by Max Akroyd


Grapes growing on our barn. Look nice, taste terrible!


Overnight, the monsoon has been replaced by t-shirt weather. This must be Brittany in the autumn time. You could believe it’s spring, except there’s no smell on the air of things growing – just the heavy scent of the wood-smoke from our stove.

While the warm, low sun made the wet soil steam dry, I re-visited the greenhouse to check on progress of the seedlings. It was good enough to require a bit of thinning out and a light watering with seaweed solution. The onions are looking a bit lanky, but that’s ok.

Out to the field, and Emma was already stuck in on the marathon task of weeding the strawberry bed. The mountain of weeds in her wheelbarrow later got thrown to the hungry pigs. The pigs’ regular contribution of manure forms the contents of the bean trenches, into which I sowed another lot of Aquadulce broad beans today, about twenty metres worth in all. I then raked in a good amount of wood ash on top, contributed by the aforementioned woodburner.  For me, it’s these kind of closed circles – ‘waste’ things being recycled to make good things – that inspires contentment. Not sure why.

Because life felt good, and my back isn’t feeling too bad, I dug a tentative seven metres or so of new broad bean trench. Tomorrow will tell how bad a decision that was…