Gosh look how much the trees grew!
When we first moved to France 16 years ago and lived in our mobile home we had a highly illegal septic tank, a 200 litre plastic drum buried in the ground. Being previous residents of the developed world we proceeded as we had before and selected the nicest toilet paper we could find having been subjected to the functional, but not luxury loo paper of Zimbabwe for the previous 12 years. Well who new that the selection was as vast as it was, and who knew that it was possible to have 4 ply, quilted, embossed fragranced loo paper. Then surprise, surprise our septic tank had an eruption! All over the grass, floating sheets of quilted loo paper all over the garden. It was blocked.
Lucky for me I married a dairy farmer. Dairy farmers spend a lot of time in poo, and are not squeamish :) After many failed attempts to find a brand of loo paper that dissolved in a septic tank we discovered that the stuff that looked about the same as the not very luxury brand in Zimbabwe would be the only thing to use. Hey ho, win some, lose some.
Let this be a guide and warning to all toilet users that if you want to help the planet maybe it is time to forgo the luxury brand toilet paper.
In my quest to rid myself of clutter, of my brain and conscience, not necessarily my stuff, I have successfully managed to avoid amazon purchases for nearly a year. It annoys me to the extreme that the owners of these mega corporations have sooooo much money and make sooooo little to contribution to the community part of society. I noted the other day that the Forbes list has created a score system on philanthropic contributions to go with each of their mega rich people. Mr. Amazon did not do so well in the philanthropy department, neither did Mr. Google. On further investigation even some who looked great had dubious tax avoidance loops linked to their philanthropy or managed to channel their own money back into their own charity systems. Disappointing. If you think about it, if everyone paid the tax they owed then there would be less requirement for charity and philanthropic work as it could all be funded by that thing we elect to speak for us and call government. Oh no I forget I can't even do that anymore. Vote that is.
Alice aked me the other day how I was going to manage without anything apple, microsoft, google or amazon. I have succesfully avoided the apple thing, but as I type on my not apple computer using facebook to network on, google as my search engine and microsoft for my software I realise I will have to either branch out into a new industry, or I will have to get someone to teach me how to do everything without any of this jolly handy computer stuff. It is a work in progress.
A couple of blogs ago I showed you a photo of sheep eating hay overwinter. The photos I show you today are of the regrowth in the same place. Spring seems to be steaming along rather too quickly. Some of the vineyards are doing a second pruning to slow down the growth and avoid the losses that may come with a May frost. The sheep are however enjoying the early flush of green which should set them up for their lambing in April.
See you all very soon
Today at the farm
Well it has been a wet back to work month not particularly cold. However the markets have been relatively busy with people coming out anyway. Kids, brollies and all. Lovely to see so many new faces at the market interested in buying local produce, some from the younger generation. Lots of talk about how warm it is and as I sit here typing in my short sleeves I would have to agree. The dogs have all been moulting at strange times of year, over Christmas. The shrubs are budding and the Mimosa are out in flower in some places. Everything is going wonky with the climate.
Investigating the new field.....it is wet ;)
I have become slightly obssesed with You Tube, now I have internet in the butchery, and I have been wandering around listening to books and also to lectures and speeches from various experts in their field, mainly orientated towards my favourite nerdy subject "soil". I have learnt a lot.
Access to information is mind blowing but I have learnt that no matter what you read or listen to you should always know a little about where the information is coming from, who is funding the statistical analysis and what it is they are wanting to prove with their analysis. So much can be skewed by the personal ideology of whoever is delivering the information. It is super interesting that people with more money than I can even imagine are involved in manipulating free thinking and are often the ones who shout the loudest on debate platforms to enable their own ideology to be followed. And we sometimes don't even recognise when it is happening.
The food and agricultural industry has become full of religious fervour. We all know what road that leads us down....radicalism. Watch out for those pesky ones ;) They are generally presenting a non balanced argument. Nature loves balance and circles.
So maybe the person who speaks the most quietly is the one you should listen to.
Read a fascinating book at Book Club this month which was set during the 1850's in the USA. It covered the environment, genocide, sexual orientation, justice, poverty and plenty of other things. Something that particularly struck me though was the sound it described of nature back then, which I have read about in other books from that era on other continents. As you may or may not know sheep make a fair amount of noise when they are grazing. So imagine when the prairies of the USA and Europe were filled with Bison how noisy it was when these massive herds were moving about.
A friend of mine was telling me the other day about picking vegetables in her families garden in Canada and how quiet it was by comparison to the humming of the bees when she picks in her own garden in France. It is too easy to not pay attention to the world around you and get lost in the hussle and bussle of daily life. Don't be complacent and expect someone else to make the effort though it has to come from everyone otherwise the european countryside will be silent too.
Angles are a bit different but you get the picture about how quickly the grass regrows
The french government have put into law the protection of the sound of the countryside. So when the townies actually arrive have some sound left to annoy them with when they get here.
See you all soon
I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area