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Tuesday, August 12, 2014


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Kristine Hendrickson

Here in Brittany, my roma tomatoes are not ripening, but the cherry tomatoes have been fine. In my ignorance I am concluding that they take longer and will ripen eventually. It is colder here but we have them in a small sheltered courtyard. The fields around have maize but it hasn't been harvested yet. So your vegetables may just be late or think they are Bretons!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,

Our large tomatoes haven't done too well but the cherry tomatoes have gone crazy! I pop those in my mouth too. We have some St. Johm's Wort too. We have had a problem with racoons or maybe opossums getting into our corn! I hope we can find a few to eat!

The first thing I noticed about your first photo is that it reminded me of a fairy garden in the background. It looks like a little mini chair and mini flower garden. Charming!

Annette Heath

Such a precious little gift of berries and herbs in a jar, and with a lovely note attached. I love it and it reminds me to keep a nice little jar on hand for just such a gift, so thoughtful. Merci Kristin!


What a thoughtful and generous friend you are. I wish I was your neighbor, not the least of which would mean I was living in the south of France, lol!

Suzanne Dunaway

Kristin---TRUST ME. You must MULCH with paille made from hemp that comes in bags and costs very little and weighs nothing and then you will have NO weeds anywhere and your garden will feed from the decomposing hemp paille. NOT HAY. Straw from hemp.
Those tomatoes look primo--don't worry. They'll ripen. Next year I'll send you seeds for a new Roma tomato from Burpee that will blow your mind. HUGE racoltes every day. Beautiful garden....

Nancy Stilwagen

I see some rosemary there, too, in your bouquet. Are those mint flowers from basil? Wonderful stuff!

Kathleen from Connecticut

We have some wild wine berries, but there are never enough of them to really gorge ourselves so we put the on so rice cream and savor them. I can't have un portager because of deer and rabbits, so I grow my herbes (parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary and chives) on the deck. I did not buy a very good tomato plant this year, a few very small tomatoes.
Enjoy your corn. We have had some exceptional corn from our CSA program,plus loads of other veggies.


Herm in Phoenix, AZ

Salut Kristin,

Merci, c'est un grand honneur d'être mentionné dans FWAD

I am MUCH younger than you say . . . . J'ai seulement quatre-vingt-quatre ans !

It is good to keep busy and learning new things . . . . and fun. I recently heard the phrase, " you can never step in the same river twice " Life keeps changing and you need to "go with the flow "

à bientôt

Barry Draper

Speaking of late tomatoes (une plante tardive), my father was in a good-natured plant growing competition with a neighbor. My father's tomato plants were growing quite tall but not bearing any fruit. So, My father went to the market and bought a few ripe tomatoes and affixed them to his vines with clear tape. For five minutes our neighbor was really impressed and perhaps a little jealous...At least until he inspected things more closely! Barry from Alabama

Kristin Espinasse

Herm, I thought you were 70 and meant that you would publish your first book of poems at 85. Now get crackin . Im not sure when your birthday is, but you have less than a year to turn in your first draft ;-)


:-) :-)

Suzanne, loved the hemp tip. But it is much more economical to use garden clipping for mulch. Still, I have located a bag of hemp online and am tempted to buy it...

Thanks for those who write in and respond to these posts. I really appreciate each and every comment and correction. 

Kristin Espinasse

Barry, LOL! Great story.

Karen from Phoenix

Love the garden and Smokey "helping" ha ha


What a lovely post! Off to the nursery for more plants and good dirt. Thanks for the inspiration.

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

I love the photos of the garden and of course of Smokey.

I live on the coast of Oregon and started a strawberry pot. All of the plants ripened and it was so gorgeous. Then one morning it was all gone. The local raccoon family had had a midnight feast. Oh well, at least they enjoyed their meal and they left the terra cotta pot in one piece!

Be well!

Chris Allin

Dear Kristin,
Sunflowers, hollyhocks and corn! That could be Northeast Kansas, which has its own charm but not quite the romance of southwest France. A local farm just down the road shares it's abundance with the community... my first stop for fresh produce. We have cornfields galore, rendering such sweet and succulent corn that a quick dip in steaming water or a short stop on an open grill keeps everyone happy. (And the floss handy~) Best of all are the ripe tomatoes just off the vine...they are wonderful for the tomato tarte recipe you once offered from your friend Rachel. And fresh berries or peaches with creme fraiche atop Jacque's French Yogurt Cake..yum!
As one who cannot grow my own vegetable garden other than herbs in pots on the patio, thanks to the wildlife in our woods, it is inspiring to witness your gardening experience and then to blend it into our lives through your recipes. Hmm, I think I will bake a french yogurt cake today and make a tomato tarte tonight. With a bottle on Rouge Bleu Dentelle, what could be better? Except maybe doing
it in France!

Joe Phipps, Dayton, Ohio

Hi Kristin,
I'm wondering how YOU pronounce "au cas oû". I have a friend from Lyon who always says OH|CAH|ZOO. Another friend from St Etienne insists that it is OH|CAH|OO.


Our dear Kristi,
Another beautiful post(and pictures!)where you have (again!)set a wonderful example of caring ,thoughtfulness,and sharing.Through your words,we feel like we are friends with Annie,as well as all of your 'regulars'on FWAD----previous strangers scattered around the world,who thanks to you,are now extended family member reaching out to you and your beautiful family,as well as each other.
What a privilege and a gift you have given us.
Thank you!!!
Natalia xo

Julia ~ Falling Off Bicycles

Such an incredibly charming cadeau for Annie and I just love your comparison of yourself to your garden. Charming, as always. :)

joie in carmel-by-the-sea

:Your harvest is better than mine. So far 2 strawberries and one tomato. Lettuce has been good.....the fog helps that.
I can remember in particular one of my dogs would wait and I swear watch the strawberries and the day before I would be ready to pick them she would eat a few or more!

Faye Stelly

Love today's blog...I second Natalie's comments! Also, Jackie's hair appears blonde today & very becoming.


What a sweet post. Here in South Florida, mango season is ending and avocado season is starting, so people are sharing the bounty of their trees with us mendicant condo dwellers who can't garden. We are ever hopeful. ;-)

Kristin Espinasse

Chris, thanks for the very big smile you put on my face. And thanks so much for remembering. Hello to George.

Diane Young

What is so lovely is your artistic touch for the petit cadeau you made up for your voisine. You are a multi-talented gal, between the writing, photography and arranging even the smallest bunch of herbs. How funny that Smokey likes strawberries. He's a gourmet.

Leslie in Oregon

My Golden Retriever also loves to eat berries, one at a time. Blueberries seem to be his favorite, right after raspberries and strawberries. And, of course, wstermelon! Thank you for the garden stories!

Lesley Tipping (Sydney, Aust)

As always Kristin your blog has made me smile and escape my work day ahead. Really love hearing about your dogs, garden and life and the joy it brings you. I can totally relate. Thank you. Best regards, Lesley.

Georgia from Northern CA

Believe it or not, here in Novato, CA, we never know for sure when our tomatoes will ripen! This year, the time is right now. Other years they start the 4th of July or late August into September. It is usually a mystery, but a fun one.

Time to roast them and put in the freezer to make sauce and soup in the dark days of winter. And to use right now for fresh tomato salads and pasta!

Thanks for sharing your garden treats!

Bon Appetite!


Your strawberry arrangement is precious, Kristin! I think my garden also is a late-blooming garden. Everyone I've spoken with who is maintaining a backyard garden in our area has been enjoying tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini for a while now. We have just started tasting our first cherry tomatoes and I'm happy to say I finally spotted a small zucchini peeking out from underneath the green leaves and yellow flowers. Better late than never. ;)

Bette Goode

Hi Kristi,

Not to worry about the late corn crop. I live in south west British Columbia Canada and our local corn is just starting and we have had a hot and dry month to help it along. I wonder where you got the sweet corn seeds? I know that French gardeners often regard corn as food for animals, not people. I have seen corn in the the Saturday market in Annecy, but it's packaged in plastic and looks like it was picked 6 weeks ago! Happy gardening!


Another sweet post! J'aime la petite cadeau pour votre voisine, Annie!

I have just this past week been able to start harvesting my black pear tomatoes. They are so good! My cherry tomatoes are not ripe yet. Hopefully soon! I got a late start to planting this year so I am a bit behind. And, I had a small, bit by bit harvest of strawberries myself! Just a handful at a time. Sadly, they are all finished for now.

Jules Greer

Hi Honey,

Just checked out all of your wonderful photos, I hope everyone will start sending you interesting seeds. You should get a post-office box in your village for your personal mail.




Wondering if the Ministère de l'Agriculture would approve of people planting things mailed from foreign countries.

Dotty in Rhode Island

Corn should do well in southern France, as long as you have soil with good organic content and can keep it watered sufficiently. The modern hybrids of sweet corn are something that are not to be missed!

Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm

Thank you, Kristi, for you inspire such acts of kindness.

Such a sweet note and caring gift for your dear neighbor Annie, a sweet note of a story for us too! I am growing corn for the first time and was excited to see the tassels and silk appear last week. A late-bloomer too, both to gardening (my second year) and planting (only the eggplants are on schedule). The deer have helped themselves to all my hollyhocks, sunflowers and my tomato plants; though I ate a few ripe cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine. I am thankful my dear neighbor shares her abundant crop of tomatoes with me. I best pull the tomato tarte recipe out of the drawer, thanks to Chris for the reminder.

Enjoy the gifts of the season!

Patricia Sands

Your thoughtful gift for Annie was priceless ... for us too! Merci!

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