We arrived and expected to be at work straight away. I think we also both expected to be doing some hard labour, sweating away in a field for 2 weeks whilst picking potatoes (similar to a film we both watched at uni about the gleaners) but that wasn’t really the case. We were introduced to both felix and Martin (our hosts) and as if they could read our minds they offered us a beer, it was 11am!
Sams first task was to help out at a local artisan brewery for a couple of hours, mine was to count balls of hay on a near by field – there was a 138 if your interested. I came back sweaty and sunburnt, sam came back drunk – I wander who got the better job.
We were also introduced to domesticating cows, an aparently essential task which involved lying down in between lots of cows and letting them lick and sniff you. This wouldn’t be so bad but these are meat cows so they’re huge with giant horns so when they approach you in that lollipy, clumpsey cow like way it’s terrifying!
Another task was feeding the pig, her name was cuchon, meaning pig in French (very original). She was just a pet but I think felix mention saucisson a couple of times. Cuchon was also pregnant so enjoyed a few belly rubs now and again and because she was always hungry she was also always escaping so it was fun to chase her down the road and lure her back home with some bread.
We also helped repair fences and look after a small orchard.
One day we dug out a huge mud pit by the lake so that the water causing the mud would have a stream to go through and eventually dry out. The mud was over our knees and everytime we removed some, a part of it would fly somewhere on your body so there was no avoiding being covered and by the end so we had a bit of a mud fight!
We sheared a sheep one day, which involved one person holding the horns and the other person holding it down enough to get some scissors underneath all the wool and chop! we decided to leave our ram with a Maine just so he looked a bit punk!
Also, Just because it was fun we made jam from organically grown raspberries and bread in a real stone oven that felix had on his land. We honestly spent a day preparing bread, cooking and eating it!
I can’t even think of every we did but it was an amazing experience and we learnt a lot.
I don’t think I could ever be a farmer as I would get way to attached to any animal I kept but it’s made me appreciate farming and has given me an insight into the care that goes into looking after animals.
It also makes me feel better about eating meat (I’m still refusing) but if all animals were treated so well and had such a good life it would make a difference. At felix’s farm he probably sold 10-20 cows a year which isn’t a lot and to know they were all pretty happy until that point. I’m still adement I wouldn’t like the texture of meat so I’m still putting it off but the feeling bad for the animal part has gone down on locally farmed animals.