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.


Avocado 'pesto' & fresh pasta

Avocado 'pesto' & fresh pasta

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll realise that these recipes are just our everyday fare. However we love to cook using really good and fresh ingredients. At the moment there are thin pickings from the potager, but we have the luxury of a fantastic fresh, unwrapped, vegetable shop very nearby in Bedarieux. We buy what looks best and most local, bearing in mind we have the fortune of having Spain on our doorstep. We keep it all in a box in the fresh air on a bedroom balcony. It keeps really well there.

The other night we had an avocado that needed to be used, and some coriander and spinach from the garden. A dear friend had bought us a colossal hunk of pecorino for Christmas, so a dish was invented.

What’s in it?


The sauce

1 avocado

A few leaves of fresh spinach

A handful of fresh coriander

A handful of pine kernels

Two heaped tablespoons of grated pecorino - or parmesan

1 large clove of garlic

Some glugs of olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

The pasta

2 fresh eggs

200gms plain flour

1 tablespoon water

How do you do it?

Make the pasta by combining the eggs, flour & water gradually, then kneading for a minute. Wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest for 20 minutes. Use your friendly pasta machine to flatten it then cut it into linguine or spaghetti. (Or use the bought stuff.)

While it is resting, put all the ingredients of the sauce into a food processor and blitz smooth. Taste it to see what needs adjusting. Leave it in the machine. Then, while the pasta is cooking (1 litre of water per 100gms pasta) take a few tablespoons of the pasta water to loosen the sauce.

The pasta is cooked when it floats and will take much less time if you are using fresh pasta - say, 4 minutes.

Combine the sauce with the pasta and add a bit more grated pecorino.

Night-time shenanigans

Night-time shenanigans

Pesky birds

Pesky birds