24 November 2010

The garden this time

The weather refuses to improve. Now it's turned cold. Yesterday was a little brighter than the preceding days and weeks, but that's because a mass of cold drier air moved in from the north. Tomorrow's forecast: a mixture of rain and snow in the afternoon — with significant amounts of precipitation. And then it's supposed to turn even colder.

Between the wet weather and my sprained ankle, I've been able to do very little to get the vegetable garden prepared for the winter and the next planting season. Weeds are taking over the garden plots, because we haven't been able to cover them with autumn leaves this month.

In 2010, it definitely looks wintry out there.

A couple of years ago, it looked like spring in late November.

Look at the two pictures above, one from yesterday afternoon and the other from the same date in another recent November. You'll see the difference. Right now the garden looks pitiful. In other years, I've been able to run the tiller through the plots and get them stirred up and de-weeded, ready to cover for the winter season.

Next spring I'll have to start over again, almost from scratch (an apt term for what will have to be done). The heavy clay soil we have up here on the heights above the Cher River Valley is impossible to work with when it's wet. Let's hope for some dry weather in March.

Working in the soil is worth it, though, when you consider the fresh produce we get from the vegetable garden. Look at these pictures of a pasta sauce we made a few days ago, with bell peppers, pattypan squash, tomatoes, and bay leaves from the garden, plus some carrots and onions.

Produce from the 2010 garden in a vegetable pasta sauce

We are having friends over tomorrow for a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner— if they can get here through the sleet, rain, and snow. We're planning to cook a Moroccan-themed meal around a nice leg of lamb. Thanksgiving is not a holiday in France, of course.


  1. I know what you mean about not getting the gardening finished. I'd only half mowed the orchard before this spell of wet weather set in. I doubt I will be able to get back to it before April.

  2. I don't envy you the weather you have...but here in south Western Australia we have heavy water restrictions leading into a dry summer...my vegetable garden suffers, but I will try to emulate your wonderful garden as much as I can through the summer.

  3. Your vegetable garden is so worth all the effort you put into it! What a colorful vegetable dish in your photo. Happy Thanksgiving however you celebrate it.

  4. Would whoever is going to be with Ken & Walt on Thanksgiving please bring them some pig's feet and/or calf's feet. Somehow, they have let themselves run out. Thank you!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving to you! I will include your blog (Walt's too!) in my thoughts about what I have to be thankful for.

    Yesterday we had horribly cold (20 F.) weather and a little snow just to make the roads difficult. Seattle was much worse. We were lucky down here in Eugene. My garden chores didn't get completed either. You are not alone.

  6. Our garden in England is a dismal and depressing soggy mess at the moment, too. Partly because we have concentrated all our efforts on getting the house straight.

    But our little front garden in Le Grand-Pressigny has, believe it or not, won an award from the local committe who judges these things. We are dead chuffed.

    (I think it was because we made a bit of an effort to make the place look presentable as it's visible from the chateau.)

  7. A Moroccan-themed meal, that would be fantastic.

  8. Meanwhile in the southern hemisphere it's bursting springtime. /with now heat and regular rain. The lawn growth is crazy. Kerry. www.the fieldofgold.blogspot.com

  9. Happy Thanksgiving! The weather here in Reading has turned cold too but we have escaped the snow sofar. For a change our garden is tidy this year with cabbages and peas growing amongst the cyclamen and pansies as well as the rainbow chard which is looking just beautiful! Hope your ankle gets better soon and have a great maroccan meal this evening!


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