Meet Patrick Vernuccio, better known as The Frenchie Gardener, a young urban gardener who shares gardening advice on social media.
Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
My name is Patrick Vernuccio, "The Frenchie Gardener" on Instagram. After many years in marketing, I decided to switch jobs to focus on my passions: urban gardening and balcony vegetable gardening.
I'm an author, facilitator and content creator for urban balcony gardening. I create content to encourage as many people as possible to take up vegetable gardening. Even in small urban spaces, you can grow your own tiny vegetable garden. I had the good fortune of becoming an author through the publication of my first book in Germany, and my second one, "Tomates et basilic au 5ème étage" (Tomatoes and basil on the 5th floor) is coming out in French on February 22nd. I'm passionate about permaculture, and I strive to adapt this philosophy and its techniques to urban environments in order to welcome the taste of nature back into our lives and our cities!
How did you get the idea to share gardening tips on social media?
It actually started as a joke with my former colleagues. Initially, I created this account for them, so they could follow my initial steps. One thing led to another, and I realised there was a true community of nature, gardening and vegetable-growing enthusiasts on social networks. I then started creating more content to share my adventures and give advice to beginners. The idea is to make gardening accessible and to disprove the "I don't have a green thumb" belief. By simply respecting certain fundamental principles, we can all have a green thumb. It's just a matter of putting it into practice!
What do you like most about your job?
So many things! Rediscovering a relationship with nature, reconnecting with the seasons, discovering ancient varieties... I'm in awe every day! Sowing a seed is always the beginning of a unique adventure. We know the beginning but not necessarily the end. In a vegetable garden, you're working with living things. You can't control everything, and that's what makes this job so fascinating! It's also rewarding to receive such nice messages from my community. Whenever I can inspire people to plant a seed and get started, it gives me great joy!
What made you want to work with Opinel?
For me, Opinel is a brand that's an integral part of French heritage. It's a guarantee of quality, authenticity and expertise. There's a strong history that touches all generations, and Opinel has had the ability to successfully renew itself over the years, introducing new and innovative products while respecting traditions.
As the "Frenchie Gardener", it made sense to partner with a quality French brand. When I discovered this magnificent garden range, I didn't hesitate for one second. It was love at first sight!
I'm proud of this partnership and of being able to export French expertise at an international level.
Many people think of Opinel as embodying expertise and a brand that's passed on. For you, what are the values conveyed by the brand?
Opinel expertise is unique and vast. It demonstrates the quality and durability of Made In France products. Opinel is also very much linked to nature in general, to moments of sharing and adventure, but that's not all! Opinel also represents the art of the table and gastronomic experiences. When I go into a restaurant and I see Opinel knives on the table, it's often a promising and telling sign. I tell myself I've stumbled into a place where I'll be eating well!
What is your first memory of Opinel?
My first memory is, of course, when I was lucky enough to acquire my first Opinel. Practical, superb design, and you can take it anywhere. It's gone with me on holidays: in the mountains, on walks through the forest, on picnics and while fishing. In short, all the happiest times, where you're close to nature, and you're doing something with your hands.
If you had to choose, which would be your Opinel of choice?
Out of nostalgia, my first one, the N°8 which accompanied me on my adventures. And of course, I still have it. I treasure it! But I'm also a big fan of the new ones, especially the N°10 corkscrew, the N°08 Champignon and the entire garden range. And a special mention goes to the Picnic + set, which I find absolutely brilliant!
Describe Opinel in 3 words.
French heritage, nature, quality.