We had the chance to linger a bit with Christine Dufour, gardener in charge of vegetable crops at the King's Potager, following her during the tomato pruning last June. The opportunity for us to make you discover today through his eyes the exciting universe of King's vegetable garden, historic site of theNational School of Landscape from which our natural ingredients are extracted. Go hop, in boots!
MSG: How long have you been working with Le Potager du Roi?
Christine: I have been working as a gardener responsible for vegetable crops at the King's Potager since 1992, then as crop manager in 2011. My area of expertise is more specifically that of vegetable crops.
What do you like most about this unique place?
The diversity of crops and working methods, a team of motivated and cheerful gardeners.
What does your day-to-day work entail?
Our daily work consists of programming the different crops, setting them up, maintaining them and harvesting them. It's simple to say but less simple to do; constantly informing oneself and looking for solutions; one must both think and act without being afraid of physical effort. What is the first gesture in the morning? In the morning, we meet to plan the day's work. The last of the evening? The evening before leaving, it is the storage of tools and work equipment and the closing of the premises. I always take a moment to note what has been done.
What is for you the essential quality of the King's Vegetable Garden that people ignore?
The cultivation system put in place which respects the soil, the plants and the users through its different techniques. We work with few financial and human resources. This is positive because it is also our means of participating fully in the energy and ecological transition. Sometimes it's frustrating not being able to do more and better.
If you could have met JB de la Quintinie, what would you have said to him?
I think I would have asked him way too many questions about the walls, the drainage system, the gardeners, their work, the names of the plants, the cultivation methods and so many more!!
Photo Didier MEYNARD