Summer’s Bounty – Produce and Brocante

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Since returning from Newark in early June, life here has been hectic.  All over France from April to September are weekly events, brocantes and markets, each with fabulous possibilities.  Some Sundays are so busy that we can travel to 5 or more markets, spend the whole day wandering around fields and villages, drink copious amounts of cafe, and then home to empty the car so that we can assess our bounty.

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When we bought our home here years ago, the size of the garden was a big problem.  It isn’t huge compared to some, but nearly an acre is much more than we had when we lived in the UK.  So the last few years have been spent trying to get it into some sort of shape.  In the spring we decided to have a potager, or vegetable garden.  Now, one of our neighbours is practically self-sufficient in produce so we have a lot to live up to.  We have dug out what I thought was a large area and spent many many hours weeding and sorting it and have planted a variety of crops.  We have now got the gardening bug, and so next year we are intending to practically double the size.  For this year we have strawberries and other fruit, tomatoes, beans, fennel and many other veggies, all fighting with the weeds.  I hadn’t realised what a massive effort we would have to put in to get lovely fresh stuff, but it’s been great fun if not a little back breaking.

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Having grown most of the plants from seeds and not wanting to waste anything, we put in 14 courgette plants.  What we didn’t realise was how many would grow on each plant and that actually, 2 plants will feed a normal family.  So, you can begin to imagine how many courgettes we are getting, and will keep getting, over the summer.  Courgette cakes have been tried, together with lots of courgette recipes from the net, and I am already starting to ask people if they would like some.  Unfortunately, last year, our neighbour gave us plenty so not sure what to do if he also has a surplus.  And to be perfectly frank, they are not even one of my favourites!!!

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