Friday, March 21, 2014

The Power of Microclimates: Peaches in Paris

One of the members of posted this fascinating article last week:

Peaches grown right here in Paris? Believe it or not, centuries ago, Paris became home to a thriving peach farming industry that produced up to 17 million fruits a year– and even today, a little-known community of cultivators are still growing them in the very same orchards.
Established during the seventeenth century, in a prominent neighbourhood of the eastern edge of Paris known as Montreuil, a 300 hectare maze walls and agricultural plots provided a unique and unlikely microclimate for the fruit, normally suited for cultivation in warmer areas such as France’s Mediterranean coast.
The peculiar architecture, known as “Murs à pêches”, wall for peaches, served to protect peach trees planted near the walls and adapt them to a much colder environment than the fruit is typically used to (READ THE REST)

See all the walls? This is how I grow Key Limes here in N. Florida.

The "peach walls" idea requires a lot of infrastructure, certainly, but it does make you think, doesn't it? Imagine reclaiming an old industrial space and creating an orchard! The crumbling walls of a Detroit factory could be used as microclimates to grow nectarines... the south-facing sides of a New York bridge could shelter plums... or perhaps we could tear down the banks in Florida and plant the ruins with starfruit and papaya.

Grand dreams aside, there's likely a space on your property that will support species that don't normally thrive in your region. Your job is to find it. And plant something!

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At March 25, 2014 at 2:15 PM , Blogger rycamor said...

Interesting stuff. The French have always been gardening wizards. I seem to remember reading that king Louis XIV had a garden of orange trees planted in large boxes so they could be moved indoors during winter


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