Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I've been weeding the garden pretty religiously this year. I found a way to prop the spray nozzle on the ground against rocks or sandwiched in the dirt a bit, and it's allowed me to water in the evenings while I do my weeding. Last year, my husband installed a drip system, but the garden is larger this year, and he just hasn't had the time. It doesn't bother me too much, anyway, because last year I was lazy about the weeding, whereas this year I've been doing it while watering. The lack of a drip system may actually be beneficial for our garden, then.

I have to say, though, that those weeds are really something. Aside from the occasional nice surprise of a stray lettuce head or some tomatoes or coriander that sprouted from a seed from last year's plants, I'm not at all fond of the volunteers. Our garden is on a pretty fertile piece of land. Parts of it were where my father-in-law used to dump sheep dung back when he raised them. It's been a really long time since any sheep have lived on this property, so the manure is wonderful for growing my fruits and veggies.

Other parts of that land are very hard and rocky, though, so I've got a very unorthodox layout. My sister-in-law commented on it the last time she was here. Many of the beds I've got things planted in are sloped and some are down-right hillish, but working with just a hoe to smooth things out when you're past 4 months pregnant makes you figure it'll all work out, anyway. And, so far, it has. I'm pretty darn pleased with the results up till now. With the exception of a few batches of seeds (most of them ancient), things are growing well. One variety of winter squash has really taken off and is leaving the others shamefully behind. I'm shocked by the hugeness of the plants every time I go out there.

And, the other day, I actually had a real mini-harvest of radishes. There were enough of them for everyone in the family to have a few of their own (no need to share just one this time). Combined with some beet greens I yanked up to thin that row, we had a nice little fresh addition to our meal, which, of course, makes me anxious to have more yummies from our garden.

Incidentally, talking about the layout of our garden has made me think I should take a little picture. I'm sure some of you are a least a bit curious about what happens when you allow nature to decide where you plant things, instead of forcing your choice on it. It might look a little funny to those who are used to a bunch of pretty rows all lined up in the same direction. But, hey, experience tells me that it gets the job done, so I am willing to let nature wear the pants around here. I think I'd like to get a little more weeding done before any photos are shot, though (so you can actually see the plants were growing on purpose), so be patient with me, and I'll probably get something posted about that.