Friday, June 02, 2017


Last night I walked the 76 steps to the movie theatre to Le Potager de mon Grand-Père. A word of advice...

Never go to see it if you are hungry.

The documentary covers a year in the farm of this man's grandfather.

The grandson loving helps him, plant and harvest a wide variety of veggies.

Grand-Père is a widower, and he tears up when he speaks of his wife. A few family photos movies are interspersed and we see what a handsome man he was in his youth.

He could have been my grandfather, whose garden was a work of art. Until my grandfather, an engineer, died, I never ate a veggie that wasn't from his garden.

We also see how the French gardner cans his produce, carefully cutting up his onions to cook with the mushrooms he gathers from the woods, makes tomato sauce that he adds to pasta.

My mouth watered.

His shelves are filled with luscious looking jars.

Aubergines, green beans, yellow beans, potatoes, butternut squash, courgettes, onions, herbs would feed this man and a few others for a year. The natural methods included hay to prevent weeds, far less pretty than his pesticide-spraying neighbor.

A year later, the old man is directing his grandson how to do things that he can no longer do.

The "farm" is not in the country, but in a village with other houses not that far away.

I couldn't help but think of the British Sitcom The Good Life, where a couple decides to give up the rat race and create a sustainable farm in their suburban garden. The series can be found

I was also reminded of the Victory Garden that we had on the Fenway when I lived in Boston.
Summer nights (when the Red Sox weren't in town) found us weeding and hoeing. We would play word games as we worked.

Our "Farm" was no where as fertile as Grand-Père's, but there was something rewarding about eating what we managed to grow.

Living where we live in the South of France, it is easy to find good, fresh local produce. And as for canning, I did make Eva's Relish last year.

The movie was part of the local theatre's forum and there was a discussion on the use of natural vs. pesticides methods. I didn't stay.

I went home. I was hungry.

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