April 8 Weekly Update

Chateau Vineyard in St.Emilion that we visited.

Some of you may have noticed that we missed last week.  We were out of town, visiting Paris and Bordeaux.  Here are a couple of pictures of our time there. We ran into one problem there that we had never expected; French restaurants have essentially no vegetables in the places we visited. You can of course eat onion soup (with beef broth and cheese and bread), and you can occasionally find dishes with a modicum of vegetable in it, but (and I’m not counting potatoes here) most of the menus had no vegetables. Even their salads are loaded up with meats and cheeses and eggs instead of olives, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, radishes or other things that I typically put in a salad. The vast majority of “French” menus consist of meat cooked in its own fat, cheeses, breads, or some combination of all three.

Village of St. Emilion

a rainbow of Meringues in a patisserie, each as big as your head

Not that it’s not good in limited quantities but I could feel my blood pressure rising by the day.  Fish is not common, is much more expensive than red meat, and is extremely limited in variety. They have farmed salmon everywhere (which I won’t eat), and they have some tuna and mackerel in a few places (mostly so-called “sushi” places that primarily feature meat on a stick), and occasionally some shrimp/prawns. I never saw the famous “haricots verts” on a menu once.  Ultimately we resorted to eating Chinese, Thai, Indian, and Turkish just to find a vegetable. On a happier note I had all the wine I wanted to drink, every day, at great prices, especially in Bordeaux.

Apropos of nothing whatsoever, our menu for this week is 75% vegetables (or more) each day. We are eager to get back on track.

While we were gone the world got green.  Almost all of our over-wintered brassicas bolted, along with the kales and most of the lettuces. But we have our first large cauliflower head ever!

Cauliflower

We have oodles of radishes ready to be picked.  And the peas are growing rapidly, up to 4′ high in some cases; we harvested sugar snap peas yesterday. The asparagus production is down a bit because half of the bed is now fern length; but we still have a good portion of the bed we can pick asparagus from. Cabbages finished filling out and we’ll be eating those for the next couple of weeks.

Peas on a trellis

Peas on a trellis

Cabbage

Radishes

The dill plant is 3′ high and we have a full container of oregano. The horseradish plant is huge this year, and for the first time ever is flowering (we don’t know what this means).

Oregano

Brilliant Green Dill Plant

Horseradish Plant

3 of our 4 raspberry canes are growing already.

A small raspberry plant

The azaleas are lovely; this picture has a bit of a blur to it that make for a wild neon look, but the color is accurate.

Azaleas

All 3 boxes of potatoes are 1-2 inches high now.

Potato plants

The seedlings in the basement are doing great (thanks to our neighbor!). Some of the tomatoes and tomatillos are over a foot high (and flowering) but it is too early to put them out. Later today we will be starting 3 varieties of cucumbers inside, along with transplanting out our leeks.

Garlic!

Celery!

Fig tree

The first sugar snap peas

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7 Responses to “April 8 Weekly Update”

  1. julesorganicliving Says:

    Beautiful!

  2. Rick Says:

    Everything is looking beautiful!

  3. maryhysong Says:

    Your garden looks great! France sounds like Italy, except there it’s pasta pasta! Tho actually we ate a lot of veg & fruit, fresh and local while we were there. Sometimes we’d just stop on the side of the road and pick figs from the hedgerow!

  4. Norma Chang Says:

    Your garden is looking good. Beautiful head of cauliflower and cabbage. Snap peas look tender.

  5. Robin Says:

    It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation! How nice to come home to the garden in full swing! Everything looks great!

  6. kitsapfg Says:

    I wonder if the lack of fresh vegetables and fruits in the local meals was more a function of the current growing season (i.e. not a lot of in season items available)? Regardless, as much as I enjoy eating out when traveling and experiencing some great food – I am always ready to return to our more simple and fresh garden based eating by the end of the travels.

    Your garden is growing admirably. Wish my snap peas were ready for harvest! They are just little nubbins coming out of the ground at the moment. Definitely a good six weeks behind you in the growing season (at least!).

  7. Daphne Says:

    I always find when I travel or eat out that there isn’t enough vegetables. The snap peas look delicous. I’m a ways from having my own, but I can’t wait.

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