The limited light noise here means on clear nights we can count on innumerable stars, planets, galaxies lavishly spattered across the sky. We gaze up to see the constellations we know + dream up new ones to imprint in our memory of this place. Deep heart of southern France, apparently it’s not just us.

Planting by moon cycle is a tradition that runs deep. With only anecdotal evidence from a few locals (and the fact that every garden store has moon-planting guides on display at checkout), I did some digging. Between more or less nighttime light from the moon + rotational changes of soil moisture, there might be some merit in gardening by the lunar cycle.

Using these + other potential effects, further guidance dictates which plant families are most conducive to care during various phases. For instance, waxing + waning phases influence crops minimally, while ascending + descending phases are prime times to plant, transplant, harvest, graft, prune or multiply specific crops for bigger, better yields.

Heeding my newfound intelligence I held off on my plan to sow a quick winter run of rouquette (arugula) + oseille
(sorrel) + mizuna from last week until sometime between today + Wednesday — “leaf days” during the ascending moon phase in this region of France when sowings of veg crops grown for leaves fare best.

In my cursory research I found no information about staking “fruit” plants (the fèves, fava beans, I planted last month), so I threw caution to the wind… moon… and went ahead constructing my frames midweek. Are you familiar with lunar planting? Any luck or tips? I’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, celestial fingers crossed it works!

It’s Thanksgiving in the US this Thursday. We’re excited, a little sad, to celebrate thousands of miles to the east of family, and in a country where dinde (turkey) is difficult, if not impossible, to come by. Stay tuned for how our hunt fares or, more likely, what alternative treasure we cook up. Don’t miss the new collection of links from around the interwebs, and have a wonderful week!

Cheers, Heather

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Some interesting, fun, delicious reads:

  • This November marks the 10th anniversary of Warrior Care Month. Created to honor the resilience of wounded, injured + ill military personnel, their families + caregivers, you can help by showing support for the recovery + reintegration of our nation’s service members.
  • Wake up + smell the science.
  • Killdeer notoriously pick poor nesting spots, but they’re nothing if not devoted parents.
  • Mind-bending piece on ocean shock.
  • C’est vraiExcitement is scarcely a French emotion.
  • Jazz things up with Jeff Goldblum?
  • This week’s pinned words of wisdom.

Recently on HGN:

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From the Author


    • Heather Goesch, MPH, RDN, LDN says:

      Have you or family members utilized the lunar planting knowledge to successfully grow gardens? I’d love to know more about it! Alas, living in l’être is a skill we have yet to master; still very much thinking about what we have to do next. Imagine the transition from one to the other, or at least closer to the other, will be many moons in the making. How about you? Thanks for your kind words!

  1. Sandy says:

    Another beautiful post. I have never heard of moon gardening, but am interested to learn more. The link on the French view of “excitement” was also very interesting. Being happy in the moment instead of “checking things off a list” is definitely a skill that I need to work on. Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

    • Heather Goesch, MPH, RDN, LDN says:

      Agreed on all accounts! Moon planting is fascinating, though there is a lot to learn and take in… with a grain of salt? We shall see. I’m a HUGE list-maker, which is definitely a very American mindset. It will be interesting to see if I/we can adopt the “live in the moment” mindset during our time here. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

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