Stéphane’s landrace garden in Brionnais, France

Here I open this message to share with you my landrace gardening seasons!
I would share on this topic the progress of my cultures, my current experiences, my failures, my harvests…

We are in the center of France, a place filled with meadows with a local race of cow la Charolaise.

we are in hills with small farms, houses, old villages scattered in the landscape with some small mountains in the distance. It’s all green with grass everywhere before becoming all yellow like the savannah from June.

the current garden is not very large but with the collective associative projects where we also grow, it is enough to feed ourselves in autonomy of vegetables.

here a part with black tarpaulin to warm the clay soil that remains cold for a long time in spring. At the bottom the structure to grow tomatoes in the shelter of the sun too strong in summer with climbing plants (kiwanos, Korila…)

here the part with the remaining winter crops (lettuce, leeks, swiss chard, fava beans…)

there some Chinese cabbage, arugula, fava beans and coriander at the bottom that are rising in seeds to ensure the succession of the next winter.

there some fava beans and lettuce on wood waste

there some winter seedlings of my lettuce grex which must have not far from 100 varieties with some first home hybridization. This year the grex will double with our exchanges at the seed bank, all seed shipments from GTS members… we should reach 200 strains ! + the fantastic Hakurei Salad Turnip just starting to come out

here the cold greenhouse corner cobbled together with old recovered window that allows to advance the seedlings and put out frost for the winter some plants. The most advanced tomatoes already transplanted, behind the fantastic Lokförare Bergfälts Jätteärt Snow Pea that I protect before going to the garden because it is a rare treasure of which I only had 10 seeds! behind a part of my nursery with not far from 50 species of oaks and 50 rare maples from around the world, with a lot of california and mexico shrubs that I grow before creating a future garden in our house under renovation.

some seedlings of swiss chard “Rainbow”

indoors in an old aquarium the last seedlings of pepper, eggplant, my landrace of basil (Mrihani x opal, basil grex Joseph Lofthouse, aromatic, rutgers obsession, genetic pool of Macedoine, little Marseille…), Wild Mountain Tomatillo Grex, and 60 tomatoes from all over the planet and from many people including GTS.

peppers and eggplants freshly transplanted that are still a little tired of the operation.
My Charolais Brionnais landrace with new varieties to add Dulce de España, Ferenc Tender, Lipstick, Rosy Cheeks, Rubiero… with other grex and landrace from USA Holy Italian and Mountain Roaster since Wild Mountain seeds and Lofthouse sweet pepper grex. For eggplant is Ping Tung Shaped Grex from Wild Mountain Seeds, an amazing thing that grows very well here without a greenhouse.

a harvest sample of my aragula landrace, which is composed of Purple Stemmed Rockette still from Wild Mountain Seeds USA with which I integrated seeds from a friend who found a foot resistant to insect beetles. Since these hybridization we eat every winter these beautiful varied plants that do not freeze and in addition no longer fear insect attacks during the dry autumn.

the pleasure to tell you the suite that will be more rock n roll and provided in chlorophyll !


awesome! You plant your basils now?

I plant basil like a lot of things as soon as possible indoors in this small aquarium (in February / March). The goal is to select from everything I do for precocity.
Not because our summer is very short (6/7 months without frost), but because our gluttony is very long :crazy_face:! This also makes it possible to have well-implanted feet at the root level before the increasingly early heatwave periods (late May / early June).

Here only a few plants have sprouted basil but these are the ones that pass the crash test :thermometer:and will be in the garden this summer to make the seeds: significant temperature difference between 15°c (59°F) (the days when we are not there without heating in the house) and 40°c (104°F), saturated humidity (vaporization + lid), transplanting in a cold greenhouse 20 days in April/ May, with nights at 8°c (46°F) and 35°c (95°F) in sunny day, then put in the garden at the end of May where sometimes there is also a large temperature difference between the roots in still cold soil 15°c (59°F) and sometimes 30°c (86°F) in the air.

It may seem a little violent (we are not descending in the region of the Burgundian peoples of the Scandinavian countries for nothing ! :axe:) with all these regular thermal shocks but so I have mother feet that give me subsequent generations more and more tolerant with virtually no melting of seedlings or other diseases type late blight (I introduced varieties known for their resistance in grex).

Since I am completely addicted to basil, it allows to eat it very early, remaining convinced (without being able to check it easily) as for aromatic plants (oregano, thyme…) the more extreme the conditions, the more the aromatic compound content is concentrated :nose:in the plant !


Magnifique Stephane! Bravo! Tiens nous au courant de l’évolution.


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today 27°C (80°F), south wind, with sand from the Sahara desert. Migratory birds come from Africa: swallows, egrets,…not yet camels but in a few years probably at this rate!

We attack the day with some seedlings from the USA.

small turn side seedlings, raised Japanese chives White Nebuko.

Onions and leeks not growing very fast this year. At the bottom of the shelf the Yuzu come out. Above session transplanting with: Timut pepper and other zanthoxylum, Pistachio of china…

New small square this year in primitive agriculture mode! A small plot 100m from the house in forest clearing with clearing of winters and burning land. Here there will be no watering, and the roots of the trees so it will be extreme.

A few onions already planted

Potatoes TPS grown for 2 years from Cultivariables seeds.

2 rows, or 60 feet that will have to cope in their new biotope, in connection with the spirit of the forest.

a few wild tulips in full bloom in the garden. There is no telling, they are much more elegant than their domesticated sisters !

last minute unexpected visit. Another beautiful day in connection with the return of spring! :peace_symbol: :v: :chipmunk: :owl: :fox_face: :hedgehog: :rabbit2: :v: :peace_symbol:


Launch of the Landrace Pole Beans Project. The idea is to optain beans of various color, resistant to dry, and with the size of Tarbais. So I sowed three seeds per pot 1 Tarbais + 2 of each variety. The Tarbais will be each in promiscuity hoping for crosses, if I have time I would pollinate manually.

five days later it sprouts strong! the earliest are San Bernado Blue and those of the grex @Hugo
on right is Painted Mountain corn. A great respect for Dave Christensen’s work :pray:, this landrace is the most amazing thing I’ve grown. These few pots will be used to try the feat of having 2 generations in the same summer to have the 2nd seeds in autumn in more difficult conditions, last summer I almost managed to 15 days ready.

on left Wildling Panamorous Tomatoes, on right Q-series Tomatoes @Joseph_Lofthouse. To make seed and spread to European friends this fall.

the seedlings of cauliflower green, yellow, pink

All Cucurbitacea combined, the first to rise are Desert Spirit Culinary Landrace’ Squash from Wild Mountain Seeds. their seeds are the best for me in my climate. Casey Piscura does an amazing job with all these great landraces too. :star_struck:

new series of transplanting eggplants and tomatoes, each pot a variety of which a few @ThomasPicard and @marcela_v

The first series explodes in the sun all day with a small steam bath like hamam every night in the greenhouse ! :thermometer: :hot_face:

the landraces of peppers and eggplants are more and more beautiful years after years. This year it is luxury for them transplanted in pure home compost, evening on the terrace and night in the house. In a few days they will be entitled to small glasses of cocktail decoction of nettle and comfrey to enjoy even more sunsets ! :cocktail: :dark_sunglasses: :tumbler_glass:


You’re starting jour beans already Stéphane? Have you got some big place you can keep frostfree? I’ve started a whole tray of Basil indoor following your lead Some of my early tomatoes (Odessa and Siberian) i interplanted with Big Hills in the hoop house. Bit half shade/covered by flowering plants i keep in check to protect them from minor frost…

I thought of starting some Maxima’s and Moschata for frost resistance If you have some frostfree place i MUST make some low tek red neck assembly tomorrow. Not doing it would be foolish and unacceptable as such.

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I simply have a small room of 3m2 tinkered in low tech with old window. This is enough to start plants and propagate in a controlled atmosphere.
I don’t have a greenhouse in the garden because it brings too much constraint for me (management of aerations, watering, disease control…), that it’s ugly, that it generates plastic waste and even climate warming. Vegetables growing underneath don’t taste like vegetables that enjoy the uv of the outdoors (this is obvious on tomatoes)
Our ancestors and thousands of peoples make without greenhouse, so I should succeed in maintaining this simple form of agriculture. It is a way for me to respect the land and to show that agriculture must not become a flight forward in techno solutionism.

What does this mean at the time of climate change? Last week it was between 20°C (68°F) and 28°C (83°F) with nights between 10°C (50°F) and 15°C (59°F). The week is between 9°C (48°F) and 11°C (52°F) with nights between 4°C (39°F) and -1°C (30°F).
Hugo, for the example of beans, they sprouted very quickly with a summer weather we now have to grow them in winter time for at least 10 days :
Step 1: leave them in the cold rack without freezing. I will plant them tomorrow in a forest pot so that they continue to grow at the root level. The small clod will be surrounded by compost that will keep the roots isolated. Limit watering to not rot the roots.
Step 2: early May put in the garden if the soil is still above 15°C (59°F) as it is today. To protect from small frosts still possible until May 15, a small pile of straw around the feet with a lined forcing cloth (P17) should be enough to counter small frosts on the ground.

Why do all this and not wait to sow the beans in May? move my genetics in several generations on growths earlier and earlier, resistant to cold, move the growth in ascending days, install the root system before the summer fire, and if everything dies I’m still in a good timming to restart a seedling…

Early planting is my form of adaptation to climate change, no longer relying on ancestral planting dates and reinventing with the vagaries.


I’ve hill billied an extra space.

I love my old hoophouse it provides me locally grown biological food. I’d love to live in your world where it’s a thing of the past. Getting there involves plastics. I agree to minimise it. But i don’t fuss too much.


Hugo you’re right to be more moderate :wink:, but I prefer the charm of your latest low tech DIY! I don’t wish to live in the past, but to respect the land at best so that our descendants can cultivate in a healthy soil without microparticles that poison their vegetables and bodies.
I tolerate the plastic of these old crates, pots, tarpaulins, garden wagons that you can see in my photos… but I try as they wear to replace them with greener alternatives. It is only for the pots that I find no alternative, except to sow everything directly in the garden but on some plants it is complicated.

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the cold greenhouse space, to see the small volume. At the moment I play Tetris in it by nesting all the pots.

an overview of the very long tree landrace project! That I started a few years ago on oaks and maples without knowing the concept but already thinking about the adaptation of trees for decades to come.
Here oaks of the red oak section with left seedling of the year F2 Quercus exacta (quercus imbricaria x Quercus palustris) with diversity and a completely crazy plant level growth, and right F1 Quercus rysophylla x Quercu rubra by one year. I also have other interspecific crosses of the same section Quercus hintoniorum x rubra… In 30 years to their flowering I could have F1 x F2, then in 60 years if I am still of this world make F2 x F3…etc I would leave it to the squirrels to continue this work after me :chipmunk:

a small, eye-catching combination in the nursery: Ceanothus ‘concha’ in blue, Coronilla glauca in yellow, and the hardy and persistent Mexican super Quercus rugosa with young, red, leathery leaves :sunglasses:

other rare oak plants from around the world that are well into their 2nd season

Some beautiful salads transplanted this fall in a corner. They will be picked slightly leaf to leaf, without cutting the foot, to also make some seeds.

tomatoes that have not grown for 10 days with the return of cold weather and the disappearance of the sun. :cloud_with_rain: :cold_face:

The pole beans are furious, I had to put them in forest pots! Only the Tarbais suffered from the cold and came out less while they are the only varieties with local seed. Africans grow better in the cold…hum the world is crazy! :crazy_face:

Peppers and eggplants delight with the heating turned on in the house. The landrace Charolais Brionnais sweet peppers believe themselves in the tropics, so much so that I have a plant that takes out a floral bud! It is necessary that the warm weather returns to be able to plant them quickly in the garden because there it becomes too big :palm_tree:

the basil are still in slow life :turtle:. There is a plant that is three times the size of the others, it smells good the very large super hybrid as I am looking for…
otherwise always diversity in the grex with some curly plants, other reds…

my last seeds of Gombo ultracross from EFN germinated. I will leave it as late as possible in the garden to finally hope to have a pod and seeds.

on left Early Wonder Tall Top Beet from Wild Moutain Seeds, on right grex cauliflower.

on left Muskmelon Lofthouse Oliverson landrace, on right Lofthouse landrace cucumber
on which I watch like a treasure :coin: :coin: :coin:


we finally come out of 10 days cold and wet with still much rain 77mm! :partying_face:

It’s been so bad for several months with too much heavy rain, the ground was very packed and too cold with its clay… slugs were everywhere…
It was necessary to remove all the mulching, to pass the spade to air, to chase the slugs… I do not like to return and work the ground but there it was essential to dry and warm

the hunt for hybrid salads begins. Here by chance of transplanting a hybrid of Radichetta ( at right) who seems to have found his parents (at left).

here again Radichetta but which seems hybridized with Deer Tongue Red (at right). Radichetta is a salad that I integrated in the Lettuce Charolais Brionnais Landrace last year and I have already found several hybrids in F1…this salad is great for natural crosses that are easily identified with the shape of the leaves, and she has a great taste, doesn’t rise quickly, and grows quickly… it’s really the hell thing that made me switch to the hybridization of salads :japanese_ogre:

sharp, red, green, with dots…choose the one you prefer for the big election of miss lettuce :princess:

Fava Beans rise very high this year with all this rain.

coriander in bloom…soon in fruit for seeds and eat dry grain in the summer when it will no longer grow

the lion’s cage still waiting for tawny tomatoes. the Snow Peas Lokförare Bergfälts Jätteärt are starting to climb well…

first harvests of Celery Tell Utah, it’s really very, very good…so much that I’m going to want to do a landrace very quickly with this thing

this year I kept some Early Wonder Tall Top Beet to make seeds. So I ripped off the last Swiss chard next door for not to have a cross.

the first ripe strawberries! it makes her happy… there are never enough :exploding_head:

the first early beans and potatoes that were saved from the deluge of rain and cold with a small hoop…

very beautiful garlic this year, after spending many weeks dry under the same hoop (each your turn guys for shelter) :policeman:

small naughty evening for rustic citrus… everyone in promiscuity adorned with its most beautiful flowers and perfume, the sun and bees arrive…
Some manual polinisation also between Yuzu (Citrus junos), ichangensis x sinensis (Citrus ichangensis x citrus sinensis) and eremorange (Citrus glauca x Citrus sinensis)…
It’s real hot :underage:! and without protection we could with some happy births in the least to come… :tangerine: + :lemon: = ???


What a beautiful view. Wow!

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Wow lush! Very thick corianders! I got some celery from @marcela_v , finally a strain that popped up! Just info if you want to start a grex.
I’m back from family business. Stuff exploded in thé garden a d hoophouse. Will show you.


marcela also sent me ‘Celery leaf’, I have to ask her if it is celery to cut (like parsley). If so, it will be used more for condiment and salads.

The one in the picture is celery with card (large like swiss chard ). I should also find other varieties like that, because it’s really a dish of choice!

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I have enough of celery seeds to feed the whole region :smiley: It is the usual one, like parsley. I had many plants and I left them outdoors over the winter, and most of them were eaten by moles, but several survived and gave abundance of seeds. Their germination is great, so if anyone will need them, let me know. I have MORE :slight_smile: They mostly germinate within 10-14 days.


strange climate ‘Stop and go’ for last 10 days, cold and rainy days with fog in the mornings, warm and sunny tomorrows with tropical humidity that ends the day in a storm.

The tomatoes are planted,

some sweet peppers and eggplants too.

Cabbage and red Cabbage

Celery and Beetroot

sweet pepper, beans and potato

This is the first time that the ground is exposed, but the cold rain, the invasions of slugs made me make the decision to remove the mulch for a few days. The ground was too cold and wet.

a few seedlings of eggplants and peppers to fill the garden.

transplants of cauliflower, beetroot and champion’s swiss chard

last transplants of tomatoes, eggplants and first basil.

hybrid Madrone (Arbutus ‘Marina’) and beautiful new leaf of Marijuana Mapple (Acer pentaphyllum).
an endangered species in the wild. Less than 50 known subjects in China, most of which are disappearing due to giant dam projects. There are only 2 subjects in the world that provide seeds in botanical gardens , one in the US and one in Australia. The seeds of the two subjects I grew come from kangaroo country via Shieffield Seed of the USA. The seeds have traveled a lot, but I am happy to own these rarities hoping that it ferront may one day seeds…


the Snow Peas Lokförare Bergfälts Jätteärt, big beans and beautiful flower…climb more and more !

a blue angel that nestles in a hole in the wall, and goes back and forth between the vegetable garden and the plot of cultivation in the forest… already the chicks sing and the caterpillars are eaten at a crazy pace

lemons are getting bigger and bigger with rain and sun

the strawberries are fragrant and not tro dry this year…every night is byzantium!


Awesome use of these cement brick walls you found. Do they nest together these birds like sparrows do? Easy to make a hotel in that case.
Bon appetit with the strawberries. Mine are still green.

While my wife ceramic and steel artist develops useful objects for biodiversity and working on ergonomics and animal needs… the birds make their beautiful with their colorful feathers on the head but they are only punk squatting the ruins ! :bird:

The birds spent weeks visiting as a couple, watching, climbing on it… we had the impression that they found the rent too expensive or the house too luxurious. Birds don’t care about beauty, and find more comfortable an old door fixing hole in a concrete block! Every year, new species lay in this hole.

I don’t think he’d come around having close neighbors in another block, listening to the Sex Pistols all night!

morality : buy drill bits in diameter 25, 28, 32 and 40 mm, drill into the cells of the concrete blocks, put some mortar under the hole or pieces of rod threaded into a dowel. Make the holes high enough, because there it is close to the ground, and the cat tried to wait for them at the exit, a small net of culture was enough to no longer leave him access… and you will have all the range of nesting birds of the corner in your garden!

Break through your walls!