Animals

  • Animals,  Diet,  Food

    Milking Cows

    We have been milking cows here for most of the time during the last thirteen years, making use of the milk here on the farm. We use the milk directly with no embellishments just good old fashioned raw milk, then for cream, butter, yogurt, fromage frais, ice cream and of course cheese. Milk is an amazing food anyway you use it, but it gets bad press for many reasons and most of the reasons are simply ill informed nonsense. But due to being asked a question by a reader of this site I want to concentrate on one of those issues and that’s the issue of cruelty to animals, the…

  • Animals,  Diet,  Food,  Land,  Plants & Trees

    Permaculture Pigs

    Firstly I should state there is no such thing as a permaculture pig, but rather pigs woven in to a permaculture design. Firstly we have to look carefully at every element we are planning on putting in to our design. Then comes the usual question what is an element? each thing be it animate or inanimate we intend to add to our overall system is an element these could be a tree, an animal or a shed. Each element has it’s needs (inputs) it’s benefits (outputs) and it’s intrinsic behaviors, if we look carefully at each element including some serious research, we will gain some idea of how to integrate…

  • Animals,  Compost,  Food

    Compost and Chickens

    This year we have decided to try out a new idea, we always bring our chickens in off of the grass where they follow the cows around. This serves a few purposes, they are closer for us to tend to during the winter, it gets them and us off the grass and lets it recover from all the foot fall, and it keeps the chickens safe from hungry predators. This year though we are giving them new winter quarters, we have made an enclosure around two of our compost heaps. These are normally full by this time of year and are just left to overwinter and finish the composting process.…

  • Animals,  Plants & Trees

    Our Humble Bees

    Normally at this time of year we don’t see much of our bees, the mornings are usually frosty and cold so they are not around during our morning rounds. But we are having an amazing autumn full of the usual colours but with much more sunshine and warmth. The bees are making the most of the food that is still around and our beautiful Borage is still flowering and providing them with that much-needed late food supply. During our morning rounds visiting all our other animals we are enjoying the bees display of industrious foraging some standing guard to keep out unwanted guests. Some flying back and forth busily returning…

  • Animals,  Food

    Chickenopolis

      The building of our new Chicken Metropolis (Chickenopolis) has been an involved and laborious endeavour but nothing is free each and every element of our now extensive and highly evolved permaculture design has had a price and although that price is not always a financial one there is always a price to pay in labour time and resources. The financial cost of Chickenopolis is just 18€ that is for the gate hinges and screws everything else has grown on site sweet chestnut posts and willow whips. We like our interns to have a chance to leave a mark on our site it gives them and us a sense of…

  • Animals,  Diet,  Food

    Wild Boar

    We often receive gifts of excess produce from a local hunt, Fiona sometimes works at a local cheese factory and the two brothers who own the business both hunt. Now while I would like to preserve wildlife as much as possible control of the hunt in France is done very well to preserve enough wild life populations from one season to the next and on in to the future this makes it sustainable. The quality of the meat is also excellent so we never refuse gifts of hunted meat so long as it comes from an official source. So yesterday Fiona came home with a whole wild boar in the…

  • Animals,  Compost

    Chick Aerators

    Using the same logic as the poly-face farms model for pigs we have purchased twenty, four week old chicks to help  feed us through the summer during our building and permaculture courses. We keep our sheep in a purpose built shed during the winter to preserve their foot health and give the dormant pastures a rest from their foot traffic which simply poaches (undermines) the ground. This leaves us with an abundance of spoilt hay and sheep’s dung in their shed, this mixture is not easy to deal with as it tends to matt together as it decomposes, making moving it difficult with hand tools. So we have combined our…

  • Animals,  Diet,  Food

    Meat

    Preparing for this summers building and design courses and the rest of our homevour year we have recently slaughtered a calf Casta (castania sativa) was ten months old and still feeding from his mother the day he went to the abattoir. He had never eaten anything but milk, grass and hay and had access to the outdoors for his entire life, he had never been given drugs or vaccines of any description. This regime makes his meat the best domesticated food available on the planet today. There are many reasons Fiona and I still eat meat and here are just a few. Meat is a valuable part of the natural…

  • Animals

    New Calf, Casta

    Friday 19th April 2013 saw the birth of a beautiful new calf “Castanea Sativa” Casta for short as is customary for us he is named after part of his food system and the first letter of his name is the same as his mothers Camomile. Camomile gave birth to two calves a first for us but as Fiona and I were away teaching the last day of a permaculture course in the Morvan France we were not here to attend to any complications. The first born calf died of asphyxiation due to inhaling embryotic fluid a common complication during birth, our neighbours who were keeping an eye on Camomile found here in time to aid…

  • Animals

    Financial security and Trolls

      I have a troll and no you can’t have him he is my troll I find him entertaining, both his inability to understand English and how that leads to his misunderstanding and that he bothers to vent his misunderstanding so venomously and in such poor English. I wanted to break down certain element of a previous post called “success in tough times” in which I state we have “financial security and independence” I hope no one else other than my troll thought this meant we were “financially independent” we are financially secure and I will explain what I mean by this. We are also independent of needing to buy…


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