Animals

  • Animals,  Craft,  Food,  Land

    Success in tough times

      2012 is our eighth year of small scale farming in France and has seen us move from income dependence to financial security and independence. Looking back over the last eight years at our mistakes and our successes in getting to this point demonstrates the value of an integrated approach. When we arrived in France we had a single idea to provide us with income; that of breading pigs and selling high quality organic free range pork and pork products. This worked well for three years but in our fourth year 2008 a poor global grain harvest sent the price of grain skyward almost doubling the price from our local…

  • Animals

    All that Jazz

    We have been so devastated by the loss of our Border Collie Moss we went out and found ourselves a replacement, not that we expected to find anything like a real replacement just a substitute for all those holes left in our daily lives by Moss.So here he is Jazz in keeping with the tradition of giving border collies single syllable names his name is short and sweet, this helps with working them out in the field and generally communicating with them. Jazz is ten weeks old born on the 26thof January 2012 he is pictured here just seven days after we brought him home.    Here you can see…

  • Animals

    Moss

    Moss December 2003 to Friday 6th April 2012 I am writing this for two reasons one to celebrate the memory of Moss and two to warn anyone who does not already know the dangers ticks hold for our animal friends. Moss came to us as a reject from a neighbouring farm in mid Wales; he had been kept back as best of litter from a champion mother but developed fear for the sheep he was supposed to control and preferred to chase sticks rather than sheep. This made him perfect for us; we were surrounded by sheep and wanted a dog that would not bother them. Moss turned out to…

  • Animals

    Pigs Break Out

    Shockingly good time had by all. I just want to share this post to let some dear friends know their hard work did not go to waste; Julie and Alun came to us in March 2011 for five days of volunteering and became instant friends. We just fitted each other like hands in gloves they came to work and we needed the help, but we also share many of life’s important values in common at the same time as being very different in many ways. Later in 2011 they came back for a longer visit and again worked for us as volunteers these exchanges have become so important to Fiona…

  • Animals

    Free Livestock

    Free Livestock A double edged sword, this is a scenario we have been  through before a few times now we have a well advertised web site a broad  spectrum of friends so many people know where we are and what we do. On  occasion people who for some reason or other need to get rid of live stock somehow  end up in touch with us, this time round it was through a friend of a friend of  a friend, the message was that someone had to leave their smallholding and  wanted all her livestock re-homing free to anyone who can collect. Fiona and I responded  interested in the sow with…

  • Animals,  Land

    Hedge Laying

    We started this work back in February it was an attempt to regain control and productivity of some of the old and now completely overgrown hedges towards the back end of our property, below you can see what the hedges look like after we started work but before we actually got round to the hedge itself. You can see we have cleared our way in to the base of the hedge cutting down the brambles and digging up the suckers from the blackthorn.  Suckering blackthorn is a problem which needs yearly attention, but as in all things permaculture the problem is the solution; for another problem. Laying our hedges and…

  • Animals

    New Pig feeding regimen

    We have been trying a little experiment here with our pig feed; we are not changing the feed just how we feed it to the pigs. We buy organic grain from one of our farming neighbours this is sometimes Barley and at other times Triticale (a hybrid of wheat & rye) both are used extensively for feeding pigs and one or the other is the largest component of most proprietary pig feeds. When you feed pellet feed to pigs most recommend a plentiful; supply of fresh water and this is important to help the pigs absorb their food and as much of its available nutrition as possible. We found just…

  • Animals

    Combining the Flock

    Today is the time to put the sheep back in to one flock the ram has been separated now for a couple of months to avoid lambs birthing in the depth of our winter. An old idea which persists to this day is that if you put the rams with the ewes on November 5th you will get your first lambs on April 1st this is a sensible idea the lambs are born at the time when the grass is in full flush of early spring growth. This way the lambs grow with the rising productivity of the grass on your land and are ready for sale or killing before…


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