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Author Topic: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France  (Read 11145 times)

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« on: December 06, 2007, 01:05:13 pm »
Just like to say hiya to all like minded souls from here in not so sunny France after just finding this site on the net.

We live in Obterre in department 36 and have a small holding with a varied assortment of animals, vegetables and minerals (non precious, boo hoo)

Cheers and all the best


Hilarysmum

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007, 05:16:02 pm »
Welcome glad you found us.  HM

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007, 09:15:14 pm »
Hi and welcome.

So it's not just rainy in Scotland? I always think of you all in France sunning yourselves and sipping wine, while we freeze, get damp and sup whisky!

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2007, 07:40:03 am »
Thanks for the welcome, its appreciated.

Well as my first post was very brief I guess it would be good to tell a little more of what we have and want to do in our aim to be as self sufficient as possible.

We have just moved to a lovely 15th/16th century house, although we have been here in France for 3 1/2 years, we needed more land to be able to achieve our aim and also for our animals. We now have five and a half hectares and we plan to do 'Camping a la Ferme' in one of our orchards or one of the fields. Our animals consist of two very friendly but noisy donkeys, four pigs of which one (Mrs DeVere or Bubbles after the character in Little Britain) is to be our breeding sow, she is a big girl at about 240 kilos. The three boys are for the table and we have found a super local guy who has the utmost respect for the animal and will be doing 'the deed' here at our home in about a weeks time. Fascinating, (but not for the faint hearted) to be there from the start and assist in the processing of the animal then all of the products from black pudding, hams and joints for the table. 

Our two Alpine goats, Rhubarb & Custard, are the ultimate clowns and so full of energy especially when trying to catch the little so & so's then we have 14 sheep which we will be using for breeding and selling the wool and also for meat, there is one (Ugly Betty who you wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley) that is the ring leader in all the escape attempts and who defies every fence that I erect or repair. Does anyone else have a sheep without fear of anything that at times you wish if only I had a gun???

On the poultry front we have a mad Toulouse goose that we were given and chases anything that moves but we love him to bits as he is just so nuts and makes me laugh all the time especially when the postman comes. A load of chickens and three weird 'Pintardes' or Guineau Fowl again that we were given, don't they look as if they are a throwback to prehistoric times?? Four bronze turkeys that have been fattened for Christmas, a couple of Quails for their eggs but they haven't laid a bean yet and finally some rabbits that we are breeding and will be using for meat.

Hopefully we will be able to get a farm shop up and running that will enable us to sell the produce locally and to people staying on our yet to be constructed camp site and this will give us a small income plus (sorry for being cheeky and the commercial plug) I have just taken on being an agent for Bidgiemire Pig Arcs here in France as when I wanted one for our pigs I couldn't find anything, so if anyone needs an arc please get in touch.

Well hopefully you are still awake and I haven't bored you to tears but just thought I would tell a little of 'us' and our homestead.

p.s. has anyone kept or are keeping bees?? as this is another thought but I have no experience and am after some information



 

stephen

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Kent
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2007, 09:45:35 am »
hey and welcome!

will you be running your campsite as a kind of intro to small holding course / animal husbandry course or just a camp site?

alll sounds wonderful! keep us all up to date with your progress! and best of luck

 ;D

pigsatlesrues

  • Joined Oct 2008
  • Normandy, France
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2007, 10:24:41 am »
Lovely to read all about you, and I just love the name of your pig - Bubbles /Mrs DeVere (I may steal that name if you don't mind for one of our piglies)!! What kind is she?

We live in Manche(50) nr Avranches,  so quite a distance from you, but have been reading about your arcs so may be in touch.

I have to say Rosemary that your image of living in France was also my image before I moved here - that is what HE promised. The reality is cold wet and windy and mud like you wouldn't believe. Like living in Scotland then?!!

Anyway welcome Farmer Giles and I look forward to reading your future postings!

Kate

Bonjour et avoir un bon jour !

carl

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2007, 12:47:53 pm »
I was beginning to build a picture of a beautiful french farm with warm sunshine and rosy apples. beehives surrounded by wildflowers with hens scratching about. not too jealous now. we have mud in abundance, with continual rain being blown down from the pennines. only the geese seem to like it. ( even they shelter sometimes). every thing i wear outside is always damp and covered in mud, ah the good life. i would be even happier if the clown from hebden bridge would stop b~## sh@££ing and actually come and fit our woodburner like he promised in september. ( wood all cut and neatly stacked ready, living room like a fridge). yes it would be lovely to be transported to france, but only if the weather was as good as my imagination. good luck with your venture, you'll have to let us all know about the campsite, we might visit during the school hols.

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2007, 08:01:53 am »
Hi all again

Ohh a rare site, the sun has popped its head up and is giving a lovely display of colour in the sky!!

Stephen thanks for the welcome, I hadn't thought of running the campsite as an introduction to small holding or anything to do with animals but what a good idea, maybe we will.

Thanks also 'pigsatlesrues' hey no probs for using the name as I pinched it from the BBC so its anyones who wants it. Mrs. DeVere is a plain old landrace but she is a heck of character, I sat on her back the other day and she carted me off around the pen until unceremoniously flinging me off into the electric fence and then wandered over and stuck her wet and muddy nose in my ear as if to say 'whats the matter with you then, if you play with us girls then take what's coming ya wimp'. Bless her. I will have to get the map out to find Avranches as although I have heard of it I'm sorry I can't place where exactly it is.

I would love some Gloucester Old Spots as we hailed from this fair city before we left the UK. I don't know if there are any over here in France or how difficult it would be to bring some in, maybe someone could advise??

Carl, it can be beautiful but at the moment it is very very wet and muddy, cold and really quite miserable although as per my first sentance the sun has just risen but I bet it won't last. Sorry to hear about your woodburner situation, a pain by the sound of things. We bought one from a place in bonny Scotland and I brought it back on one of my trips to the UK, aren't they just great?? we burn mainly oak, yes oak as there is just so much of it around. It costs about 30 euros a steir (pronounced stair) which is one square metre and it lasts about three weeks to a month depending how intense you have the burner going.

Anyone is welcome to call if in the area either for a chat or to camp and we do have a website which is like everything else 'under construction' although we had it at our last place as my wife had gites so for the moment we are using and adapting the old one and slowly altering it to our new one, if anyone is interested it is www.lacapitainerie.com hey ho I have rambled on again so 'bon chance' all and thanks to all for your responses.

Andy

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
  • Administrator
  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
    • The Accidental Smallholder
    • Facebook
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2007, 09:18:08 am »
Hi Andy, welcome to the site, great to hear from you. The French invasion continues...   ;D

Will you be taking photos or video when you have the pigs killed and processed? I'd love to see it in person to know what's involved, but don't think my better half would sanction a trip to France a week before Xmas.  :(

Chateau de Jaugette looks stunning - good luck with the campsite, I think stephen's idea of camping and a hands-on introduction to smallholding would be a great thing to offer.

pigsatlesrues

  • Joined Oct 2008
  • Normandy, France
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2007, 10:07:16 am »
Dan

Santa is bringing me (I hope cos I am a good girl I am!) the River Cottage 'Pig in a Day' DVD.

It can only be purchased from the RC website but it shows the whole process from beginning to end I believe.

Maybe it is worth giving Rosemary a little hint - you never know what might be under the Christmas tree!

Kate
Bonjour et avoir un bon jour !

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
  • Administrator
  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
    • The Accidental Smallholder
    • Facebook
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2007, 09:39:09 pm »
Ooo, sounds interesting, thanks. I think it may be too late for Santa, but Valentine's isn't long now!

pigsatlesrues

  • Joined Oct 2008
  • Normandy, France
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2007, 10:24:41 pm »
Andy

There are GOS's in France - as a matter of fact Hillarysmum has some. We are getting a female weaner from her in the spring and looking to import a new male bloodline from the UK in the New Year, once the restrictions are sorted - we need to get an update on that.

Avranches is nr the Mont St Michel by the way.

Love to 'Mrs DeVere' - she is a character by the sounds of it. You will have to post a photogragh of her, I have a feeling we will be hearing about her again!!

Kate

Bonjour et avoir un bon jour !

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2007, 09:46:02 am »
Hello and a very good morning, isn't it a lovely day!!!!

Well the rain has stopped at last and the sun is shining brightly so I can get out and do a bit of fencing and finish off the winter quarters for the pigs. The only good point with the wet is that the ground is sooo soft that I can knock the posts in with the greater of my eyelids!! Super.

Dan

I do have some pictures of the last time we did 'the deed' and they do show a bit of what happens, but not the actual point of demise, I will happily post them if there is a forum/heading on this site for things of a more sensitive nature as I would hate to cause distress to anyone. I also have the facility to use an external image posting host called Flickr so it is possible I could upload them and then add a link to a post on here, just a thought.

Talking of thoughts, is there or will there be a for sale and wanted heading to the forum?? maybe it would be a great place to search for or sell used equipment etc. I am always seeking some item or piece of tack as I realise I need such and such to achieve something or other. What better place to find it but on a site dedicated to smallholders.

Thanks for the info Kate re GOS's, is it easy to bring animals across the border or is it a requirement to have 18 pieces of hand crafted velum signed by each and every Pope and then validated by the Pentagon before being submitted to some official who will say 'non' as seems to be the way 'en France'?? I can think of nowt better than to watch some GOS's rummaging around in our orchards eating all of the windfalls that sadly I am too busy to be able to collect. Please let me know if you have some wee piggy's of the breed and I would love to be considered as a customer as and when.

Will pass on your wishes to Mrs. DeVere and hopefully when I plant a great big smacker on her she will have at least made an effort and cleaned herself up and who knows even applied a bit of lippy and some eye liner, hope springs eternal and maybe a video to follow but thats another story!!!!!!!!!!! 

Ta ta
Andy

jan

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2007, 02:20:26 pm »
Sorry im late in welcoming you Andy, but made it at last. Janx

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: Hi to all from sunny?!?! France
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2007, 07:07:56 am »
Good morning.

Thanks for the welcome Jan, and all of the welcomes received.

Just like to say to all hope you have a Happy Christmas and a bumper NEW YEAR

Andy



 

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