Frenchitude Lesson #3: Grow Some Fruit or Vegetables, or Be Very Nice to Someone Who Does

*Frenchitude Lesson#3: Grow Some Fruit or Vegetables, or Be Very Nice to Someone Who Does

The French, especially the many who live in rural villages like Villers-la-Faye, are rather fanatical about growing as much of their own fruit and vegetables as they possibly can.

Almost everybody I know here has at least a cherry tree and a nut tree, as well as a little plot for tomatoes and zucchini.

Last year Franck’s sister Stephanie, who lives in MagnylesVillers, had such a year of abundance with her fruit trees that we were able to pick kilos upon kilos of fresh cherries (both sweet and tart) and plums that we have frozen to make our own jam.

Then there are people like our next-door neighbour Victor who transform the simple concept of a vegetable garden into a thing of high art. I often spend a few minutes of my day gazing over our veranda wall to the orderly bean stalks and luscious tomatoes in his garden.

Thankfully for us, Franck’s father André is of this persuasion. Three years ago he decided to cultivate a large plot of land that has been passed down in the family for..well, as far back as anyone can remember, just beside the vineyards on the way out of Villers-la-Faye. He planted all different sorts of vegetables and an orchard of fruit trees.

And now look…

Luckily for us, he brings us boxes like this on a regular basis during growing season. Like the French, I consider this among the best gifts anyone could receive.

It goes without saying that all of the home grown fruit and vegetables are just about as organic as you can get, but this is not the main reason why the French value them. Sure, it’s a nice bonus that they’re good for us, but this comes a distant second to the fact that they just taste so much better than their store bought equivalent.

With so much of life here in France, the whole point is pleasure; pleasure in sinking your hands into the dirt, pleasure in watching your vegetables grow, pleasure in hearing the thanks when you share them, pleasure in sniffing their heavenly smell, and above all, pleasure in eating them.

So that’s why when we start to landscape our front yard here at La Maison des Chaumes, I’m gunning for a fruit tree.

* Frenchtitude (French + Attitude = Frenchitude) Fridays give ideas for how to inject a bit of frenchness into your life, whether you life in Tasmania or Timbuktu.

These Friday posts were originally called “Un Petit Peu French Fridays” but have been renamed “Frenchitude Fridays” by popular vote…ok, actually the opinions of 5 fans…ok actually four friends and one sister…