The last tomato salad for this year

This week we’re eating the last tomato salad for this year and we’re savouring it!

As for  the courgettes they are not looking great with the  colder nights.

Something really nice: I went to gorge myself on the last bunch of Muscat grape…mmmmmm….

The pumpkins and butternuts are magnificent. I had a try this year at growing them on a mound with some dead tree trunks in the middle covered with dung. With no added water other than rain water they grew big but they produced fewer than the previous years when they were watered regularly. The few corn cobs  I planted in the middle of them didn’t do anything worthwhile.

In the vineyard, half the bunches dried there and then  a month before harvest. I am interested to see if we can get a good crop without using what the French call “Bouillie bordelaise” which is copper sprayed on all sorts of trees and vegetables….Bibi doesn’t think we can. She thinks we should spray after every damp spell. But I read about the saturation of the soil when copper is sprayed year after year on trees and vegetables and it’s not great news for the soil. This year I had mulched the vineyard with compost and didn’t water it at all. But the 2 vine plants in front of the kitchen were watered from time to time and produced plenty.

The fruit trees did quite well apart from an early apricot tree that produces a lot of blossom in spring but no bees to pollinate them at this time of year…is it the lack of bees or could it possibly be the  frost?

Khakis ( Sharon fruit) are starting to turn orange. There are less of them than last year.

On the 2 young quince trees we collected 28kgs of enormous and healthy fruits. The quince leather is drying in the kitchen and the smell takes me straight back to my childhood.

Geoff’s 2 young apple trees, coxes, have given tons of beautiful fruits. We dried lots of them, they’re delicious. We also dried a lot of the pears, some of which don’t have a very palatable skin but when dried they are so delicious….

The 2 peach trees( the French call these “pêche de vigne”= the vineyard peach tree = the original peach tree from which all commercial peaches have been created)also gave us plenty of big fruits. I was still drying them last week. Geoff’s favorite.

This year we had less leaf curl in the cherry trees: I’d planted some mint and wild garlic at the bottom of all the fruit trees: the ants don’t like the mint and the aphids don’t like  garlic. It worked for all the other trees but only for 2 out of the 3 cherry trees  were free of ants and aphids. Same in the courgettes where I planted some mint and we didn’t see any more ants within a couple of hours…

Those little successes are precious.

So, with straw and a bunch of dead twigs, as well as garlic and mint at the bottom of each fruit tree, coincidence or not, the fruit trees were healthy with  lots of fruits.

A few worms nevertheless in some plums and apples as well as a tiny bit of leaf curl in the peach trees but really not enough to worry about. It is true to say that this particular peach tree is extremely resistant to diseases. We’ve never observed any sicknesses on the fig trees, the walnut trees or the Khakis trees. The vineyard stayed healthy looking even though ½ the bunches completely dried up a month before harvest.


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