Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Photos du terrain

Our little village is on a river and surrounded by a beautiful little canal:
 
It has a small chateau, all the shops you would need and is 2.5km away, so easily accessible by car or by bicycle.
 
As I mentioned yesterday, the land is bordered on one side by the same river, and we've had a ton of fun canoeing and paddle-boarding up and down it.  You can fish as well, but we haven't had time yet, and also I'm slightly put off by the fact that the annual fishing permit is 85€ for men and 30€ for women.
Somehow, the land also has electrical and water hook-ups, which definitely makes life easier.  And to help out even more, C spent most of this spring building this teeny tiny house.  It is definitely small as it is a terrain non-constructible and thus it had to be under a certain size, but it is big enough for a shower, a fridge (#roséallday) and for C to sleep in during the winter months.  For someone who is not really interested in handy work, I continue to be impressed by his ability to design and build things on his own!  You might notice the tiny house is also up on stilts, so that it won't be damaged if the land floods - which does happen from time to time. 
Since one of his big goals was to have a garden, and we obviously can't be out there every day, C has been working hard to follow permaculture principles, ie to work with nature instead of against it.  This has included using a lot of natural methods to ensure good ground cover, prevent weeds, etc so the soil will stay healthy and humid enough for his plants to grow while we are not there.  

And man, are there a lot of plants!  My dear husband isn't one to do things half-way, so he has been planting literally anything and everything out there. Seriously, any time I cook at home and he sees me removing seeds, he yells out "Don't throw them away!".  Many of our friends are also now saving their seeds for us, and several offices in his building are keeping their coffee grounds for his compost.   Some things he's tried have worked, some didn't (like making seed balls - they were promptly eaten up by the birds), but right now, we currently have the following plants and trees growing (the ones with * were planted this year and haven't yet produced anything): 
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Apples*
  • Pears
  • Mirabelle Plums
  • Cherries*
  • Grapes (Regular and seedless)
  • Black Currant*
  • Kiwis*
  • Kiwais*
  • Mandarins*
  • Bananas* (likely won't fruit now, but might someday in the future with global warming)
  • Peaches*
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes (haven't harvested yet, fingers crossed!)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Avocado*
  • Herb garden
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Sunflowers
  • Lettuce
  • Dates* (This one makes me laugh, because date trees apparently take 60 years to fruit, so we will be dead by the time ours start producing)
What didn't work (all attempted from seeds):
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Corn
  • Mango
  • Bell Peppers
Next year, he's going to try starting a small pepinière to start off his seedlings before planting them in the ground, so he's currently studying how he can do that without daily watering.  And the birds had a heyday with our blueberries and grapes, so we'll definitely need to set up better netting next year.  I know the goal of permaculture is to share with nature, so you grow some for you and some for the animals, but blueberries are something I'm just not willing to partager. ;)

He's also built multiple bee & insect hotels around the land, to encourage pollination and to improve the flora and fauna in general.  This one is over 3 feet tall!
 
Here's a view of how the main garden looked early June. The little green building below is our toilet, which is a dry toilet that uses sawdust (and then gets composted).  It's not pictured, but about 1/3 of the land is a "forêt comestible", or an edible forest as Chris calls it, where he has planted most of the fruit plants and trees.
I am unbelievable excited for these spaghetti squash to ripen - this plant actually grew out of a random seed that was in our compost and now it has ten squash!
Because I'm not much of a camper, my dear husband has done his best to make it as comfortable for me as possible out there.  We have this funny cabin tent, which I love, and he installed a double camping bed with a mattress pad inside.
 
And lastly, having spent so many summer nights around the campfire growing up, my absolutely favorite part is the fire pit.  We cook 90% of our meals on it, including C's traditional Sunday morning crepes!
Et voila! I never thought I would be spending most of my summer weekends camping, especially since it's my favorite time of the year in Paris, but the things you do for love, eh?  Plus C is just so happy out there, and I find it really sweet how excited he is to show me everything he's worked on since the last time I was out there, so it's a no-brainer to support a project that's so important to him.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Eileen said...

Love it! All those tiny buildings! Kinda too bad you can't have a real tiny house but that tent cabin looks pretty great.

September 12, 2019 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Edna said...

This is so, so cool and majorly impressive! Well done C!!

September 12, 2019 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger wcs said...

Very cool! It's really rewarding when the garden produces. It looks like you have good fertile river land there (especially if it floods occasionally, that's good). My potager is planted in clay and I have to continuously amend it. I have two compost piles going and it's still not enough!

September 13, 2019 at 9:13 AM  

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