From garden to plate

This summer, in between the camping trips, we spent a wonderful 3 weeks at my sister-in-laws house in Gers, Southern France. For us it is an annual retreat into the countryside and a time where we love the freedom of being outdoors all the time...

We love getting stuck in when we are there and helping out in the garden or with the many projects when keeping animals and sowing grains. This year there was a combine harvester as well as the slaughtering of a few sheep... I left those to the experts and focussed on the vegetable patch!

I don't think anything makes you more aware and appreciative of what we have on our plates than when we work to plant, look after and harvest. I was mainly harvesting - but really grateful every time I could go and pick those ripe tomatoes off the vine, or choose an aubergine, or sit with a bucket full of green beans to top and tail them.

 Beans, chard, courgettes, beetroot and strawberries... yum!

Beans, chard, courgettes, beetroot and strawberries... yum!

 the onion harvest... and potatoes in the background

the onion harvest... and potatoes in the background

 Tomatoes

Tomatoes

 tonnes of green leaves!

tonnes of green leaves!

 harvesting the grains for the animals

harvesting the grains for the animals

Every time we sit to eat, it is amazing to take a moment and think of how many people have been involved in making this meal possible...

- who harvested the seeds from the last crops
- who planted them
- who gave them water and tied up the plants and pruned them along the way
- who picked them
- who packed them for market for a shop
- who transported them
- who put them on display
- who sold them to you
- who prepared them for you

The list can be longer or shorter but every step made your meal possible.... so give it a moment of thought before you tuck in!

Thanks so much to Sonia and Thomas for doing almost all of that for us... and letting us enjoy the picking and cooking!

My little garden at home is very humble... but today the colours did look amazing

 my small harvest

my small harvest

Those red things are not tomatoes.... they are small red aubergines... which I am just looking for recipes for... thanks to La Pousse Qui Pousse for my unusual plants!