Hey Bud, you'd make a good future candidate for compost (read on in today's story...)! This beautiful California poppy is growing in the South of France! Malou transplanted it from her garden to mine with the help of Doreen. Thanks, Garden Angels :-)

remuer (reuh mheu ay) verb

    : to stir

remuer ciel et terre = to move heaven and earth
remue-toi un peu = get a move on!
arrête de remuer tout le temps! = quit fidgeting!
le remue-ménage = stir, bustle, confusion 

Verb conjugation:
je remue, tu remues, il/elle remue, nous remuons, vous remuez, ils/elles remuent  (pp = remué)

Tune Up Your French (click here) with over 900 essential expressions will help you to hone your French-language conversation skills!

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

"Garden Grist"

Compost! Compost! Compost! Compost!

It's a little early on into this compost affair to be writing about the stuff, that is "the stuff of the garden gods!", but, just as the one smitten cannot wait to talk about the object of her affection, I am impatient to share this steaming heap of burning love with you!

Speaking of steaming... that is what our compost pile is supposed to be doing, n'est-ce pas, steaming? (Something about aerobic bacteria? Something about C:N ratios?) Ah, well! Steaming will come! Restons simples! No need to complicate the compost pile. As Scott Meyer, editor of Organic Gardening says: "Compost happens!" For composting, at its most basic, is simply the piling up of waste. It will eventually break down of its own accord!

Meantime, with amorous abandon, I am tossing banana peels, egg shells, tea leaves and coffee grounds, grass clippings, cardboard, fumier, dried leaves and... weeds? I wonder whether I can add weeds into the compost pile? 

A quick internet search reveals that les mauvaises herbes are okay--just be sure to remove the seed heads! I don't trust my seed-heads judgment, so oublions weeds for the moment! All that's left to do now is to observe the brown-green ratio or that C:N business we mentioned earlier. This delicate ratio seems to be the key... to steam! Finding the right carbon to nitrogen balance will mean the difference between two months and one year (the time it will take to break down the plant waste). 

Because I can't wait another second, I will now employ the French verb remuer! And now, chers fellow composters, remuons! Besides the C:N conundrum, we'll need oxygen to get the compost heap heating up. For this, il faut le remuer.

The only other ingredient in the simple "C Now"* (I want to see my Compost NOW) is W for "water"! For that I will take advantage of all the spittoons that "build up" this time of year, when wine tasting season picks up along with the arrival of vineyard visitors. We used to empty the spittoons into the garden... now they'll be emptied on top of the compost pile!

As for that heap of burning love just outside the door, it's calling me now... I'm off to remuer le monticule of plant matter... which will, soon enough (I hope, I hope!) turn into dark compost caviar... good enough to hand-feed to the other loves in the garden: the tomatoes, the flowers, and the trees.


Comments & Corrections welcome!
I am a compost newbie! Please share your ideas on how to succeed in composting! Apart from the C NOW essentials, below, and the banning of animal waste (apart from le fumier from herbivores), what can you tell me about compost? Thanks for joining in today's discussion here, in the "compost" box!

Carbon (brown/dry materials: leaves, straw, "clean" paper, cardboard)
Nitrogen (green & wet materials: fruit/veg cuttings, house/garden plants...

French Vocabulary on the way... check back shortly, here.

n'est-ce pas? = Isn't that right?

restons simples = let's keep it simple

le fumier = manure

les mauvaises herbes = weeds

oublions = let's forget about that

remuons = let's stir

remuons le monticule = stir the mound



Bestselling books on the French language:
 1. The Ultimate French Verb Review and Practice  
 2. Exercises in French Phonics

Not so best-selling... but a fun book on the French language!
Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France 



Read the French Word-A-Day archives: you'll find a lot of "Abandoned Chair Lust" and other stories... click here. Photo taken in Les Goudes... at the end of Marseilles...

Smokey "R" Dokey on his way to visit Mrs. Canard... who lives in the brook just below, with her soon-to-be born ducklings, or canetons (boys) and canettes (girls).

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
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