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June, 2009:

Real French Bread

Jeneanne with her Spoils

Jeanine with her Spoils

One of my favorite experiences in France has been the boulangeries. The back wall is lined with baskets of baguettes and other breads, while the display cases are filled with everything from €,80 croissants to €16,00 tartes. My favorite snacks were plain croissants or chausson pommes, an apple filled pastry, but I would love a chance to taste anything in those bakeries.

The boulangeries are wonderful all over France, but the Le Vignaud experience was special. There is no boulangerie in the village, so the bread is delivered several times a week in a bread truck. The driver would blast his horn and park a few houses away, and after running upstairs for my wallet I would trot down the street and stand with the other villagers as we bought our bread for the day. It was a good chance to say hello to the neighbors and let them know I can say more than “Bonjour,” although there’s not much more than that. I was able to practice my numbers in French when the driver told me the total, and I tried to make small talk. But even with the language barrier, it was still an integral part of my stay in France and specifically Le Vignaud.

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The Yard in Spring

The MailboxMid June: The Irises that we planted in March were blooming. The Poppies covered the front yard. The sunflowers were growing tall and their buds were getting bigger. It was at this time of year that I received the most compliments about the yard and how great the flowers and gardens looked… It was late spring and the wildflowers had reached their peak. It was a wonderful time of year to sit back, relax, and finally enjoy all the hard work that was finally paying off.
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June Gardening Update

First Zucchini Flower

First Zucchini Flower

In June the garden was filling out and growing fast with plenty of rain and warm weather. The peas really took over and I discovered a whole new world inside those tiny green pods. I had never really known what a pea tasted like before June 2009, but I made up for it with kilo after kilo smothered in butter and a bit of garlic… The Zucchini plants began to flower; There were some tiny green tomatoes forming, and peas, cabbage, beets, and carrots were not long from harvest time.
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A Walk in the Village

Some photos from around the village in early June. The weather was finally starting to really warm up, the grass was green, and the gardens were growing.

The Edge of the Village

The Edge of the Village

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The House in Spring

But the sun shines bright and warm this first spring morning, re-creating the world…
-Henry David Thoreau

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One more time, in Harmony.

“If You will it; It is no dream”
–Theodore Hertzl, State of Israel

Le Vignaud, May 2009.

Le Vignaud, May 2009.

Things have developed very rapidly over here. There’s a lot to say, but little time, and words are difficult.

It seems that I will be or will soon be leaving Le Vignaud indefinitely. I won’t go into the details of the situation (as some of you already know, to varying degrees), but will only say that this was a very difficult decision to make.

I have spend the last seven (going on eight) months of my life working towards this crazy dream of mine, and have cherished the time I have spent here. I have no regrets. It has been truly a wonderfully eye-opening experience, and I hope to have passed on at least a bit of it. I learned and progressed in many ways because of it, and I will take many lessons and discoveries with me when I go.

Without digressing further, I’d just like to thank you all simply and honestly for everything. If you are getting this letter, you have been an integral part of making this happen. Weather it comes from me, or through a friend- I acknowledge and thank every one of you for the love and support you have all shown throughout this project.

And in parting, I’d like to ask one last favor: I want to ask everyone reading this to send a postcard. Just one. One last one. Or a first one. Forward this to friends and encourage them to do the same. Write what Le Vignaud is for you (weather you were there, saw photos, or heard about it through a friend). Say thank you. Write your favorite quote. Song lyrics. Your dreams. Anything. Please.

Send it to:
11 Le Vignaud
23000 Anzeme
France

Thank you.

-Jason Langley