“The Road to Les Verrines” over the last year…
Back in the end of May I had just arrived in Les Verrines- a bit later than planned- but just in time to get going on the Garden. The rest of May and almost all of June was spent with fork in hand, breaking the hard dirt, pulling out the grass and stones, and turning the soil over again and again until it was ready for seeds… Now almost two months later, the hard work is starting to show, the sore muscles are forgotten, and the bare wet land starts to look a little greener. (more…)
June is Cherry month in La Creuse… for a few precious weeks the trees throughout the countryside are filled with beautiful pink blossoms. Then, almost all at once the cherries are ripe- and then are gone. For a few days in early June we eat all the cherries we can stand- one’s yearly cherry ration in the matter of a few hours! Whatever is not eaten, packed into delicious Clafoutis, or sterilized into jars, will either rot or be taken by the birds if it’s not gathered fast enough… So Jaques called one day asking if I could come by that very afternoon for Cherry Picking- it was either now or never since the birds were already getting full! If we waited even a day longer they would be gone… So, I cancelled my plans for that afternoon and we headed to Eguzon gather all the cherries we could. (more…)
It’s definitely spring! In La Creuse, that usually means a lot of gray, rainy days… But there’s a good bit of sunshine mixed in and when the sun shines, even for a brief moment, it’s amazing. The color of green everywhere is intense, some kind of shade of green which can’t really be described or captured in pixels… You will just have to come see for yourself.
Just a few smaller projects happening, getting the yard cleaned up and ready for spring/summer… The garden is underway, still lots of digging to do though… The weather is warming up fast and the ground is starting to dry… The chicken coop turned out to be a more thorough project than I had intended, but it should be finished soon. The girls are arriving next week.
I had been stumbling down the little hill on the side of the house for long enough and I decided it was time to finally put in some stairs down to the garden. Of course the old fence had to go as well, and when the fence was gone it was clear the whole rock wall needed to be rebuilt. One thing led to another and a simple project turned into a few days of hard work! After two days of hauling boulders around, I could hardly move! Then it was time to break down some palettes to turn them into a reclaimed wood fence to finish the deal… Yeah Anika, I finally used the wood you and Josie broke last year!
Now back to digging… Planting tomorrow! (more…)
So, the weather had been typical Creusois spring time (lots of rain and gray skies), but there has been some sun here and there… Plus the upside of all the rain is that everything is so GREEN. Spring is definitely here… (more…)
This post has been in the works since way back in April… Countless hours of editing and collaboration have been wasted bringing this to you now, four months later. So, please enjoy… more photos and stories hopefully to come soon.
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By Julianne Dodds
One day late in April we decided to drive up to Malval, where there is an old mill as well as ruins of a millennium-old castle. The fields on either side of the rural road were bright yellow, completely filled with dandelions. It was a beautiful sight: the sunny flowers are not really considered much of a weed in France and are allowed to grow sans herbicide. Penelope made a casual comment about making dandelion wine, but it really fired up Jason’s imagination. He’d never even heard of it before, but suddenly he had a new project.
Neither of us had ever tasted dandelion wine or made any wine before, but luckily Google had us taken care of. We found a few intriguing recipes which we then synthesized into one master recipe.
Mid 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.