>Still summer, or is it autumn? / Toujours l’été, ou l’automne?


We spent a few days staying with friends in a village in Navarra, in the Spanish Basque country, last week and everything seemed very green and damp there. / On a passé quelques jours avec des amis dans un village en Navarra, au pays Basque espagnol, la semaine dernière et tout y semblait très vert et humide.


The garden plots on the flat land between the river and the houses are used for vegetables, maize and cattle. Sheep are kept on the hillsides around the village and the air is filled with the lovely sound of their bells. / Les jardins sur la terre plate entre la rivière et les maisons sont utilisés pour les légumes, le maïs et les vaches. Il y a des brébis sur les collines autour du village et l’air et rempli du son de leurs clochettes.


Stacks of bracken, to be used for animal bedding, outside a house in the Basque village of Zubieta.

Des meules de fougère près d’une maison basque.

While we were away there was some rain here – heavy enough to wash away some of our seedlings but still not enough. It’s good to come back to bright light and dry days, but we need water for the garden. We’re still harvesting melons, courgettes, peppers and aubergines, and a few tomatoes.

Pendant que nous étions en vacances il a plu un peu ici – assez pour emporter des petits plants, mais pas encore assez pour le jardin. C’est bon revenir à la lumière éclatante et le temps sec, mais on a besoin de l’eau pour le jardin. On ramasse toujours les melons, les courgettes, les poivrons et les aubergines, et quelques tomates.

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The artichoke leaves are beginning to grow again, our saffron crocus has flowered and the olives are beginning to ripen. / Les feuilles d’artichaut commencent à repousser, le crocus de safran fleuri et les olives commencent à mûrir.


We’ve brought back chorizo peppers from our friend in the Basque country and piments d’Espelette from the French Basque country to dry on the balcony. / Nous avons emporté des piments de chorizo de notre ami au pays Basque et des piments d’Espelette pour sècher sour le balcon.


And we’ve picked quinces to make membrillo like we did last year – the recipe is here.

Et nous avons ramasser des coings pour faire la pâte à coing – la recette est ici.

The basket is one I brought back from the Basque country, handmade from chestnut by an old man.

5 thoughts on “>Still summer, or is it autumn? / Toujours l’été, ou l’automne?

  1. >I think they get a lot of rain up there in the north, hence the green. Our artichokes would be growing again but Steve seems to have buried them with the plough! I expect they'll come through.

  2. >Beautiful countryside there in Navarra, the green is so refreshing. Everything here is extremely dry, in spite of the fog.I tried growing saffron once, the gophers ate all but 1 of the bulbs. At least the one survivor bloomed!Lovely basket, I do love baskets.Enjoy the weather while it lasts.

  3. >This all looks wonderful. I've never tasted quince. A friend from Georgia (Eastern Europe) cooked duck for us once when he was visiting and he wanted quince for his recipe but couldn't get it here and he substituted prunes. Would love to try your quince recipe. I will if I find them here.

  4. >I was wondering how one knows olives are ripe: I see yours are turning a dark brown. No doubt it depends on the variety, but that looks like a good indicator to me. Now I'll watch for mine (Arbequina) to darken, too.

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