The Great Vegetable Plot

One of the most exciting things about moving to Bourrade was the prospect of a vegetable garden.  I, like most people I suspect, am completely enamoured with River Cottage and the idea of being a green guru.  Mr Hope is slightly more ambitious and dreams of being off the grid and self-sufficient… his two bedside books being The Renewable Energy Handbook by William H Kemp and How to Live Off The Grid by Nick Rosen.  Before we came to Provence we were writing a proposal for the truly forward thinking Dartington estate in Devon (www.dartington.org) essentially asking for land in order to test our hardiness and self-sufficiency skills.  Living in Provence seems like a fair exchange for Devon!  Below is a quick map …Approaching the garden from the house you have to pass the reservoir, the corner of which is one the left hand side.  Day of the Triffids springs to mind.

At the far end of the plot there is a dilapidated shed and two vastly inadequate compost bins.  The field beyond is where the estates wood is felled and dried.

The only nice feature of this otherwise Hillbilly shed is the entire end being transparent. Otherwise the most attractive aspects are undoubtably the guttering window boxes and the fact it’s propped up on tiles.Looking back towards the house you can see all the materials Mr Hope and I salvaged from the brambles.  On the right hand side there is also a wonderful wood burning stove that we are hoping to renovate and use to heat our house.

There is so much to do here that it seems like a worthy project and one I will enjoy researching.  Below is a very rough plan of what the finished Plot will look like …

In moving the track in a straight line along the rock edge this will hopefully mean the 2CV will be able to potter down (just to complete the French idyl) and leave more room for growing.  Obviously there is a very long way to go before anything gets planted …but for inspiration I’m turning to Compost and a very old and unsexy copy of Gardener’s World magazine.  The only plus point being Monty Don whom I have an enormous crush on.

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