The potager shed

The potager shed


Welcome to my blog. This is just my personal garden and food diary. I’m a flexitarian, vegetarian at home, but more flexible when with friends. I’m trying to grow our own food so we leave a lighter footprint on this precious planet.

Over the past six years I have been transforming a one acre former vineyard on a steep hill into a garden. There are distinct areas; an 80m2 vegetable garden, a small orchard, a pond and a sunken path flanked by two long mixed borders.

We are in a small hamlet near Faugères in the Occitanie (formerly Languedoc) region of France. Our soil is rocky schist. Summer temperatures can reach 40℃ and in winter sink as low as -10℃. Water comes rarely but is diluvial when it does.


Lemon, fig & ginger kefir

Lemon, fig & ginger kefir

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Our friends Kate & Imogen from the wonderful Le Jardin Champetre brought us some kefir grains a few months ago. Since then we’ve been brewing kefir for our breakfast instead of squeezing oranges.

I use:

About 4 tablespoons water kefir grains

A chunk of fresh ginger

2 slices fresh unwaxed lemon

2 dried figs

60g organic cane sugar

A jug of tapwater (ours is lovely and comes from a source. If yours is vile use the bottled stuff)


I put the kefir grains in a glass jug and almost fill the jug with water.

Chuck in the sugar and whizz it with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar

Add the ginger, chopped into slices, the lemon and the figs

Cover with some muslin and leave for three days

Once it has fermented I then strain it into pop bottles through a plastic sieve and plastic funnel. Metal kills the grains. I then add a small amount of sugar for any tiny grains that have slipped through the sieve to feast on. They’ll produce gas that will give the kefir a fizz. That goes into the fridge for a couple of days. I make it on a rolling programme so there’s always some brewing and some in the fridge for breakfast.

Recipe from the lovely boys at The Happy Pear

I've gone bonkers

I've gone bonkers

Rain at last

Rain at last