A lunar calendar to improve my gardening skills

Does the lunar calendar work for planting fruit, vegetables, flowers, for sowing seeds, or for simply gardening? What is the Calendrier Lunaire? Read on.

Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Driving in France

In recent years, travelling across to the continent and driving in France has become increasingly easy for Brits, but there are laws and regulations to bear in mind while driving abroad.

Mushroom picking in France

In France, mushroom picking, or “la cueillette des champignons”, is practically a national sport during the Autumn season. However, there are guidelines to follow before wandering through the woods.

Pineau … or Pinot? Do you know the difference?

Pineau is a delicious alcoholic drink which comes from the Charentes region of France. It is a fortified wine made from 3 parts grape juice and 1 part Cognac and, like many great delicacies, was discovered by mistake.

Find out all about Pineau des Charentes

We buy very little meat from the supermarket nowadays.

We have our own pork, our own chickens (if the fox doesn’t get there first) and each year we buy a lamb from our neighbour and have it butchered locally.

Martial raises his lamb on organic principles, but as he is a small holder, he doesn’t bother with official tags; he just gets on with it.
His herd of sheep have won prizes in the past at local agricultural fairs and he is rightly proud of them.

LambThis year’s lack of water has a trickle down effect (curious phrase under the circumstances, as nothing is trickling at all around here).

First of all one of Martial’s wells has dried up, and he is having to water his sheep and poultry from the town water, which is expensive.
Because his second well is almost dry, he has cut right back on his vegetable growing – he doesn’t want to have to spend money on watering those as well, and will instead tuck into some of the surplus that he has conserved from previous years.

The price of feed has rocketed sky high – when you can find it that is.
He told us that most of the local farmers will get so little for their cereal products that they are cutting their losses by turning it into winter feed for the cattle.
There is almost no straw since the wheat is so low and of course hay is scarce as well.

Although the cost of raising his sheep has more than doubled he has kept the price down to last year’s level, because if he doesn’t sell them he’ll have to carry on feeding them.
This year we have bought two.

Martial is a small holder and very relieved he’s not raising meat on a large scale farm.

He came round last night to help us tag Noisette (the goat) and told us that at the end of the year he expects a number of farms to be out of business.

The future does not look great.

So, if you can, buy your meat locally from a farmer.
I realise this will come under the heading of luxury for many people so why not get together with some friends and share a 10kg pack?
It will taste better and you will be helping your community’s farmers.

Please help us!

If you found this useful, please let your friends know by sharing it here...