Tuesday, 28 April 2015
My fledgling orchard
All our neighbours are dairy farmers one of whom we are very friendly with. We buy our wood and straw from him. I plan, at some stage to ask to buy milk direct from him. I would like to make some cheese. This will have to wait until my kitchen is finished though so is one for the future.
When this was a fully working farm, the family planted a variety of apple trees and made Calvados. When we bought this place they gave us a bottle of the Calvados that had been made here. Once a year the remaining family turn up to see what we have done. Last summer the old girl, who had come here as a young bride, visited to see our Gite. She remembered milking cows in the barn that is now our Gite and loved what we had done. Since the family sold the farm there were two other owners before us but nothing was done to improve things. She was so happy to see the place being cared for. She died shortly after that last visit and I think she had wanted to say goodbye to the place she had loved. Relatives came from all over France and came here to see the place once more. There were cousins who had stayed over summers. It was obviously a happy place despite the sad times, not least of all two world wars. We are still in touch with family who live locally and they will no doubt appear again in the summer.
There are times when I really struggle with living here. I try to think of the family who built this and how hard it was for them. It helps keep things in perspective.