In a small French village such as Caunes-Minervois where my brother
lives, things stopped me in my tracks during walks along the narrow
The 'honor system' is one which makes me smile.
I recalled this doorway from my former visits, always something on offer - veggies
or fruits - sitting outside with the scale at the ready to weigh some freshly
harvested bounty from a nearby garden or allotment.
On this particular day in October there were apples and tomatoes.
Weigh, put into your market basket, leave the money.
Many village houses sit right on the street such as this one. They may have some
type of garden area in the back, if not they can rent an allotment space to grow
vegetables, fruits and flowers.
A large allotment near the 9th Century abbey in Caunes - each day we saw people
working in the October sunshine.
My brother's front door, original to the house I believe, opens onto a beautiful
two level garden - quite unusual in a small village. It was the corn merchant's house
and is 200 years old.
Mostly all vegetables for the family are grown on the lower level garden - these
photos show what was still available (plus potatoes and salad greens) during
our October visit. My brother has become quite the gardener.
All around the village are vineyards and rolling countryside. . . . . .and beyond,
the Montagne Noire (Black Mountain), an area rich in Cathar history.
Buildings are old, both the country and village houses. Who knows what interesting
homes and gardens are behind lovely old gates one passes on a walk.
Caune's river, the Argent Double, almost dry in October, did have some
high water marks on the walls - I've never visited when it's been that wet
or seen water gushing under the ancient bridge.
The village is quiet, peaceful and home to approximately 1500 people.
I think the honor system works well in this setting.
Could I live in a small place such at this?
I look at the thousands of cars now clogging the roads where I live, the
constant movement of people relocating to the city and surrounding suburbs,
the massive push for construction - more office buildings, shopping centers,
apartments and houses.
Now, at this time of life, I'm pretty sure I could!
This will be my final post on our time in the village of Caunes-Minervois.
I do still have lots to share from other beautiful places in France. . . . . .will
be working those soon.