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Our first winter and progress so far!

Ok so as we are now firmly in the grip of our first french winter and I thought it was high time to update the blog and show our progress to date.

Works inside the farmhouse are now pretty much completed save a few cosmetic things here and there and some of the main tasks outside are also completed, vegetable garden and tunnel set up in the orchard area and pool installed etc.

Vegetable garden

These are a few photos taken in the autumn of our progress outside. For lots more photos of what we have been up to over the last 6 months look at the galleries section on this site, link: Galleries

Plans for this year

In the first week of January we started to map out our vegetable plot and decide what to grow for the coming year, both outside and in the tunnel. Having used it before when growing veg in the UK we once again turned to Sutton Seeds online garden planner. It costs about £25 for two years access but is worth every penny to help you rotate and plan follow on crops to get the most from your plot. Here is a link to our plan and planting list:

As always I think we got carried away on the seed ordering front as we already had a substantial seed cache we brought with us from the UK we collected free with the Grow your Own magazine, but some were a few years old and the seed viability can diminish so better safe than sorry!

To date we have brassicas, onion and garlic in the ground and have sown broad bean and pea in the tunnel and have chillies and aubergine seeds started in the heated propagator. In an attempt to remain organised I have also taken the added precaution of turning the planting list into a calendar on the computer with reminders set to sow seeds at the appropriate times successionally, to hopefully give a spread of cropping and avoid gluts. We are also raising more seedlings than we need for most crops to share with friends reciprocally and widen the varieties we each grow.

We are planning to add chickens to our push for self-sufficiency for egg production but will wait until sometime in March to buy them to give us more time to prepare the area we plan to put them in and to coincide with better longer days which means more eggs.

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