18th Century Hand Blown French Cloche
Cloches were used by 18th century French farmers to grow winter lettuces. Part of the biodynamic intensive gardening movement, a cloche would be placed over seedlings to give them an early start. French farmers grew nine crops throughout the year, and this technology allowed them to continue through the winter season. A cloche essentially served as a miniature greenhouse. It is rare to find one with its handle, as some farmers felt it created a prism with sunlight that could burn the tender plants, so they would whack it off with a knife. Today, these unique pieces make great conversation-starting decorative elements.