There is a local saying, l'orto vuole l'uomo morto or 'the vegie patch will be the death of you', loosely translated.
With that in mind, here is how things are evolving da noi/chez nous.
Last year we established a new vegetable patch at Le Ripe. The site is larger and more open than the previous one; it is also fenced with something resembling a picket fence and will include a cutting border for flowers. The six raised beds, three measuring 150x300 and three measuring 200x300, neatly edged with tuff and surrounded by weed-defying gravel, looked pretty daunting when empty.
The first planting, much to many people's surprise, was a green crop of beans and barley which was laboriously (and I use the word advisedly) dug in, in the early spring. This was supposed to enrich the earth with nitrogen. Le Ripe compost was added as well as some manure.
A year or so later, with one bed dedicated to perennial fruit bushes (gooseberries, rhubarb and - a trendy choice - a goji bush) and another which may be handed over to 'permanent' asparagus, (which for now can be planted with easygoing, exuberant butternut and pumpkin), things are not looking so daunting.