good, all-American greens. Once I explained what they were, he said, “Oh, salade!” and into the ground they went.

So, okay, now I like the potager. I see no point in buying veggies I can get at the farmer’s market. But, now that we’re talking produce that I can’t buy, I’m in. In addition to the mizuna and tatsoi, we have two heirloom varieties of watermelon. We have sweet corn and popcorn; I hope they don’t pollinate each other. There is more, but I forget what.

During an earlier, nonstealth, foray into planting, we put in five fruit trees that look to have made it through the crazy winter. By about my 70th birthday, I might actually have fruit. This will make up for Julien pruning my elegant, low-hanging cherry trees into cherry drumsticks. He keeps saying I’ll thank him, and I do, all the time, but never for ceding my cherries to the birds like that.

Before — the cherry tree is actually the one in back. And after? I guess the birds will be happy.

Fortunately nothing on this tree is edible and it’s far from the veg. It will survive intact.

I think next year we’ll add tomatillos and cilantro.

7 thoughts on “New Potager

  1. Thanks, Lynn. Lovely photos. A word…always get your flu shot! 🙂 I’ll spare you the drill, but it’s so worth it. Love, John

    On Sat, Apr 28, 2018 at 9:40 AM, French Country wrote:

    > Bizzy posted: ” I haven’t written in ages, for which I apologize and blame > a brutal case of flu. I’ll have to give up my “germs build resistance to > disease” philosophy and start getting a flu shot, no question. When I > finally crawled out of bed, this is what I found. ” >


  2. That’s an interesting use of tuiles canales.
    We have the tiniest potager–mostly cherry tomatoes from back in the day when the swingset was next to them for easy (and healthy) snacking. I have started hole-in-the-ground composting, in hopes of getting some decent dirt, and might expand to a “lasagne” garden next year. I agree that it’s silly to grow what you can buy locally (unless you really enjoy gardening), but it’s great to grow foods that are hard to find.

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    1. I should do that. I have a compost pile. You’ll doubtless hear all about it, soon enough. The thing is, my YouTube research fells me, it hasn’t been properly tended. So much to do, so little time…

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  3. We had vast veg gardens when in France…because it was a long way to the shops, the local markets were not up to much and we had produce picked that day. We too used the tiles when planting out…but never put anything delicate outside until the Ice Saints had gone their way.
    Fruit trees too…fig, mulberry, nectarines, ,plums and pears…though cherries never did well for us.
    Have you thought about asparagus? It is easy to plant and worth waiting for the crop. As long as you don’t pick it to death all at once a bed will last you twenty years and more.
    And globe artichokes?
    That ‘flu sounds a real beast. Look after yourself.

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    1. That flu, wow. I was taking one of those homeopathic flu prevention things. As long as I was doing that, I didn’t get the flu, but it felt like I was coming undone in lots of other ways. Then I went to Istanbul, took no meds and by the time I came back, boom. Maybe I should have just gotten sick in the first place. I might have had a milder case.

      I had asparagus in California. I never picked it. Don’t know why. But yes, I’m looking forward to adding more trees to my little orchard. Also I’ll head back to California next month. I see it as my chance to stock up on all manner of exotic goodies — old school, non-hybrid ones, so I can collect the seeds. Who knows? Maybe Julien’s kids’ teacher will lay off the tomatoes, so boring, and shift to giant pumpkins and the like.

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      1. Stop up illness one way, it usually finds another way to make its views known…I came back from England with a chest infection, ignored it, and then came down with a lurgy which obliged me to take to my bed.
        By the sound of things with a bit of help from Julian that school garden might be growing all sorts of exotica from California…you might even be able o keep a few seeds for yourself.
        If you do try asparagus don’t let Julian force it…the French seem to like it white, goodness only knows why.

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