Panier of Plenty

Home grown

What a pleasure it is to grow vegetables! Even though local market produce is wonderful here, nothing can replace the joy of eating ‘home grown’.

I dug up the first potatoes this morning, picked a handful of green beans, a courgette and a selection of tomatoes. They have been grown in rich soil, under an apple tree, with absolutely nothing else added. Water is pumped from a mountain stream, the sun plays it’s role, there is a little weeding from time to time, yet the rest is kindly ‘taken care of by nature’…

Runner beans

Runner beans from four plants, over two days

We grew up on an acre of land in a valley, backing on to natural reserve and bushland (and a wild blackberry patch). My father created a large vegetable garden with a bean frame behind the house; cabbages and cauliflowers were on the upper banks which were terraced, above the fruit trees. I had my own ‘womble’ radish patch in double concrete laundry tubs. Our golden labrador used to help herself to beans and apples. I also have fond memories of my grandfather’s garden and the large bouquets of silver beet he would give us, wrapped in newspaper. He cultivated plants that were rare in New Zealand and to a child, the ‘birds of paradise’ and ‘ballerinas’ were magical. I watched him lovingly propagating from seed. Nearly all vegetables ‘back then’ were home grown (we used to occasionally go and pick corn at a growers or bring back peaches from the Hawkes Bay region). Milk, yoghurt and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice was was delivered to the gate. We brewed ginger beer. We ate freshly caught fish. Mushrooms grew in dark cases. Ducks or oysters were a treat, in accordance with the seasons. And then, in a by-gone age, our clothes were all hand-made!

Nothing was labelled ‘artisanal’, ‘organic or bio’… it was simply all ‘natural’…

Cucumbers, courgettes... more beans...

Cucumbers, courgettes… more beans…

7th August

7th August

The first melon of the season

The first melon of the season

Stuffed with mint and chèvre

Stuffed with mint and chèvre

With proscuitto

With proscuitto

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This entry was published on August 5, 2015 at 10:20 pm. It’s filed under Antipodean, Country Life, Country Living, Creative, Cuisine, Cultural Creative, Environment, Europe, Ex Advertising Creative, Expat, Food, France, French Culture, Garden, Health, History, Home, La Vie Quotidienne, Landscape, Languedoc Roussillon, Leisure, Life, Lifestyle, Living in France, Mediterranean, Nature, New Zealander in France, Philosophy, Photography, Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rural Life, Seasons, South of France, Summer, Thoughts, Tree-change, Working in France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Home grown

  1. mesarapugs on said:

    Nothing compares to home-grown vegetables! A royal treat of the best kind! What an idyllic childhood you enjoyed – such wonderful and evocative memories 🙂

  2. Downunder on said:

    Wonderful and special memories to treasure….takes me back to Riverside Drive 🙂

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