La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My Big Fat Harvest

Squash Futsu. Or that is what it should have been. My only fruit from 6 plants. 
It should look like
photo from The Organic Gardening Catalogue

Let's just say, if we had to live of the land we'd probably starve to death.
A grim, wet and rather cool summer has resulted in poor pickings.
From our many tomato plants I've managed to make one decent tomato salad. Chillies and peppers didn't do too bad, but ripening on the plant is not for this year.

Sweet pepper - Lipstick. A novelty, green lips. 

In the background - Early Jalapenos. Slugs have been munching away at them and I hope they enjoyed the sting when they did their number two's.
In the front - Hungarian wax. They have given a reasonably good harvest and I'll certainly plant them again.

Squash Butterbush. Similar to butternut but smaller/stockier. Only, mine are larger. The big one is about 25 cm long and these two are the only fruits from I-don't-know-how-many plants. Dire.
The real thing should look like 
photo from The Organic Gardening Catalogue

This should be a squash Tuffy. 
But a real one should look like 
photo from The Organic Gardening Catalogue

Pumpkin Rouge Vif d'Etampes.
They have done well in comparison with the other fruiting veg. Only one pumpkin per plant, mind. 
I had 8 plants in total of which 3 were wiped out by cold wind and rain early in the season. 

One other pumpkin got completely hollowed out by slugs.
Completely eaten away on the inside.

I don't know what more I could have done to get a better crop of vegetables. Even my courgettes have let me down this year with a produce of male flowers and hardly any fruit.

All is not lost. We still have spinach, chard, carrots, beetroot and two types of cabbage.
Next year better.

Patricia xxx...x


  1. The answer is evidently - grow your squashes, peppers, tomatoes (everything?) in a polytunnel! I best your moisture-loving plants do better.

    1. Peppers and tomatoes were in the polytunnel. It is unfortunately not big enough for squashes. I'll find a better spot for them next year. Protected from harsh winds should probably give them a better chance.

  2. What a shame you didn't get as much as you hoped for, I expect you won't give up on growing your own, there is always another year, and saves going to the shops all the time.

  3. Looks like my gardening efforts, I didn't manage any squashes courgettes etc last year, I will be trying again next year though.


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