Yesterday morning I went down and photographed our neighbour Monsieur Q's potager, which is an exemplar of the working French vegetable plot. Monsieur Q often stops for a chat on his way past our house, and he inspects our potted tomatoes and peppers in the courtyard and tells me about the progress of his tomatoes. He's had several this year that have been just under a kilo! And he tells me he has not fertilized at all. (Naturally, he is not the slightest bit interested in the merely ornamental plants that make up the bulk of the garden in the courtyard, except to tell me that the Contorted Hazel looks diseased.)
Monsieur Q's zucchini are clearly getting out of handThe French eat vast quantities of lettuce of many varieties. Whenever you are offered lettuce from a French person's garden, expect to receive at least two, as they assume you will eat that much lettuce within a couple of days.
Cos lettuce, which copes better with the heat I think,There certainly are some fairly hefty tomatoes (about 15 cm - 6 inches across) in Monsieur Q's garden, at least two different varieties. Note the powdery blue blotches of Bordeaux mixture (copper sulphate) in the picture below, used as a general fungicide, and in tomatoes used especially to try to control blight (Australians who have never encountered the blights that affect the solanum family of vegetables, think Irish potato famine for an idea of how devasting it can be). Always wash tomatoes before you prepare them in the kitchen in France, because they will almost always be treated with a fungicide.
I also noticed eggshells on the tops of canes amongst the carrots. I had assumed this was protection against being stabbed in the eye when you bent over the carrots, but I don't know why only the carrots have eggshelled canes, or indeed, why there are canes in the carrot rows at all. It seems unlikely that it is a deterrent for carrot fly.