For the first time in some time I have been scrolling down the facebook feed to catch up with the regenerative farming and soil sites that I follow, some posts jumped out at me during the newsfeed that were concerning about the state of the world after confinement.
The first was an asparagus farmer who has had to throw away some of his production this year as he had increased his crop to cope with the local demand during covid and confinement.
The second was a small, local material facemask factory that has closed after the demand for facemasks was switched to the more convenient disposable kind, often made and supplied subsequent to the start of the pandemic by large overseas factories.
The third was a story about the lack of local support for a campaign to change the new bin system making it more user and environmentally friendly. The leader of the campaign is tired with trying to encourage people to support their efforts that she is ready to give up.
Covid and confinement were a busy time on the farm, fundamentally it did not change much for us. I enjoyed the moments of peace provided by the lack of traffic both in the air and on the ground and I enjoyed the camaraderie online. I hoped that there would be a change in the way that people interacted with the close by and far away world, both sociologically and environmentally to enable society to take a leap forward in the movement to manage what we have left to the best of our ability. However the 3 stories I read this morning made me think that we have taken our eye off the ball.
Get involved, don't sit on the fence do any little thing can you can to keep local communities strong. That strength, with any luck, will create contentment and peace and a deeper understanding of those people around you.
Please don't forget what the ultimate goal is..... "take only memories, leave only footprints" a quote from Chief Seattle a native amercian. Obviously a very wise man.
It is 10 years since we started the market at Ribérac. I have moved around the food area a little, made some new friends, met a whole pile of new people, some of whom are still around some of whom have moved on to new chapters in their lives. I am proud to say I still see my very first customers every week. You know who you are C and A. Though I doubt they will read this. The butchery has been working for nearly 11 years this summer and there are some of you out there who are still with me from my very first delivery runs around the area. It has been a delight to get to know everyone and their families. And I cannot thank you all enough for sticking with us, allowing the business to grow and improve and being willing to try all the products we make. It warms my heart that we are trusted by so many people.
We learnt the butchery basics with an butcher friend of ours who has since returned to the UK. Subsequently I have learnt through practice, practice, practice and processing products that people have asked me if I can make. Through trial and error we have come up with some goodies. By this time my apprenticeship is complete I imagine, in at least lamb and pork. Who knows what the future may bring with business developments that arrive with children becoming involved in the family business.
On Friday we had a lovely evening with some of our close neighbours for the "fete des voisines" and today we had a picnic with our village neighbours to celebrate the same occassion. A chance to catch up with the local gossip and to reacquaint ourselves with normal life. Three years have passed since the last event due to circumstances everyone is well aware of. It was very warm both in temperature and in welcome. Thank goodness for the trees around the village church or I think we may have melted. I am currently sitting watching all the clouds disappear having received about 6 drops of rain. It is going to be a long, hot night.
The sheep are consuming vast quantities of water, and for those of you who remember from last year, we still offer them salt and fresh water and they always finish the salt water before the fresh. Unfortunately the fields we graze around here are very short on trees and hedges so we have a plan of action for planting shade. We lost our rental property this month that we had developed over the last 18 years to have traditional pastures and trees, so this time we start again with a field that is actually ours. Gavin and Patricks imagination and creative skills are being tested to build a mobile shade unit so that we can continue to rotate the flock over the pasture and move the mobile shade structure with them. Farming life, always a challenge.
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