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

Aaargh, late frost

Aaargh, late frost

Frozen beans

Frozen beans

This morning I got up to feed the dogs around 7:50. I looked out of our big window to see a white hillside full of shivering trees and chilly vines. Uh-oh, how is the potager looking? A quick glance told me all I needed to know. Even from 30 metres I could see that the climbing beans had all taken a real hit from a heavy frost. I know it was forecast, but there’s not a lot you can do when your beans are already planted out. When I planted them I knew I was running a risk and just hoped to steal a march on the season. But, sensing that this might happen, I ordered some replacement bean seeds about a week ago. They are due to be delivered today, so I’ll start them off in the greenhouse tomorrow.

Disconsolate broad beans

Disconsolate broad beans

The broad beans look rather crestfallen too, but they are hardy and will stand up again as soon as the sun comes up. Everything else is hardy. Lettuces, buckshorn plaintain, chard, spinach, radishes, onions, garlic, agretti, peas & kale will all survive perfectly well. The spuds are all planted deep enough that they should be OK despite the frozen top surface of the soil.


Thick ice in a wheelbarrow

Thick ice in a wheelbarrow

I checked the greenhouse and although the hotbed has now been dismantled the tomatoes, peppers and aubergines are all fine, despite the temperature plummeting to -0.1 overnight. I’m praying that’s the last of the frost although the forecast for the next few days isn’t exactly promising.

Starting to thaw as the sun comes up

Starting to thaw as the sun comes up

Pinching out tomatoes

Pinching out tomatoes

Beetroot, peanut & avocado wrap

Beetroot, peanut & avocado wrap