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Nikki amp; Sean, UTLT, Charente, France

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Nikki amp; Sean, UTLT, Charente, France

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Home Produce from our Organic Garden

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When choosing our plot for the vegetable garden, we agreed to try the flat piece of land not far from the house where the cattle who once trod these fields were fed and watered.

Home Grown Food at UTLT, Parsnips Home Grown Organic Chives at UTLT, UTLT Home Grown Organic Tomatoes, Poitou-Charente
UTLT Home Grown Organic Aubergines, Charente Home Grown Organic Aubergines at UTLT, Charente Home Grown Organic Courgettes at UTLT, Poitou-Charente
UTLT Home Grown Organic Onions, Charente Home Grown Organic Onions at UTLT, Charente Home Grown Organic Peas at UTLT, Poitou-Charente
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We’ve been running a potager in the same spot ever since - about 80 square metres dedicated to different crops, different rotations, different ideas and different philosohpies. We experiment with raised beds, making them out of old abandoned tyres, old bits of oak, new hazel harvested from our woods or large and heavy pieces of stone. We make our own compost in large wooden bins made of old palettes and shovel it onto the beds at the appropriate times. We collect water from all the roof tops and send it to other collecting butts in the garden. We gather up handfuls of wild nettles and comfrey leaves to make a powerful and very smelly nitrogen rich drink for those plants that need it. We sow from seed, we pot up, we transplant out, we companion plant, we put wild flowers among the crops, we mulch, we nurture, we harvest, we eat!

It’s hard work! And it’s wonderful! Growing our own food has to be one of the inspiring highlights of rural life deep in the french countryside. We have become so acutely aware of what the weather is doing or what it’s about to do.

We are guided by the seasons, the phases of the moon, the strength of the rain, the length of a drought, the amount of light in the sun. It really is back to nature at its best!

Morrning Flowers at UTLT, Parsnips Apple Blossom at UTLT, UTLT Fritaleria, Poitou-Charente
Flower Gardens at UTLT, Charente Tulips at UTLT, Charente Hover Moth at UTLT, Poitou-Charente
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To take our produce from the garden plot, via a wheelbarrow or two, a dash of seasoning and a touch of flair, to the cooking pot and ultimately an empty plate and a happy guest, is a well-earned reward so worth the uncountable bent spades, broken nails and backaches! How welcome the hot tub is at these times!

A labour of love indeed! Of course, the other benefit of our flower and veg garden is that as well as feeding a wonderful wealth of bird and insect life, it provides Sean with a great source of material for his Photo Cards!

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Under The Lime Tree truly is:

The Cool Place to B & Be!™

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