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Pete Shield

Greetings from the Haut Corbieres

Hi,
Just a quick hello. My partner and I are just setting out as organically certified (Ecocert)aromatic herbs and plant growers in the high Corbieres area of the Languedoc Roussillon region of France.

We have 26 hectares on the side of a mountain- the vast majority an unmanaged thicket of forest, green and white oak with a bit of ash. In that there is a south facing field that I am slowly reclaiming, cutting terraces and mounting at the highest point 20 metres of clear (Ish) plastic covered poly tunnel, then an open air terrace and on the third terrace a shaded poly tunnel.

We have some water from a source, and capture rainwater to augment that supply. We are in the process of installing dry loos and a grey water recovery system to minimise the amount of water we use for domestic needs.

We have already installed a large PV system as we are far off the grid, and use wood as our heating fuel. The water is heated by gas as is the cooker as we just didn't have the cash to instal a photothermal solution.

We have just started on the market circuit- doing three markets a week- Perpignan and Narbonne organic markets and the general market in Lezignan Corbieres.

We are new to all of this and are facing a very steep learning curve- we have so much to learn about planting cycles, organic farming in general, low water gardening techniques, poultry raising and sustainable forestry management- and a million and one other things,

To start with I'll probably asking tonnes of question, but hopefully in time I maybe able to pass on what we have learned as we go along.

As a life long coeliac I already know a fair amount about gluten free cooking, so maybe I can contribute on that front.

I also know a bit about worms as I have a basement full of them.

Anyway looking forward to meeting you all.

I run a couple of websites that infrequently get updated.
http://www,naturalchoices.co.uk and http://www.montrouchorganic.com both need a lot of work but this farming business takes up alot of time.

Pete
Green Rosie

Bonjour from up in Normandie Very Happy Sounds exciting what you are up to - good luck!
Rusticwood

Hello from sunny Devon hello2
vegplot

Welcome to Downsizer. Smile

We spent a week in that area a few years ago driving around the mountains. Very beautiful. I can't remember where it was precisely but there was a road cut into the cliff face of a winding valley, very impressive.
mousjoos

Hello & welcome from the other side of the Montagne Noire
Pete Shield

Hello & welcome from the other side of the Montagne Noire


Ah the Montagne Noir- where the rain comes from!
mousjoos

.........comes to & stays more often than not !
earthyvirgo

Hello and welcome,

Looks like a wonderful place. Stunning landscape.
Very remote Smile

We (vegplot and I) were in Collioure on the holiday he mentioned.

We travelled into the mountains a bit but not as far as you, Castlenou was a memorable visit, as were the Cloisters at Elne.

I can't recall the name of the Gorge we drove through either .... apart from the fact that it was hair-raising.
...yes, I can, it just came to me, Gorge De Galamus

EV
mochyn

Croeso from Wales Laughing
Pete Shield

Welcome to Downsizer. Smile

We spent a week in that area a few years ago driving around the mountains. Very beautiful. I can't remember where it was precisely but there was a road cut into the cliff face of a winding valley, very impressive.


Ah probably the Gorge de Galamus between St Paul and Sologne- very very impressive, if not a little scary- just up the road from us
Went

Hello and welcome from Asturias... Very Happy gardening-girl

Hello,you are in my favourite part of France.
My son has just been diagnosed as ceoliac,any advice very greatfully recieved. Very Happy Very Happy
vegplot

Welcome to Downsizer. Smile

We spent a week in that area a few years ago driving around the mountains. Very beautiful. I can't remember where it was precisely but there was a road cut into the cliff face of a winding valley, very impressive.

Ah probably the Gorge de Galamus between St Paul and Sologne- very very impressive, if not a little scary- just up the road from us

Sounds like it, I'm hopeless with place names. There was also an (14th C?) tiny church with original decoration in the tiny hamlet. I remember it as there was also an old grey Massey Ferguson parked outside the village hall.

Just located it. Cubières-sur-Cinoble.
Nicky Colour it green

welcome Smile Pete Shield

Hello,you are in my favourite part of France.
My son has just been diagnosed as ceoliac,any advice very greatfully recieved. Very Happy Very Happy

How old is he? First thing I would do is get in touch with the Ceoliac Society, go through all their research and get your hands on their great guide to products that are gluten free. Do loads of reading and practising of cooking and baking using gluten free solutions- Dove Farm organic products are wonderful- I order their flour by the 16kg sacks and get people to bring it over. There are a wide range of books and resources available- not like when I was first diagnosed 40 years ago.

Once you feel suitably informed the key decision you have to make is whether you are going to go gluten free as a family, or are you going to essentially cook two sets of meals everyday- one gluten free and 'normal' food for everyone else.

My advice, for what it is worth is to go gluten free on just about everything but bread (Big price difference). That way your son won't feel 'weird'- also as a family you will eat a lot better as you're will find that pure ingredients form the basis of your diet and there won't be a chicken twizzle in sight.

For those that need a Mars bar or a Twix every now and again it's not the end of the world, just a return to secret treats being hidden out of sight and consumed when your son is asleep.

That's how my family did it and we all seemed fine, still is a bit strange when I visit my folks nowadays and see bought biscuits in the cupboard!
gardening-girl

He is 26,and lives with his girlfriend.
Luckily,they are both keen cooks,so are doing lots of experimenting.
gardening-girl

If you have a tried and tested bread recipe, that would be brilliant.He used to make wonderful sourdough bread,its the one thing he really misses
Oh, and Guiness Laughing Laughing
Pete Shield

If you have a tried and tested bread recipe, that would be brilliant.He used to make wonderful sourdough bread,its the one thing he really misses
Oh, and Guiness Laughing Laughing

The best one I know is using Helen's Brilliant Bread Mix, add some dried coconut powder, some sunflower seeds, also maybe sprinkle some seeds on the top.

I also make soda bread, 200 gs of GF flower, a natural yogurt, salt and a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda, mix it all up and add a little milk if needed to bind all the loose flour in.

With a spoon and wet hands make around 6 buns on a baking tray. Take about 10 minutes in the oven- only good for one day but nice with melting butter and cheese while warm.

Once again you can add rosemary, origano, sunflower seeds, cumin etc to spice them up a bit.
Liz in Ireland

Dia duit hello2

What a wonderful part of the world, but it sounds rather challenging!

35 years or so ago my late Dad and mum used to spend every winter in Argeles Sur Mer. I can remember Dad being very put out one year when it snowed at Easter in Argeles but was brilliantly sunny in England Laughing
DorsetScott

Welcome. Guess that means I'm no longer the new guy Smile Jamanda

Welcome. Guess that means I'm no longer the new guy Smile

Indeed. So come on get stuck in.
Pel

Welcome and hello Smile
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