We are giving away 4 copies of Thomas J. Elpel's book, Botany in a Day
Thomas will be answering your questions in the plant forum Monday through Friday!
See this thread for details
Permies likes europe and the farmer likes Hi from France permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login


permies » forums » regional » europe
Bookmark "Hi from France" Watch "Hi from France" New topic
Author

Hi from France

Guy De Pompignac


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 188
Location: SW of France
Hi, we’re on the way to acquire a land and a house, so as i’ll ask questions about the design of our property, it’s wise to describe it a bit.

We are a couple, thirty years each, and we discovered permaculture concept 3 years ago. Since that, we moved to the country, i quit my job, and i’m currently training in agriculture (arboriculture).

Our landbase* :

Located in SW of France, tempered decidious forest biome and transitional oceanic climate. Average 850mm (33.5 inch) of rain by year. Zone USDA 8, min temp on the past five year is -10,5°C (13°F).
The property is divided between a one hectare (2.5 acres) forested and quite slopped plot with a little house at the bottom, and two springs and a well. The other plot is about 0,3ha (0.7 acres), located at 150m (500 ft) of the house, is flat and forested and is lined by a spring and a river.
* we hope to move in in several months.

And our project (rough draft) :

- Meet all or the majority of our needs in food, (alternative) medicine, beauty, fun, energy/fuel (may be difficult). For food, we hope to adopt a kind of paleo food whose need would be met by a food forest, poultry raising, gardening, mushroom cultivation, and aquaculture (short- mid-term).
- Teach permaculture with the plots as examples (mid-term).
- Co-housing with another family, based on individuals modules (superadobe ?) and the existing house as shared faciilities (mid- long-term).


Permaguy
PS: a picture of the main plot taken from a field is joined to let you see the slope and vegetation


[Thumbnail for DSC02225.JPG]



Follow our design (in french) on our 3 acres property in SW France.
                                  


Joined: Jan 27, 2011
Posts: 1
Hi there !

It sounds really exciting what you are about to do.

My parnter and i we are looking for some land in south of france too.
I would like to get in contact with you to may exchange some information. Since i guess you must have tought thru your decision very well and may know a lot about properties and prices available in southern France. So i might ask you if you would consider this exchange with us ?
We are a couple, David (french) and Christina(german) . We are about to leave the city Geneva towards the countryside in southern France. we have not long ago started to look at possibilities in terms of buying land, finding communities or areas where there is already some permaculture going on ...
Next week we will be in Toulouse to pick up a car and then stay for one more week in a community nearby. Where abouts have you bought the land ? You mind me asking for the price ?
I hope these are not to many questions for you. We are just about reaching out to get more information about what to expect as we consider to buy some land in south france.

As well i might be able to help you with the design even though i am not super experienced, i have a PDC, have so far done one design and am a vegetable gardener with some biodynamic experiences. So i might be able to help you in your case with the design of you property too =)

Looking forward to hear from you !

Greetings
Christina
                                


Joined: Mar 12, 2011
Posts: 16
how are things coming on ? has the dryness affected your plans on what to plant ?
Pete Shield


Joined: Jun 29, 2010
Posts: 11
Location: Maisons, Languedoc, France
Gentian, in my part of France- High Corbieres region of the Aude, Languedoc- we are having the wettest (And coldest) summer I can remember.

Down on the plains the grape growers are having huge problems with hail the size of golf balls, up here the aromatics herbs are exploding but the oil density is low - we need more sun- never thought I'd be saying that!


Pete Shield, Domaine de Montrouch, French Occupied Occitania
http://www.montrouchorganic.com
Guy De Pompignac


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 188
Location: SW of France
Oops, i've not been there fo a long time, i guess the alert was not working


the dryness didn't affect us because we were not already on the property

for now, its all rain and cold, weird year.

it's starting very slowly here, we focus on the house for now
                              


Joined: Aug 02, 2011
Posts: 118
Hi all,

Lovely to meet you all out here!
I'm in the South West too, about 100km west of Toulouse.
I recently discovered permaculture (although I realize I've been waiting for EXACTLY this all my life!)

I have about 5500m2 of terrain (a little more than an acre). I planted an orchard last winter. The little trees suffered from the drought in April and then from the floods in July  but most of them are holding on.
One brave little peach tree made 7 peaches on one branch (which I thinned to 3 because the branch wouldn't have held the weight)

The grapes are getting moldy from the excess of rain (first time in the 10 years I lived here July was so wet!)

I have some established fruit trees, wildish but delicious (tiny plums and cherries), and a couple of ancient fig trees.
The vegetable plot where I have been experimenting with grass mulch this year is overgrown by weeds in the non covered parts (I'm not too avid a weeder) and doing brilliantly in the mulched areas, with pumpkin and onion plants 5 to 20 times their neighbors' sizes. Quite impressive, this mulching business...

I'm all excited because I'm getting a goat on Thursday! Provided my dogs are nice to her and I can keep her tethered she can stay... Lots of blackberry brambles for her to eat, yummy!

Main pests here are rabbits (I had to fence the vegetable plot AND all the little trees) and slugs. Between the two of them they will eat anything into the ground. I have too many qualms about killing either, so I'm resigned to sowing 10 times what I need, especially lettuces and cabbage varieties. Still with the fence and the grass mulch the broccoli and head cabbage are thriving, only three plants out of 24 got eaten (first year I managed that!). Ashes help somewhat. And collecting on rainy days... 

Any permaculture non killing slug solutions? I know plenty of ways to kill them (beer, ducks...) but I can't get myself to do it.

If anyone is interested (and I find my cable back) I'll upload some pictures. not of slugs, of the plants/terrain...
Catch you all later,


We're growing a wiki out of this forum and can use all the help we can get... Won't you contribute? http://www.permies.com/permaculture
                                


Joined: Sep 02, 2011
Posts: 5
Hello everyone, I am in the South-West too, in the Causse du Quercy, an hour east of Toulouse.  We bought our house 2 years ago and after 2 rather useless attempt at conventional vegetable gardening ( tons of toamtoes and potatoes, everything else died eaten mostly by the crickets), we have decided to go the permie's way.  So in the process of designing right now, forest garden? key hole garden? What would you suggest knowing that
being on the Causse, the soil is lime and arid,  when there is some.  We're thinking raised beds (got tones of stones) and a glass house ( plateau means a lot of wind so polytunnel is out). 
Any thoughts are welcome!
Guy De Pompignac


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 188
Location: SW of France
@saskia :

So whats new with your goat ?

For slug, maybe raised beds with wood to make the vertical borders, and paths mulched with pine leaf ?


@mishkin :

There is one of the most famous french gadener and researcher about BRF near you, check http://fermedupouzat.free.fr/?page_id=26

i think you should search what pioner trees would do well in your conditions, and then plant fruit trees in sheltered positions, here are a rought list :

  • [*]Albizia julibrissin (Mimosa) [*]Amorpha canescens (Lead Plant) [*]Amorpha fruticosa (False Indigo) [*]Amorpha nana (Dwarf Indigobush) [*]Anthyllis vulneraria (Kidney Vetch) [*]Caragana arborescens (Siberian Pea Tree) [*]Caragana boisii [*]Caragana brevispina [*]Caragana decorticans [*]Caragana fruticosa [*]Caragana jubata (Shag-Spine) [*]Caragana pygmaea [*]Caragana sinica (Chinese Pea Shrub) [*]Centrosema virginianum (Butterfly Pea) [*]Cercis siliquastrum (Judas Tree) [*]Cercocarpus ledifolius (Mountain Mahogany) [*]Cercocarpus montanus (Mountain Mahogany) [*]Cicer arietinum (Chick Pea) [*]Cicer microphyllum [*]Colutea arborescens (Bladder Senna) [*]Comptonia peregrina (Sweet Fern) [*]Comptonia peregrina asplenifolia (Sweet Fern) [*]Coronilla emerus (Scorpion Senna) [*]Cytisus scoparius (Broom) [*]Dalea candida (White Prairie Clover) [*]Dalea candida oligophylla (White Prairie Clover) [*]Dalea gattingeri [*]Dalea purpurea (Purple Prairie Clover) [*]Elaeagnus angustifolia (Oleaster) [*]Elaeagnus commutata (Silverberry) [*]Elaeagnus cordifolia [*]Elaeagnus formosana [*]Elaeagnus fragrans [*]Elaeagnus gonyanthes [*]Elaeagnus macrophylla [*]Elaeagnus maritima [*]Elaeagnus montana [*]Elaeagnus multiflora (Goumi) [*]Elaeagnus multiflora ovata (Goumi) [*]Elaeagnus orientalis (Trebizond Date) [*]Elaeagnus parvifolia [*]Elaeagnus pungens (Elaeagnus) [*]Elaeagnus pyriformis [*]Elaeagnus thunbergii [*]Elaeagnus umbellata (Autumn Olive) [*]Elaeagnus x ebbingei (Elaeagnus) [*]Elaeagnus x reflexa [*]Elaeagnus yoshinoi [*]Genista germanica [*]Genista hispanica (Spanish Gorse) [*]Gleditsia caspica (Caspian Locust) [*]Gleditsia japonica [*]Gleditsia koraiensis (Korean Honey Locust) [*]Gleditsia macracantha [*]Gleditsia sinensis [*]Gymnocladus dioica (Kentucky Coffee Tree) [*]Halimodendron halodendron (Salt Tree) [*]Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) [*]Hippophae rhamnoides turkestanica (Sea Buckthorn) [*]Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) [*]Lupinus littoralis (Seashore Lupine) [*]Lupinus polyphyllus (Big-Leaf Lupin) [*]Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) [*]Melilotus officinalis (Melilot) [*]Pueraria montana chinensis (Mealy Kudzu) [*]Pueraria montana lobata (Kudzu Vine) [*]Pueraria phaseoloides (Tropical Kudzu) [*]Pueraria pseudohirsuta [*]Robinia fertilis (Bristly Locust) [*]Robinia flava [*]Robinia luxurians [*]Robinia neomexicana (New Mexico Locust) [*]Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust) [*]Robinia viscosa (Clammy Locust) [*]Senna marilandica (Wild Senna) [*]Shepherdia argentea (Buffalo Berry) [*]Shepherdia canadensis (Buffalo Berry) [*]Sophora japonica (Japanese Pagoda Tree) [*]Ulex europaeus (Gorse) [*]Ulex parviflorus [*]Vicia faba major (Broad Bean)
  •                                 


    Joined: Sep 02, 2011
    Posts: 5
    Thank you Permaguy, that is most enlightening! How are you doing with your plan, are using raised beds?  We have  a couple of hectares of oaks caussenard which I am reluctant to touch for fuel yet, as the previous owner did some intensive cutting and some parts of our land look rather grim but tons of dry wood lying around for his deforestation. 
                                  


    Joined: Aug 02, 2011
    Posts: 118
    permaguy wrote:
    So whats new with your goat ?


    Thx for asking!
    The goat went back to its previous owner for the time being: She wasn't used to being alone, so cried incessantly. We got her a mate, and then she was alright, but then they both pretty much immediately discovered a kind of circus jump which made their chain ring fly off the pickets. And after a whole morning of trying all kinds of things to keep the ring down, weighing it down and lots of goat chasing (once pulling one of them off the kitchen table where she was gorging herself on dried garbanzo beans  :lol I sent them both back.

    Meantime I have had the pickets modified by a welder, so the ring still turns freely (they can't strangle themselves) but it can not come off any more. I'll have them back end of the month probably, after my permaculture course.

    Yeah, raised beds, I'm going to try one. Not much pine around here (waterlogging in winter probably). Some conifers.

    How is your garden doing? I'm going to have a good pumpkin and Jerusalem artichoke harvest, but not much else!
                                    


    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 16
    permaguy wrote:
    Oops, i've not been there fo a long time, i guess the alert was not working


    the dryness didn't affect us because we were not already on the property

    for now, its all rain and cold, weird year.

    it's starting very slowly here, we focus on the house for now

    Yes we had it 'fresh' in July, i couldn't say cold, however it has been very hot since....a bumper year for fruit and veg. anyone fancy some quince!

    saskia sorry to hear about the goat.....we have a semi nain and she's easy to handle. after trying almost everything with her, I find the easiest way to hold her is tethering with a rope onto a dog collar around her neckand then  tie her to whatever is close, so I move her where I want her to be. she is an escape artist, but this has almost been foolproof !
    Alison Thomas
    volunteer

    Joined: Jul 22, 2009
    Posts: 933
    Location: France
        
        8
    Gosh permaguy, I'm envious of your woodland and water sources - we have neither and that's proving a mistake.  We're working to address the issue but trees don't grow overnight (well, they do but not into BIG trees  :wink And a great list of trees - thanks - we're just planting up a food forest.

    Saskia, about the goats. If you tether then you take away the goat's ability to self-medicate but I do understand the issues when you don't tether them!!!  We have five.
    Guy De Pompignac


    Joined: Nov 16, 2010
    Posts: 188
    Location: SW of France
    Hi Alison,

    where are you ? For me Central France is Massif Central and has plenty of trees and water
    Alison Thomas
    volunteer

    Joined: Jul 22, 2009
    Posts: 933
    Location: France
        
        8
    We're in the very east of Pays de la Loire - sort of central 

    The guy who sold us our place cut down ALL the trees in the hedgerows and sold them, in between us agreeing to buy the property and handing over the money. Then they just shrugged their shoulders.

    And as for water, we just don't have any water courses on our land (17 acres/ 7 hectares) and now wish that we did as then we'd do some kind of hydro-power and a ram-pump. However, not to be.  We are making ponds this winter however to try to stabilise the water as we're on a hill.
                                    


    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 16
    saska have you tried keeping ducks to get rid of the slugs ? I always try and let my hens run freerange in the winter so they can scratch up the slug"s eggs, which seems to help as well come spring......
                            


    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 64
    I read this thread with envy, my wife and I just love France and hearing those crickets in the video just made us pine more. We have been planning to move there in 2013/14, we have property to sell at home (UK) sadly we missed selling a few years back. However it would be nice to make contact with like minded folks that are already on the ground so we could chat via skype and share permie ideas. We have raised pigs to eat, but presently only keep hens for eggs and raise the spare roosters for the table. We grow our veggies insystem using loads of homemade compost, it really is the way forward, very productive and relatively maintainence free.
    Hope someone likes te sound of us

    Cheers

                                    


    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 16
    wel you seem to be well on the way to a permie lifestyle !! have you decided what part of france you would like to buy in ? i am always up for a chat on permaculture, I still have so much to learn. I love paul wheaton's podcasts and learn a lot from them or often he make me think and rethink on a variety of subjects relating to permaculture.......
                            


    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 64
    Not really any plans for a specific region just yet! certainly in the lower half, but open to hearing everyones ideas. We would like at least 5 acres, more would be nice, water is a must, trees too. We are in our 50's and know that too many livestock is no longer on the cards, but some hens, rabbits and a goat or two, would be nice start. Growing even more of our own food would be the main goal, along with quality time together ... getting to a place/time in life where the important things really matter.
    I've been reading, studying and practicing a more natural way of living for many years, but it didn't fit in with a working life too easily, so before its all over we feel its coming close to our time to give it a shot. Not wanting to make a big splash, just live life in a more natural, relaxed and hopefully heathy way into our golden years.
    We had thought of the USA at a time, but too much red tape puts that idea to bed ... or perhaps not ??

    Regards

                                    


    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 16
    we try to grow as much as possible and stuff we like to eat !! i hope you find a place ......lots of great areas out here and the weather isn't half bad !!! i'm on skype if you have any questions !! go for your dreams !
                            


    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 64
    gentian Hatfield wrote:we try to grow as much as possible and stuff we like to eat !! i hope you find a place ......lots of great areas out here and the weather isn't half bad !!! i'm on skype if you have any questions !! go for your dreams !

    Sent the skype request, didn't get accepted?
                                    


    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 16
    what name did you put in ? sorry i have been without internet for awhile and have just got back on....
    lil hodgins


    Joined: Feb 06, 2012
    Posts: 31
    Location: s w france
    hi just wanted to say hi .......i just signed up and looking forward to reading the posts, there so many it's great ! are there many on the forum from france? i have been doing permaculture all my life really but just discovered the name around 15 years ago when i read bill morrison's book......the joy about it is there is always so much more to learn and tips to find out that just makes gardening so much easier.....we have a couple of acres here and my plan for this year is to plant a guild around each fruit tree......i love paul's podcasts, i often listen a couple of times as there is so much imfo in them and the videos are great too !


    lil
                            


    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 64
    gentian Hatfield wrote:what name did you put in ? sorry i have been without internet for awhile and have just got back on....

    gentian64******* I've resent the request so hopefully its gone to you
    Adrian Kowal


    Joined: Mar 09, 2012
    Posts: 4
    Location: west London and SW France
    Hi SW France Perma People,
    My partner and I, as well as our amazing permaculture expert friend are moving to near Carcassonne in September 2012 to explore the different regions and help on permaculture projects before buying land. We are looking to buy 10 acres minimum for 2 homes, orchard, land for cultivation and permaculture design and in the future look to build a green school/Steiner based school and "slow" retreat centre encouraging people to slow down - yoga, meditation, harvesting their own veggies from the garden to cook communally, no internet or phone during their stay. We currently run www.evolvewellnesscentre.com in London which has a strong focus on sustainability education. We planted a roof garden on our studio using permaculture principles last April.

    We are looking to help support like minded people with their land/work on their house in exchange for lodging and board. Please get in touch if you know of any such opportunities or are looking to network with good people from a similar perspective. We would love to hear from you.

    Thanks!
    Adrian, Corinne and Kevin


    Adrian Kowal
    Lover of Nature, Health and Happiness
                            


    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 64
    Adrian Kowal wrote: no internet or phone during their stay.


    I personally don't think that part would be worth inforcing ... many folks have wives, husbands, family or partners back home and may have travelled in from many miles away and just need to keep in contact for personal/ private reasons.
    A different story if that was going to be a main part of the stay, like a hermitage, pilgrimage or spiritual retreat where the like might be expected or even wanted. just my 2p worth .... good luck with new venture.

    Cheers
    Alison Thomas
    volunteer

    Joined: Jul 22, 2009
    Posts: 933
    Location: France
        
        8
    lil hodgins wrote:hi just wanted to say hi .......i just signed up and looking forward to reading the posts, there so many it's great ! are there many on the forum from france? i have been doing permaculture all my life really but just discovered the name around 15 years ago when i read bill morrison's book......the joy about it is there is always so much more to learn and tips to find out that just makes gardening so much easier.....we have a couple of acres here and my plan for this year is to plant a guild around each fruit tree......i love paul's podcasts, i often listen a couple of times as there is so much imfo in them and the videos are great too !


    Hello lil and a belated welcome. Sadly we were pig processing when you joined and that amount of work sometimes means that things fall through the net. Anyway, glad you found us

    Are you up in the mountains?
    lil hodgins


    Joined: Feb 06, 2012
    Posts: 31
    Location: s w france
    hi alison, sorry i didn't see your post ! i hope the pig killing went well ! this is our first year without having a pig or 2 and it seems strange ! i am in les landes but i spend a fair bit of time in the pyrenees . i have a little bit of land up there and it has been interesting to see what i can grow at 3000feet ! never grow a garden at that height before, so it has been a learning curve, but one thing that really grows well there is rhubarb. have you been out here long ?
    Pete Shield


    Joined: Jun 29, 2010
    Posts: 11
    Location: Maisons, Languedoc, France
    Adrian Kowal wrote:Hi SW France Perma People,
    My partner and I, as well as our amazing permaculture expert friend are moving to near Carcassonne in September 2012 to explore the different regions and help on permaculture projects before buying land. We are looking to buy 10 acres minimum for 2 homes, orchard, land for cultivation and permaculture design and in the future look to build a green school/Steiner based school and "slow" retreat centre encouraging people to slow down - yoga, meditation, harvesting their own veggies from the garden to cook communally, no internet or phone during their stay. We currently run www.evolvewellnesscentre.com in London which has a strong focus on sustainability education. We planted a roof garden on our studio using permaculture principles last April.

    We are looking to help support like minded people with their land/work on their house in exchange for lodging and board. Please get in touch if you know of any such opportunities or are looking to network with good people from a similar perspective. We would love to hear from you.

    Thanks!
    Adrian, Corinne and Kevin


    Hi Adrian,
    Sorry for the late response, please feel free to get in touch when you are down this way- we are in the Aude, just. High Corbieres. Just starting at this agriculture business but having fun, we have een down here since 1999 but doing other things. Now at Montrouch, see www.montrouchorganic.com (Site only a few days old) and www.naturalchoices.co.uk (posted that do you can find our contact details, not sure about posting e-mail addresses on forums)
    Pete
    Guy De Pompignac


    Joined: Nov 16, 2010
    Posts: 188
    Location: SW of France
    Things are going slowly on the land but bursting in the mind here

    Always in the phase of observation, and trying to find what species and cultivars are needed to do all those perma-things, and try to locate nurseries and stock ...

    here is the blog of our project, in french: http://www.lechantdescerises.fr/blog/
    Emma Fredsdotter


    Joined: Jul 06, 2012
    Posts: 32
    Location: France (zone 8b-9)
    Your blog looks very interesting, Guy. I've added it to my reader.


    Le blog d'Emma: Homesteading, vintage sewing & knitting, renovating, wildcrafting, etc. in Brittany, France.
    Guy De Pompignac


    Joined: Nov 16, 2010
    Posts: 188
    Location: SW of France
    The blog url has changed : it is now http://permaculture.eu.org/blog

    And i've just posted the one year assessment (still in french ...) !
    orto del sole


    Joined: Oct 20, 2010
    Posts: 47
    Location: Italy-Slovenia Border Karst
        
        1
    Hello Guys,
    we are helping with a homestead project in the South of france, it seems that there are several permies nearby! during our next visit, we will work on the construction of a rocket stove and a small eco-remediation system for the waste water. It will be a pleasure to be able to see some of you.
    Group
    David Livingston
    pollinator

    Joined: Apr 24, 2013
    Posts: 908
    Location: Anjou ,France
        
      29
    Hi guys and gals
    Does anyone know of any Permiculture sites in French without any woo or other added metaphisics . Its for my landlord and my GF

    Thanks David


    Living in Anjou , France
     
     
    subject: Hi from France
     
    cast iron skillet 49er

    more from paul wheaton's glorious empire of web junk: cast iron skillet diatomaceous earth sepp holzer raised garden beds raising chickens lawn care flea control missoula electric heaters permaculture videos permaculture books