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.


Home-made labneh & za'atar in olive oil

Home-made labneh & za'atar in olive oil

Now here’s a joyful thing that will pep up your lunches. Imagine soft balls of full-flavoured cheese in gleaming local olive oil infused with home-made herby, spicy za’atar. It’s dead easy to make and looks wonderful in jars just waiting to be spread on some delicious artisanal bread.

Greek yoghurt suspended in muslin

What’s in it?

For the labneh

500g organic Greek yoghurt

1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

For the za’tar

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon toasted  sesame seeds

1 tablespoon sumac

½ teaspoon sea salt flakes

For the jar

Good olive oil to cover

How’s it done?

Suspend some muslin over a bowl and add the yoghurt and salt. Leave for 48 hours uncovered.

Mix the ingredients of the za’atar and keep in an airtight jar.

After 48 hours 1/3 fill a jar with olive oil and add the za’atar mixture. Divide the yoghurt that has now become labneh into 12 and roll each piece gently into a ball. Carefully drop into the oil and add more oil if necessary to ensure the labneh is covered. Screw on a tight lid and tip gently to disperse the za’atar.

This will keep for two months in a fridge. The olive oil will solidify but will quickly return to its former glory if you take it out of the fridge an hour before serving.


Ready to eat immediately or to save in the fridge.

Whilst making this today I was listening to Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney.

A family effort

A family effort

It might be rainy but.......

It might be rainy but.......