Guy's news: storms in the vendée

We have been planting on our farm south of the Loire in the northern Vendée for a month now. It is just 250 road miles and a ferry crossing back to Riverford but the light levels are much better and the crops should be ready about five weeks sooner, allowing us to plug the “hungry gap” in April and May. The locals have made a few jokes about reclaiming King Richard’s kingdom (he lived down the road for a bit) but, with the help of our French partner, Didier, most have been remarkably supportive of our latter day conquest.

We have been planting on our farm south of the Loire in the northern Vendée for a month now. It is just 250 road miles and a ferry crossing back to Riverford but the light levels are much better and the crops should be ready about five weeks sooner, allowing us to plug the “hungry gap” in April and May. The locals have made a few jokes about reclaiming King Richard’s kingdom (he lived down the road for a bit) but, with the help of our French partner, Didier, most have been remarkably supportive of our latter day conquest. The coldest winter for 25 years combined with heavy rain bogged us down, and legendary bureaucracy sapped morale but, after three years of planning, 200,000 early lettuces and spinach are taking root ready to fill next month’s boxes. The gales that battered France last week shredded some of our mini tunnels, but we escaped lightly compared with the coast 15 miles away, where 50 people died when sea defences failed. The farm is fairly flat but well above sea level and has small fields with plenty of trees in the hedges to moderate the wind.

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