Saturday, April 30, 2011

La Ferme de Julio

We've made it to the first farm! After a good day of traveling by train and bus, we arrived in Julio, a bit north of the coastal town of Montpellier. We got off of our, almost three hour, bus ride at an unnamed stop and within minutes heard someone whistling to us. Emerging from the other side of the road were Odile and Jacques, our hosts. We walked with them over a small bridge, up a walk path lined with foliage and arrived at their old house.

Everything about the house they build is charming and comforting. Here are the stairs we are treated to walk up after some hard physical labor in the garden. With this and the best smelling flowers on the way back, it's a nice reward at the end of the day.

Its been nice finding little details like this over the past few days. I could image myself putting up this milk can and letting nature spew out of it.

The area around the tiny neighborhood of farm houses is just beautiful, especially now. All the Irises are out in full bloom, along with roses and a lot of other flowers I have yet to identify, and there are so many different colors of them. This may look like a detailed flower arrangement, but it's just out there, growing along the path we take to reach the garden.

Casey and I are lucky to have our own room. It has a great view of the mountains and valley, and there is special guardian angel watching over our bed:

Ha! I have no idea what the story behind this is, but it is literally above our bed and facing us while we sleep. A bit creepy, but it's actually pretty funny now.

Yesterday, after work, we walked to the nearest town of Olargues. It is a charmingly small village with one main road that takes you from one side, through the village and out the other side in less than ten minutes - leisurely walking.

As we strolled through, we kept thinking how ridiculously French it was. Small planter boxes on window sills filled with colorful flowers, bright blue, wooden window shutters against the stone walls, and lazy cats sleeping in the sun. I felt like I was walking around in a postcard or travel guide.

We "hiked" up to the old chateau that used to be at the top of the hill. It must have built a very long time ago, because all that's left are steps, a few column bases and, impressively, a bell tower.

The view from the top was incredible!

From Casey's vantage point, you can see all the way down into the valley, where the river flows and up across to the other mountains. It was the type of view that made you wish you could fly. It's also the type of view I see right before I take off for flight in a flying dream (although I haven't had one of those in years. Damn!)

This is the bottom of the village from up top. Picturesque no?

I haven't taken my camera out to the garden yet, but hopefully I will soon so I can show you what we've been working on. But mainly, I've been doing a bunch of man work to prepare the land for sowing. Plowing and digging holes is quickly becoming my specialty. I've also gotten to plant some onion shoots, till some potatoes, and transplant some chicories. Casey has been harvesting asparagus, radish, snow peas and herbs while planting tomatoes, beans and spinach. She's also been weeding a bunch of strawberries, getting them ready to be deliciously red. We are learning a ton.

1 comment:

celia said...

France is so quaint and so picturesque. I am so happy that you and Casey are here. Those steps are so darling with the beautiful flowers along its path. I hope you will find out more about the special guardian angel.