21 February 2013

À l'abandon

Neglected. Untended. Abandoned. Nearly overgrown. That's what à l'abandon means. There are a couple of parcels out in the vineyard that have been neglected for years. I can say that with certainty now because I've been walking out there for years.

One of the neglected parcels of vines has been taken over by the spindly trees that they call acacia here. In the U.S., they're locust trees. Black locust, I believe. They produce big bunches of fragrant white flowers in spring. People dip the bunches of flowers in crêpe batter, fry them, and eat them.

You can see how green the ground is here, even in February. Of course, it has been rainy for months. One month from today, it will be spring. Vivement le printemps !

And the old vines are now covered in greenish-yellow lichens. I don't think they produce any grapes any more. Or if they do, the bunches are stunted and the grapes are tiny. They've reverted to their wild state, I guess.


  1. Oh well, I guess some apiarist is benefitting...

  2. Ken, for your records, our weather station has registered 353.4mm of rain since October 1st...
    just shy of 14 inches.

    The only benefit of acacia is its long lasting timber...
    good for posts and outdoor furniture...
    and as Susan commented, some nice honey.

    Very atmospheric pix, tho'... and the new header is really great!

  3. Black locust is one of the best trees for firewood that grows in our area.

    I'm grateful for it every winter day--and also for the guy who fells it, limbs it, hauls it back to the house, cuts it to firebox length, stacks it, brings logs indoors every evening, and keeps the furnace stoked and the chimney cleaned. I hope he continues to think it's worth it, because wood heat is great.

  4. Love the new banner. What is that orange in it?

  5. Hungarians eat those blossoms the same way, and also raw, from the tree. The black locust is a tree that fixes nitrogen in the soil and is sometimes planted to build it up. Not sure if that is what is happening there.

    What beautiful color in your header.

  6. Hi Kristi, I think the black locust is invasive here. It's called the false acacia.

    Carolyn, I guess we should be out gathering and cutting some of that wood for our stove. It's everywhere.

    Tim, the adjective I hear spoken re: the false acacia is imputrescible. It doesn't rot.

    Susan, there are a few bee-keepers in the area.

  7. Like Evelyn, I'm focused on the lovely new banner photo. I love how you surprise us with a new look to the blog now and then :)

  8. I wonder why the owners of these parcels have abandoned them?

  9. J'aime beaucoup ces vignes envahies par les arbres, et surtout, ce genre d'endroit un peut abandonné est très bon pour la nature et les animaux sauvages.

  10. You're right Ken. It's invasive everywhere. Against the advice of one of my bil's I planted it in one of our hedgerows (while on my project of planting all the main trees mentioned in Hungarian poetry so that my children would know them) and have lived to regret it.

  11. Starman, I don't know why this or other parcels have been abandoned, but I can imagine that the owner died or otherwise got out of the wine business. I don't think the local grower/wine-makers make a fortune in the business, so I can see how a plot of land might not attract a lot of buyers. It could also be a case of several heirs inheriting the land and not agreeing about its use or sale.

    Olivier, oui, d'accord, mais il faut dire que le vignoble de la Renaudière est entouré de forêts et de bois où vivent beaucoup de chevreuils, de renards et de blaireaux, entre autres animaux. Heureusement...


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