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

Pinching out tomatoes

Pinching out tomatoes

The greenhouse currently houses lots of tomato plants. There are Buffalo, Black Crimean, Sulpice & Irish Gardener’s Delight which are nearly big enough to plant out when the weather is right. Last night we had the mother of all storms with torrential rain and immense gusts of wind. Anyway, back to the tomatoes. The Irish Gardener’s Delight needed pinching out. This involves nipping out small shoots that appear in the little armpit between the main stem and a side shoot. If you don’t pinch it out the plant becomes vast and unwieldy and your tomatoes, though prolific, will be much smaller. Leaving the shoots to become enormous also reduces the amount of air circulating around the plant and increases humidity which, in turn, increases mildew.

Here’s the same plant after the tiny shoots have been pinched out.

This morning, in the greenhouse, I also sowed some yellow cherry tomatoes, red balcony bush tomatoes, some Kelvedon Wonder peas, Romanesco courgettes, Vigneronne runner beans and Du Couvent runner beans.

I had help, of course.

Faithful, if lazy, Scout.

Faithful, if lazy, Scout.

Varmints!

Varmints!

Aaargh, late frost

Aaargh, late frost