The potager shed

The potager shed

Hi.

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.

Lizzie

Busy, busy, busy

Busy, busy, busy

It’s my favourite time of the year. Well nearly. To be honest I like May the best, but this is my favourite time in the garden. There’s so much to do but I can already see it all coming together. The vegetable garden has been my main priority as I want to sow/plant as much as possible in the space that I have.

We had a frost last night but, in theory, it should be the last one according to every forecast I’ve read. The butter beans were up to the roof in the greenhouse so I’ve planted them out. Also planted today were the New Zealand spinach and I’ve sown some black Spanish round radishes. I have an abundance of tomatoes so i’ve taken a risk and planted out a couple of black Crimea tomatoes along with some Gardener’s Delight, Sulpice, Buffalo and Cherry tomatoes. I have more if the forecast is too optimistic.

A couple of weeks ago a swathe of neighbouring cherry trees was bulldozed to the ground. This morning I hopped over the fence and cut lots of poles ready for more beans and I liberated three very young self-sown cherry trees. Two have been planted in the potager and one has gone into the orchard. I have no idea if they will survive, but I’ll give them my best shot.

Orphan cherries on the rise in the potager.

This year I tried sowing turnips both singly and several in the same module. I’m amazed at the difference. I’d say they definitely prefer to be sown together. The size and quality of the multi-sown plants is far superior, even though they were sown and then planted at the same time. Look.

Single-sown turnips in the centre row.

Multi-sown turnips. I’ll pick the largest one in each group as I need them. Then the others will be left to grow on.

Today I listened to Milkman by Anna Burns. It won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the first time a Northern Irish writer has been awarded the prize. Thoughtful, insightful book.

If you take an Audible trial between now and 29 April 2019 you’ll get TWO free books instead of one by following this link.

Audible Trial

Orzo & cherry tomatoes

Orzo & cherry tomatoes

Cauliflower steak with Puy lentils & quinoa & lots of luscious garden bits

Cauliflower steak with Puy lentils & quinoa & lots of luscious garden bits