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

Stretch those kidneys!

Stretch those kidneys!

We had a big weeding morning today, having started the battle with the long borders. These stretch the entire width of the house and they flank a 40m sunken path that runs along the eastern side of the property. The beds are filled with a complete mish-mash of shrubs, trees and flowers. It makes no sense at all but I love it.

Ali & Scout help with weeding

Ali & Scout help with weeding

I had some help in the shape of Ali & Scout. Weeding these beds is my most dreaded task, so it’s a great relief to have a co-weeder for this job. Neither of us can kneel so we adopt our favourite positions. Ali sits on a low seat and I bend over with straight legs. We have a friend who says you have to stretch your kidneys at the beginning of the vine-pruning season and this is much the same. I’m not sure that’s an accurate medical phenomenon, but you know what she means. As a result we weed in 90 minute chunks each day. With a bit of luck it won’t take us more than about ten days. I finished one bed today and topped up the pine bark mulch, so that’s looking good.

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Our ride-on mower is on the blink again. I’ve already replaced the starter solenoid and the starter motor, after which it worked a treat for about a month. Now it’s exhibiting the same flaw again. It won’t start. So I’ll take it to the mower-mending boys in Herepian. I don’t want the grass to get out of hand so I spent the afternoon strimming.

I finished moments before a huge rainstorm. I knew it was on the way when I saw this vertical cloud heading for us.

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This evening I have soaked some red sweetcorn seeds ready for sowing into modules tomorrow. It’s good to see that the broad beans are coming on well. Only a couple of weeks or so before we can start harvesting them

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More strimming and weeding is on the cards for tomorrow if the rain holds off.

Today’s listening was Therese Raquin by Emile Zola, read by Kate Winslet. An absolute classic.

More evidence

More evidence

Varmints!

Varmints!