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France, muck and planting

Our recent trip to the Île de Ré off the south west coast of France first took us through

Brittany and fields and fields of artichokes. Like a kid in a sweet shop, I was eagerly studying

the planting distances and how the crops were planted on ridges. The farmers seemed

halfway through their harvest season already and were planting out new plants for next year


Thankfully, my own 200 babies back home were being watered and cared for by our friend

Helena. And while we were drenched in sun, it seems there was at least a drop of rain on

the Peninsula while we were away! When we got back, we found the plants had put on some

weight and, apart from a little slug damage, were looking good and healthy. Thank you,


Since then, the artichoke field has been power harrowed: a process of both levelling furrows

created by the plough and breaking up the surface. A couple of tonnes of muck has gone in,

I’ve sourced three IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers, actually had to look that up) to collect

rainwater for irrigation and taken the decision to plant now rather than wait till September. All very exciting!

Finally, we’ve consolidated our trial Birland Feasts into one venue, Buckland Monachorum

Village Hall, with this unique food experience taking place on Saturday 23 July, starting at

6.30 pm. Pre-booking required, so please secure your places quickly!

Oh yes and new logo too!

Martin & Mary

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