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.


Big fat white bean salad

Big fat white bean salad

If I had to live on something for the rest of my life, this would probably be it. I’m growing enormous Greek gigantes beans just so I can make this delicious salad. Actually salad isn’t quite enough to describe this dish. It’s so much more than that.


What’s in it?

For four people as a side dish

2x 400g jars of the biggest white beans you can find, drained

2 red onions, cut into quarters them thinly sliced into new moons

3/4 tablespoon chilli flakes

1 fat handful of flat leaf parsley, carelessly chopped

1 fat pink garlic, squashed

juice of 1.5 lemons

3 generous tablespoons of tahini

3 tablespoons good olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

seasalt flakes and some ground black pepper

How’s it done?

Take a large salad bowl and tip in the big beans, the onion, the chilli flakes and the parsley.

Take another smaller bowl for the dressing. Crush the garlic and add it to the lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and vinegar. Chuck in seasalt and grind some black pepper to taste. Whizz all that together then gently incorporate it into the beans & onions. Turn everything carefully, without breaking up the beans, until it is all covered in the unctuous loveliness. I think it’s even better the second day when the flavours have melded together, so feel free to keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

I serve it on its own for lunch or as a side dish.

Water, what water?

Water, what water?

Beans, peas and more beans

Beans, peas and more beans