She also became a cookbook author. Ten years after “The life of a garden, from the garden to the table”, she does it again with “Mange-tout” (“Southwest” editions, 22 euros), a recipe book of vegetables from his garden at all stages…
She also became a cookbook author. Ten years after “The life of a garden, from the garden to the table”, she does it again with “Mange-tout” (“Southwest” editions, 22 euros), a recipe book of vegetables from his garden at all stages of his life. A total of 250 pages in which he exposes all his know-how.
“Mange-Tout” is not a cookbook like any other. Is it an illustrated fan’s book?
Exactly ! This is not a book for professionals, it is an exciting book for future gardening enthusiasts. I wanted to make people want to garden and cook their vegetables. All the photos were taken at my house, in my garden. The recipes are mine. Small tips is what I have learned from my neighbors and in the last fifteen years.
You are from a land quite far from 64. An equally green place where the garden is not the same as in Béarn des Gaves…
Yes, I grew up in Ireland, it’s not exactly the same climate… It rains a lot, you can’t grow tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, like here. There, winter starts earlier and ends much later. We don’t really have a season to grow summer vegetables. My father had a fairly basic little garden, we didn’t have a greenhouse, for example.
The book is organized by calendar. As a guide to the perfect garden?
Yes, of course, you have to follow the seasons. Actually, there are fruits and vegetables in all seasons. You have winter radishes, summer radishes, spring radishes… These are not necessarily seasonal fruits and vegetables, but I slipped them in the season that suits them best.
We understand from reading that your science of the garden is the fruit of long and diligent work. How did you organize your notes?
I was taking notes when I arrived, but not anymore. Everything is in the head! I also read many books, but I realized that working was what I learned the most. The land is different from corner to corner. It is not the same at home as it is in the Gers or north of Béarn. Even in Béarn des Gaves, there are differences: near the gaves, the land is easier than with us on the hills. Even if our soil has improved with time and compost, it is less clayey…
So the book is valid for the people of Sauveterre actually…
Even for the inhabitants of Mailhos (laughs)! No, it’s a very general public, anyone can appropriate the small techniques that appear in this book and adapt them to their garden.
You are talking about people from the surroundings. Did they give you good advice?
When I arrived, I met the father of our neighbor. He told me “a vegetable is no longer worth anything two hours after it is harvested”, you have to harvest it and eat it almost immediately. There were also people who said that radishes did not work in Béarn. They had a somewhat closed vision of what a garden could look like here. But I thought it was possible to grow something else, not always grow the same species.
It is a bit like the habit of her husband Jean-François Gaillard that made us rediscover the big red corn…
If true ! But during the last three or four years, the incredible variations in temperature have questioned the certainties we had about the seasonality of planting and harvesting. We had a very late frost two months ago that did a lot, particularly bad to the orchard. And the drought came back…
How to adapt to global warming?
We have summer in spring, winter is no longer very cold but very rainy. This year we suffered two floods… I think we should first think about creating some shade in the garden. A few days ago I spent my days spreading sheets around the garden so it wouldn’t burn. I planted small fruit trees that won’t take in all the light but will create shade.
Are all recipes tested and approved? Are we satisfied or reimbursed?
Yes, absolutely (laughs)! It’s good, I still make them and my friends call me asking about them. They are easy to make, it all depends on the freshness of the vegetable.
Her husband is also involved.
We met Jean-François Gaillard, Carol’s husband, for his commitment to sustainable agriculture and the return of endemic species. In particular, he participated in the revival of maize grand roux in Béarn. He encouraged her towards this new publishing project. “It must be recognized that we arrived in a very rich country with these ancient Béarnaise breeds”, he points out. Béarnaise cows are one of the best known examples, but we found many old seeds while talking to neighbors who had a vegetable garden. »