What better way to get into the bath than to live on the farm and discover a new region!
So here we are in Normandy, where Claire did her internship at the Chamber of Agriculture while staying in the collective room of the farm changeons small!
To live to the rhythm of the goats, the batches of breads, the killings of pigs, the hays, the harvests, the celebrations, the harvests of fruits …. unluckily it learns a lot of stuff!
I had (Claire) the chance not to set foot in a supermarket during my stay, because here we are not badly supplied with food, but hey, if you are tired of eating rillettes and goat logs you can go for a walk to the market of Avranches or go to the small payotte Carole beach eat waffles and fries (because there is a beautiful view and that in life, the fat is good … )!
Anyway it’s a place that moves, with a lot of local producers and organic in the area, with associations that throw like the « Electric Sheep » or « PermaBoys »;) … Yes, sometimes I I have the impression, as my dear Parisians would say: that Avranches is a city of hippies! 😉
For 6 months what a contrast between the interviews that I had to carry out as part of my work, at dairy farmers, in front of the agriculture that I discovered at Le Petit changeons …. Fresh arrival from Savoie, I had already seen what was a « Truc » dairy farm (The « Truc » is an Alpine pasture at the foot of Mont Blanc which is organized as a cooperative to harvest milk and make reblochon!). I was surprised, little Savoyard that I am, to see so few cheese processing workshops on the farm and small local dairy. The milk in Normandy is mainly harvested by large dairies and processed in factories.
This internship made me go back to the Normans farmers and made me aware of all the regulations and the administrative declarations to which they are subjected. Some of the farmers I met could not see a future for agriculture because they (those who see no future) do not earn much, their income is mainly the CAP * and they are always asked to produce more for less (the law of the big market).
Farmers have to maintain waterways, preserve the hedgerow, treat their corn or wheat at night to not kill bees and they are not paying for it. You will say, « It’s common sense! » Not always when it takes too much time and it becomes a constraint unfortunately …. Maybe one day we will take into account the cost of environmental services rather than having coercive measures …
* CAP: Common Agricultural Policy, these are European subsidies dedicated to farmers.
The Petit Changeons system is different and seems more resilient … it wants to be more autonomous. Farmer baker, goat farm with cheese processing workshop and direct sale, use of whey to feed the pigs … Yes we learned things here with Emeric …
Now that the internship is over, it’s not so easy to leave the little chieuvs. So, thank you Emeric for supporting my daily tornado for 9 months! …….
To be continued in the next episode ! (I always dreamed of saying that!)
(Announcement of an upcoming movie about Jeremy’s experience on the farm with a zoom on the bakery!)