Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Garlic Harvest

I'm a bit late pulling my garlic this year.

A couple of years ago, Patrick at "Bifurcated Carrots" gave me an excellent selection of Garlic bulbs to plant.  I grew them all very successfuly but due to a rather in ept error, I have lost strack of the variety I selected to grow on this past year.  I know it was the strongest grower of the one's garlicPatrick gave me and that it's a purple variety....  Sadly, I used a plastic label that completely disappeared whilst the stuff grew.

Anyway, all that aside, I have now harvested all the garlic I had growing and seem to have about 100 heads.   A figure I'm truly happy with.

As many of you know, I'm not very knowledgeable on my gardening and am learning, very much, as I go.   The garlic is no exception.    Someone told me to let the leaves dry and then pull the plants out of the ground and store them by hanging in a dry place.   I've done all this and am hoping it will turn out ok.

As you can see in the photo, though, I did leave them rather too long before pulling.   Never mind.   I'm looking forward to being able to use my own garlic for many months now.

So a big thank you to Patrick, for setting me on the road.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Selling the bear skin

The French have a phrase which goes something like, "Don't sell the bear skin before killing the bear.".... I know the saying better as "Don't count your chickens before they hatch"

I seem to have inadvertently sold the bear skin before the eggs hatched!

A few weeks ago, I posted on here about my success at getting some bamboo to strike after nearly three years of trying.

Well, the other day, whilst checking my pots and things I discovered that the bamboo shoots had been completely vandalised!   Something had eaten all of them.  I wasn't aware that pandas were a problem in this part of France, but what else could be causing such a problem.

Whilst wondering to whom I should report this extraordinary panda presence, I received an email from my friend Michael with these lovely photo's which I think might signal the source of my problem.  He took these photos of a deer and it's fawn in my neighbour's garden. I hope you enjoy the photos, just as much as the deer apparently enjoyed my bamboo.  Many thanks to Michael for sharing them.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I said recently that my cherry tree had branches almost touching the floor, it was so laden with fruit.  It's a big old cherry tree standing proud about 10 mtrs (35ft) high in the very heart of the orchard

cherriesWell, I have now had the pleasure of harvesting the first of those succulent fruits and I am not at all disappointed.

I picked the first basket full the other day, which weighed in at almost 5 kgs, (10 pounds) and, of course, that doesn't include all those fruits that disappeared during the picking process.   A strange phenomenon, the way rich succulent cherries can get picked from the tree but no longer be in your hand after it has passed your mouth and arrived at the basket!

Still, this was the very first picking from the orchard this year, and there are still loads more where they came from and another two smaller trees of later varieties well on the way to being ready to pick.  As always, I pick the fruit that is available to me standing on the ground and leave the rest for the birds.

I have about 30 fruit trees in the orchard and this year it really is looking like it will be a bumper fruit year. Cherry, pear, apple, plum and peach trees all have excellent fruit on them. 

When I bought this property about 6 years ago I inherited some fruit trees which I have added to until I have the present orchard.  Sadly, I have no information about the various varieties of things but maybe, from now on, I shall make more effort to identify things better.

I usually try to make some jam on the day I pick fruit but this week, I simply didn't have the time so, a lot of the cherries were piled into a fruit bowl to be eaten fresh but the rest were simply frozen for attention later.