Bastille Day: Pumkins and Pomegranates

Today July 14 is Bastille Day or French National Day. The day commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which was a fortress used as a prison, and the beginning of the French Revolution.

Why would that be important to people in the United States? The French Royal Treasury ran out of money. They had funded the American Revolution. They also had a tax system which favored the aristocracy — is this sounding familiar?

King Louis XVI called a meeting at Versailles and fired a popular finance minister. A meeting of the people was called by a writer named Camille Desmoulins in a public square where forums were held. Citizens were encouraged to storm the Bastille and set prisoners free. At the time there were few prisoners being held.

To this day the storming of the Bastille makes an overpowering statement of what people can do to overcome oppression and censorship.

My grandfather was French. It seemed fitting to do something good to mark this day. I’d plant grape vines, he loved his grapes and had a huge arbor, but that will have to wait — I need the arbor first.

Its a little late but I planted pumpkins. Garden pumpkins 001 The area wasn’t completely cleared but enough so to put in a frame. In the past son has just planted them in the ground. I read the book French Dirt (how appropriate for today). In it an American moves to a little town in France and tries to fit in and he does it by planting a Potager, a small garden. He is not a gardener, but he succeeds in getting the men in the area to all stop by and offer their advice and opinions on his garden. One said to plant a vine successfully you must make a mound and cover it with black tarp and into the top cut an X.

This is the ring from a compost bin which I have filled with “garden soil” obviously not from my garden. The seed package said “just regular soil” well they don’t have our depleted soil.  I watered it well and covered it with a black plastic liner, one, to keep the soil warm, two, to keep the cat from thinking it was her personal kitty litter box.

And yes, I have a pomegranate, in fact, I have two, but since they both look alike I will share just one picture.Garden pomegranate 004


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