Monday, 27 June 2016

Bois Mort - Another Great Week

Even though Bois Mort is only an hours drive from us, the landscape and architecture is quite different from here. More vines, more cows, less crops and lots of slate roofed buildings which I love but Roger’s not to keen on. The weather was kind which meant we could actually use the pool this time which was a lovely 30 degrees, but on the chilly days, the hot tub was very welcome, even though we were a bit shrivelled after 3 hours of wallowing. Richard, our host welcomed us again to his lovely home, cooked us a fantastic meal and nothing was too much trouble. Thank you again for a great week.

Bois Mort 1

Stepping stones.

Bois Mort 2

Airvault.

Bois Mort 3

Rickety bridge.

Bois Mort 4

Les Halles – Airvault.

Bois Mort 5

Old water pump – Airvault.

Bois Mort 6

Anjou vines.

Bois Mort 7

Good vintage.

Bois Mort 8

Resistance memorial near Parthenay.

Bois Mort 9

Our lovely host – Richard.

Bois Mort 10

Dinner at Richards – delicious.

Bois Mort 11

Deep in thought – Lavoir at Pressigny.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Blight

Our tomatoes and spuds were looking fantastic, but then we noticed they were starting to wilt, had black spots on the leaves plus they were turning yellow as well. Aghhh, what's going on, we didn’t have this last year??? After some help from the internet, it turns out we had Blight which loves the damp, warm, humid weather that we’ve been having. The only way to hopefully stop the Blight getting into the potatoes, was to cut the foliage off right at the base then leave them in the ground for 2 weeks. We didn’t realise we had to leave them in the ground until after we’d dug up 5 rows, lets hope we haven’t spoilt the crop. It’s been suggested we use something called Bordeaux mixture next year, but we don’t like using anything on our fruit and veg but this is approved for organic use, so will give it a go. Let’s hope the ones in the field haven’t been affected. On the plus side, the Charlotte potatoes are delicious.

Tom 1
DSC00039
Spuds 1
Spuds 2
Spuds 3

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Making Hay

It never ceases to amaze us the amount of different machinery used in farming. There’s seems to be a gadget for every conceivable type of job. Three different bits of equipment were used to cut, scatter and bale our hay. We’d left one of our fields to it’s own devices to see if would make a lovely wild meadow, but our neighbour had expressed an interest in having the grass for their horse. In exchange they would do all the cutting and harvesting as they have all the gadgets. Win win and one less field for us to mow. You need just under a week of good weather to get the job done. Firstly the grass is cut into neat rows, the next machine scatters the grass for drying, then 3 to 4 days later it’s baled. Unfortunately we were out when the baling was done, so no photos of that stage.

Hay 1

Grass cutting.

Hay 2

Neat rows of grass.

Hay 3

Grass being scattered for drying.

Hay 4

Our bales.

Hay 5

There’s my dinner.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Grand Paon de Nuit

Isn't this beautiful. We bumped into our lovely neighbour Veronique on Sunday and she had a book in her hand. She was trying to find the name of a moth that they’d found on a wall near their home. It turned out be the Giant Peacock Moth, the largest moth or butterfly in Europe with a wingspan of between 10 and 20cm. This one was around 15cm. It’s nocturnal, so doesn't feed during it’s short life of around a week but spends it reproducing.

Moth

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

What we spent in May

Leeks

Still over this month with a spend of 137€/£109 but within that we bought 8 x 200g jars of Nescafe costing 14€/£11.20 . Excessive you might think, but they were on offer for 2.94€/£2.35 each, plus we had a couple of vouchers, plus on top of that, there was a 50cents voucher stuck on the front of each jar which you could use straight away. After all the discounts each jar cost just 1.75€/£1.40, what a bargain. Should keep Roger in coffee for a few months.

We find that most of our money goes on milk, fruit and veg here. There’s not the offers on these items as there are in the UK and any fruit and veg that's coming up to it’s sell by date is given to charity, which is a good thing. So because of this we’ve decided to up our budget slightly from June. Can’t do much about the milk, but once our fruit and veg is ready we’ll not need to buy so much from the supermarket.

The weather suddenly changed here at the beginning of May, it went from chilly to very hot and what happened, the leeks bolted along with the chard. So I picked the bolted leeks, gave them a good wash, chopped them up and froze them. They will be great to throw in a soup or pasta bake. The bolted chard got chopped up and stir fried.