Well hello there!

Feel like a long time since you heard from us? That’s because it has been. Our last newsletter was back in July 2020. Seems like an eternity ago given everything that’s happened in the world. But here we are again with lots of wonderful news for you.

Our Introduction to Permaculture weekend courses are starting up again in April. Here are the new dates:

  • 9-11 April – Permaculture & Meditation
  • 7-9 May – Permaculture, Vegan Cooking, Fermentation & Foraging
  • 28-30 May – Permaculture & Meditation
  • 18-20 June – Permaculture, Vegan Cooking, Fermentation & Foraging

We’re introducing two new courses this year: a five-day Applied Permaculture course and a one-day Introduction to Permaculture for Groups. See here for more details.

We excavated two new ponds and enlarged the canal in October thereby doubling the quantity of rainwater we can store. They’re not quite full yet but we’re getting there.

Our well has water in it – hurrah! But it’s 23m down! Actually it’s an underground river. We’re installing a pump in March which will allow us to keep the ponds full during a drought, and, if the water quality is good enough, to hook up the house. Since our wastewater goes into a septic tank, we’ll then be off-grid for water.

We planted 250 trees at the end of last year, including 100 sweet chestnuts and hazelnuts, which are intended to be the basis of our commercial production in 5-10 years. We also planted 20 trees (oaks, limes etc.) that will be the heart of Blanche’s Forest, a 50m x 265m zone at the bottom of the field that we’re rewilding. Wonder if our neighbours will let us introduce wolves!

We’ll be accepting WOOFers again from 1 March after we had such a good experience with the first 20 last year. You can see our page on WWOOF France here (in French). One of our WOOFers, a cinematographer called Valence (above with the dog), deserves special praise because she filmed and edited a series of short videos about our work at the farm.

You can see the first three videos on our YouTube channel here.

We bottled enough tomatoes and peaches, and stored enough squashes and walnuts, to get us through the winter. Plus we had hazelnuts, salad, herbs, pears, apples, chard, beans, corn, garlic, onions, potatoes, courgettes, sweet chestnuts, wild flowers, raspberries, strawberries and kaki in abundance at different times in the year. Three to crack in 2021: apricots, cabbage and sweet potatoes! 

We scythed almost the entire field (15 acres) – and broke half our top-quality Austrian scythes! Lucky people were generous with their donations in 2020 so we’re going to be able to replace them. If you’d like to make a donation to our charitable arm, the “Association de Permaculture du Perche”, then please do get in touch.

And finally… we filled up another page in a local paper!

Stay safe, keep smiling, and do make plans to visit us!

All the best, Alexis, Blanche, Louis & Thelma

our cats, Thelma & Louis