It’s time to get very busy in the potager. Yesterday at our favourite market the flower and plant stalls had crowds around them as now is the time to start planting out in the garden. We do grow some things from seed but others we buy as plants ready for planting out. We already have some early tomatoes in the greenhouse with aubergines, peppers, melons and lettuce. Today we planted out tomato plants putting a few cut up nettles in the hole first to give them a boost. We are also trying watering though a plastic bottle by each plant to avoid getting the leaves too wet.
We need another 13 tomato plants to make our 40 total and will be buying them this weekend and more aubergine, courgette and peppers for outdoor planting. We have also started sowing french beans, beetroot, carrots and parsnips – so fingers crossed for germination. It’s been so dry here that are thinking of doing a rain dance if nothing happens in the next couple of days. The spring flowers are getting ready to hand their colourful baton to summer blooms but are reluctant to leave us just yet.
I haven’t been able to find any sweet corn seeds here this year – our farmer neighbours grow corn for animals and it isn’t a vegetable they usually serve for themselves. Luckily one of our recent guests heard of my futile search and sent me some from the UK. I have found butternut squash (la courge musquée) this year and they are sprouting beautifully. You know I adore soup and I can almost taste the roasted butternut squash soup I’ll be making in the autumn.
We are already harvesting broad beans which we sowed in October – delicious. The cherries on one of our early fruiters are ripening and the artichokes proudly hold their gifts aloft for the taking. In the greenhouse the strawberries are plump and lush and lettuce ready for the table. We have been eating our green asparagus for a while too and made some delicious soup and I’ll be making more soup as I use up the last of the leeks.
There is so much satisfaction from growing your own and eating with the seasons. This really is the good life.
I love May here at Peyrenègre. If you want to come along and share this lovely month with us ( and some of the garden produce) check out availability here – we are offering special last minute rates for May.