Sunday, April 1, 2012

Doyenne du Comice

This part of France suffered quite badly with drought last year, nine months passing with very little or, in some months, no rain at all. falling.

A consequence of this was water shortages that led the local authorities here to declare a ban on certain usage of water.  Of course, the “potager” was one of the first victims.

I admit to always being astounded by this particular action but it happens right the way around the globe.  Whilst I am being told that I cannot water my crop of fruit and vegetables, which are being grown simply for consumption here on the site, local farmers and industrialists can grow totally inappropriate, water hungry, crops.  which, in many cases, they irrigate in the Doyenne du Comicemiddle of the day when the sun is at it’s strongest, and which will be shipped to far and distant places, where, quite possibly, there is no local water shortage.

A consequence which I didn’t foresee, however, was that last autumn, lots of businesses were left with unsold plants and trees and, in particular, the solution for some supermarkets was to simply cut the prices, lower and lower in order to try and move the stock.   And so it was, that in October last year I was able to buy a standard pear tree, Doyenne du Comice, for a mere 2€.

I have a couple of very large pots that I use for holding big shrubs and trees which are about the size of a dustbin so I potted up my new tree and, put it near the house to afford it some protection.    To be honest.  I figured it was a gamble and was quite prepared to lose it.   When the really cold spell arrived and even the pots that I had moved into my unheated workshop froze solid, I was quite prepared to wave goodbye my tree.

However, the weather finally warmed and the little Doyenne du Comice seemed to have survived.

At about the same time that I noticed the new buds on the pear tree, I also found the same supermarket selling the same tree again, but this time charging 4€ !  Well, it was too good an opportunity to pass on so I bought another tree.

And so, during the past week I was able to expand my orchard by another two pear trees, bringing the total number of trees in the orchard up to almost 30.

Let’s hope that they find their feet and enjoy a long and fruitful life.

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