Sunday, January 17, 2010


Jacqui arrived one day, carting a heavy suitcase, wearing gold sandals and the biggest black sun hat I've ever seen! This girl had never slept in a tent in her life and hated bugs but.................she was great. She decided to be brave and during her entire stay she slept on her own (apart from the bugs as company!) in the belltent. She worked incredibly hard in the field and the house. She reorganised the lab, my office, my computer, my market record book etc. etc. Her warm intelligent company was appreciatedby all, we were very sorry to see her leave, she threw away her trainers that had by then completely fallen apart and she boarded the TGV for Paris wearing her gold sandals held together with bailer twine. As Jacquie was going to be studying in Paris for six months we met back up in November when we were there for our annual farmers market. She very kindly housed Paul me and Cole in her lovely little Paris house. Was great to see her although she studied day and night and we cooked beignets all day and were too knackered to do much else but eat vietnamese food every night and crash.
Thank you Jacqui for everything and I know we will meet again.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Some of our willing workers 2009

Hector and Jo shelling the chick-peas harvest. Some small bugs ate most of them so we ended up harvesting about the amount we seeded! Better luck next year.

Jo at the market, 'Les Authentiques de l'Aigoual', first
weekend in October.

Etti and Wenjing 14th July at the market at Lanuejols.

Finn in the lab, wearing a pinny stirring apricot jam.

Jo potting up Apricot jam - lovely gloves!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fete de l'oignon et la pomme

Every year we cook our onion bahjees at the Fete de l'oignon et la pomme at Le Vigan. People will wait in-line for over an hour!! This year though we went prepared, all our children helped and Cole, (our very willing worker from America who lived with us for 6 weeks this autumn. A great help and friend to all of us.) we were 6 on the stall, 3 of us cooking, 2 serving, 1 making the mixes. India looked after Ruben. It was a great succes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wwoofers meals summer 2009

So many faces, so much laughter, hard work and lots of fun. Many thanks to all of you who helped us this summer. Here follow just some shots to remind us of all the 'wwoofers meals' you cooked for us! From a giant apple strudle by Leon Yuti and Sumara from Austria, trout fished at our friend Veronique's trout farm and cooked by Finn and Jo, roast lamb with Sam and Pete, more lamb with Alex and Wenjing (she's a vegetarian!)
Bon appetit!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Weeds Weeds Weeds

It's a long time since i last wrote, this is our busy season........weeds weeds weeds. Dan and Suzanne from America helped with weeding the onions, I guess this was one of their main not very glamorous tasks. They left about two weeks ago. The following Tuesday I picked up Ricardo from the bus (half Brazilian, half Italian), he became like others before just very naturally part of our family, he left this morning - we will miss you. A more dedicated weeder we couldn't have wished for and such good company. I have few photographs Ricardo. Just never seemed to get round to taking shots outside.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sam & Ralph

We've been so busy that I just haven't felt I had the time to keep up this diary. We are now on the eve of Sam & Ralph leaving, well what can I say?! We will miss you, you rapidly became part of our family, helped us with all you could. We enjoyed your cooking and hope to meet up again. You know there is always something to be learned here. Their first day they were thrown into the last of the onion 'repiquage', followed by putting up more fences to keep our sheep out of our produce, irrigation of potatoes. Our friend Yura from the Ukraine arrived and suddenly we have a building site. The roof is coming of La Clede. At times our kitchen turned into a cyber-caf leaving me either bemused or irritated. The first Tuesday Sam joined me on the market, helped me cook the onion bahjees, the next week it was Ralphs turn to lend a hand. Today we planted tomatoes. I am sorry we never had a chance to put up the 3rd yurt. Well perhaps another time when you come to learn more about carpentry. My camera seems to have had brain damage so cannot find any shots right now, hope to remedy this shortly.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Growing Oignons Doux des Cevennes

In January/February we seed our onions, they are then planted out in Mai, harvested in August/September. To get the seed we plant some of our best onions from last year in march/april and let them grow a flower, which turns to seed. We harvest the flower at the end of the summer.

Boxtree terrace onions.

'Oignons fanes', these are onions we harvest at the beginning of the harvest with their green leaves on. (end June) They are then sold in small bunches with the green leaves but the earth removed.

Sam, Pete, Tess and Kathryn over at Breau crating up onions, everything is manual, hot dusty sweaty work.
Thanks to you all we got them in just in time!
The next day rain was forecast from midday. Sam Pete and me crated up at la Clede, Paul took Kathryn and Tess to La Maison neuve to get the rest in, we just managed it.