Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sheep for Milk?

I have been wondering about getting some sheep for milk production. Yes we have a farm within walking distance where we can get fresh cows' milk but it's not organic (nor is it sustainable). We could get a cow ourselves though apparently the paperwork involved in France is horrendous for cattle - just one or a thousand, same amount of paperwork. Plus we'd probably be swamped with milk. Then there's the goats but at the moment that's a disaster and their milk is naturally homogenised (the fat is naturally distrubuted through the milk, unlike most cows' milk these days that has been UNnaturally homogenised for commercial reasons) so making butter is nigh on impossible. Sheep however have milk that is very high in fat content and therefore is very good for making butter, cheese and ice-cream.

I'm researching. I quite like these Zwartbles, nice compliments to our little Ouessants.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Well we have had blizzard conditions since 10am this morning (it's now past 2pm) and the snow is indeed quite deep. I have just been out to do 'house check' on the animals and first call was the goats. And there was poor Granny standing in a very 'bright' house - bright because part of the roof has blown off! Fortunately I think it had happened fairly recently because there wasn't much snow on the blown off panel. The other 3 goats had obviously been spooked because they had moved over to their new-under-construction house despite it still being a bit airy around the walls as the pallet gaps haven't yet been filled in. Ben has now gone out in the blizzard to re-roof and I'm in cosy next to the fire doing 'home education' with the boys - we're learning about armadillos of all things.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Great Gates

We are so very grateful (or is that 'gateful'?) to Jack, Jason and Korey, 3 of our WWOOFers who designed and made this gate for us. It has radically altered how we use our land as before the gate, we didn't use this long field on the east of our house because it was a long way round to get to it through two other fields. Now however, we have been able to relocate the goats into this field, site their house just to the left of it and have easy access. It is just SO much more convenient. Thank you guys.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Trees- What's in a Name?

We have a fair few trees on this property (sadly not as many as I'd like but we're working to rectify that). However, I have to confess that it's a steep learning curve for me to learn to identify them all and their uses. For instance, here are two Birch trees. They're obviously two differing species but up until now they have both just been 'birch' to me.

I have been aided by my trusty arborists bible "Trees" and this fantastic website

And then there's another useful piece of information on the following website that gives lots of common trees and their names in english, french, german, dutch and its botanical latin name.
This has proved very useful to me in sourcing more trees and in gaining the help of my farming neighbour when I need to know more about them.