Been gardening and waiting for the summer to begin! Last year was about renovations, this year is about building community in our new village and business start up. In it for 19 months, we still feel like fledglings in southern France, and wondering if we can reap what we sow.
More specifically, we wonder what is easy to grow in this climate. After an attempt at seeding from fruit bought from Lidl (trying to teach my children and their friends about seeding) came back short, we questioned GMOs getting through from Spain.
That brought me to the question,
Are there organic seed exchange programs in France?
Not that I have a big yard just the desire for the little space I do have to be filled with heirloom plants.
The bigger dream is to feed my family from the garden. Perhaps next house. For now, I learn... Can anyone help out with my question?
How did I miss all this great feedback? Oh yah, I was gardening! Since I posted, my seeds have come out. Bean shoots 2" high, peas poking through the soil, Brussels sprouts, cukes, squash and zucchini. At summer's end I plan to collect seeds for exchange and keep the successful varieties going. So no nothing worth exchanging yet. But the plans are in the making. We live in Capestang, 25 kilometres from the sea, but the wind doesn't hit here like in Narbonne or even Beziers. Definitely a micro climate of sorts, not like Roquebrun or anything that amazing. We also have our own well water that has never gone dry in 20 years. Must be in the exact right spot. The lady who owned the house before us, make the yard into a jungle, overgrown tropicals, and lush vegetation, which we ripped out to make way for the pool. Retrospect... you know the saying.
Our three grape vines are doing well, and may end up on our plates this year. Last year they died on the vine. Apricot tree, nearly 25 years, stopped producing mid season and the fruit was falling off shrivelled. Cut that out too. I like the idea of a fig tree, sounds like a no-brainer.
Thanks everyone for the feedback. <3
Actually one thing Ive had success with every year.....Elderflower! have managed to make upwards of 20 litres every year....never disappointed by the amount of blossom.
same as us John....at least it means every year is an adventure...and you dont know what you are getting...
2011 was the year we had so much fruit we didnt know what to do with it stewed it froze it preserved it and gave lots away, last year 2012 no fruit at all but loads of veg again froze or gave it away, this year really struggling with the cold wet weather nothing is doing very well other than the blackcurrants and gooseberies for the very first time i may add after three years, whats happening do they take it in turns here cant they all do well together
I grow my peppers and chillies from seeds I get from locally bought veg...have grown apple trees from seeds...(not fruiting of course)....orange and lemon trees, pomegranite..and quite a few exotic fruits...and of course always dates which seem to grow as a matter of course. Our first year in the Languedoc we also grew avocado stones...thought they didnt survive the winter...first year we were there it snowed and was minus 10 some days. Probably a bit of trial and error. Do you have a local seed exchange? where we are in the Dordogne we have a gardening group and once a year exchange seeds....and later exchange plants.
Hi Eve, then happy digging. For seeds you may look here: https://kokopelli-semences.fr/?lang=en-us.
With what to plant, depends on where you live, how much water (or how to bind it), then how much wind (can dry soil very fast out)but there are lot of ideas to find here and here in the SFN group section.
On retirement my parents lived in Spain, and on one visit to England, whilst they stayed with me I bought some Avocados which had been grown in Israel. I gave three stones to my parents to take back to Spain as an experiment to see if they would grow. Imagine my surprise, when three years later I visited Mum and Dad and they showed me three very large avocado bushes in their garden with fruit on them. Yes - they were grown from the Israeli stones.
The majority of fruit you buy in the supermarkets are F1 hybrids and sterile (as are a lot of the seeds from garden centres and the like).
All of our flowers seeds are collected and swopped with neighbours and I got friends to bring me some seed from http://www.realseeds.co.uk/ - like you this is my first year of growing veg and it has been a slow start and I have doubts about the success of what has been planted. If we get any seeds would be happy to swop. :)
Why not set up something on here, Eva?
We've got Mauritian cucumbers that we grow every year. Also some Frangipani seeds which we brought back last time. We've (Stella, my wife that is) tried various stuff with a modicum of success. Padron chillies from Mallorca, Mauritian aubergines(long and thin). We're in the Vienne, so it's not exactly tropical.
Got anything worth swapping?