Samu in garden of La Gendronnière, summer 2016

Samu potager La Gendronnière

Samu at the vegetable garden - La Gendronnière - summer 2016.

During the 5th session, I decided to participate to the "samu vegetable garden" at La Gendronnière. The person in charge of which was Raimund Olbrich, Zen monk and gardener. As I had been put under stress by my work, during which I had spent a lot of time sitting in an office, I thought that doing samu in the vegetable garden would be a good compensation.

On the first day, for the first samu, we were 10 people to assist Raimund. The garden was completely wild, because for some time there had been no gardener in charge at La Gendronnière (Raimund left La Gendronnière in 2011). 

Thus, the garden was covered with weed, as the "Cirses of the Fields" and the "Common Cirses" (Cirsium arvense and Cirsium vulgare), the "Broad-leaves Docks" (Rumex obtusifolius), the "Bindweeds of the Fields" (Convulvulus arvensis), as well as totally invaded by different kind of bushes. This phenomenon had annihilated the last shoots of tomatoes, potatoes or spices. Without care, the garden would have become in a few years a thicket at first and then a forest. In ecology, we call this a "succession".

Thus, we began our work considering the garden as a "garden to be saved", before it would completely return to the wild.

The first day of the samu, our tools were the sickle, the hoe and the rake.

In the second day, Me Roland Rech visited the garden and told Raimund that we were not efficient enough. Raimund managed then to obtain machines from the Gendronnière: a lawn mower and a strimmer.

With it, everything was much easier and went faster: the high lawn full of weed was cropped, bushes were highlighted, the young fruit trees received fertilizers, the rosebushes and the Roman candle that had grown next to the hut was cut. The rotten pallets were replaced or repaired. The walls, moats and greenhouses were cleaned of weed. On the walls, the "Common lizards” (Podarcis muralis) were happy to have more sun at last ... 

Thanks to the great energy and the competence of Raimund Olbrich, most of the people participated this samu till the end of the five days of the preparation. At my own departure, I was filled with joy and energy, in spite of the heat, the dust and the stings of diverse insects.

Here are some photos of this beautiful samu.

Isolde Reisan Schnorbach - Group of Trier (Germany).

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