French garden diary - January 2019

Layered benefits of lasagne bed - This raised bed technique is ideal for growing veggies, says Cathy Thompson

It was clear to me from the pleasing trickle of readers’ courgette and haricot recipes we received that more than a few of you are quite dedicated to your potager.

I increasingly share your passion for growing my own and imagine that the influence of my French neighbours – foodies to a man or woman – has something to do with this. But have you noticed that there is, in France, a kind of ‘permaculture’ style that was probably typical decades before the English-speaking world discovered it?

The garden as a kitchen resource – with the gardener as ‘gatherer’ in season, whether it’s a supply of nuts, fruits, or a few perennial, leafy crops.

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