As yesterday’s post was a bit vague concerning what we have done since I arrived at the Moulin Ruel, here is a quick update on life Chez Blancart.
Trying to take advantage of the storms that we had on Friday, Christine, Patricia, Martin (two Czech WWOOFers), and I attacked the garden with avengence Saturday morning. The soil was supple with the previous days innondations, so we started off by weeding each neat line. Invasive herbs gave way beneath our relentless efforts, and before long, the dark earth revealed itself between each plant. After, we harvested the remaining potatoes, and in their place, we planted more leeks, black radishes, and carrots. Thus, in the span of a morning and an afternoon, we saw the incredible transformation of a slightly disheveled garden into a tidy, vegetable producing machine. For me, highlights included learning how to turn the earth without loosing precious topsoil and how to plant a leek deep enough that it will grow straight and true.
Later in the day, Martin and left the garden to work with Alain on the goat house (called a “chevrarie” in French). The principal project was the construction of a small side door, large enough to admit a goat but small enough to deter a horse. Using four hundred year old beams salvaged from the farm house and an ancient boring technique in the place of metal screws, we erected the door without a single problem. Admittedly, we had the help of a chainsaw, but you cannot begrudge us at least one modern (and incredibly fun) toy.
Today, life has proceeded more slowly. Alain left at five am for his weekly visit to local flea markets in search of bargains and time to himself. Much later after breakfast, Christine and I set off to milk the goat. Knowing that my last two weeks will be spent on a goat cheese producing farm, I decided it was my time to learn the skill and gave it a shot. Before long, I succeeded, seeing long white streams of frothy milk shooting out from under my clenching fingers. I was pretty proud, to say the least.
Though I am not sure what the afternoon will hold, I am sure it will be a joy. Life really is amazing here on this small, French farm where relationships, good food, and happy animals are valued over modern pleasures like television and fresh fruit in February.
Enjoy your Sunday,