The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Market gardening in France

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282. Market-gardens. There are excellent market-gardens in the neighbourhood of Paris, where, by force of manure and daily waterings, the vegetables are brought to a large size and very succulent quality. Figs, for tho market, are grown by a particular class of fruit-growers at Argenteuil; grapes, at Fontainebleau; peaches, at Montreuil, and cherries at various villages to the east of Paris. The market-gardens of Paris are numerous, generally of small extent, and cultivated by manual labour; but a few of them may be designated farm-gardens, in which are used the plough and other agricultural implements. As vegetables enter more into the cookery of France than they do into that of England, an immense quantity is consumed at the hospitals and similar institutions; and, in consequence of this, the more extensive market-gardeners employ their produce chiefly in executing contracts entered into with public bodies. With this exception, the produce of the Paris market-gardens is sold in the vegetable markets, as in London. The point in which the Parisian market-gardeners chiefly excel those of London is the culture of winter salading, especially cabbage lettuce. This is grown on old melon beds, covered with glass, and heated by linings of dung, in the Dutch manner; or in favourable situations and dry soil, composed entirely of dung rotted into a black mould, in the open garden. The demand for cabbage lettuce in the Paris market, during the whole winter, is very great, and it is abundantly supplied with an excellent article.