When we arrived in France in 2002 with our 8-month old baby, we gave up our established lives in England for a dream.

 

The dream was here in Normandy, in a retired farmers house, along with serveral barns, lots of space and an orchard with a bread oven. Little by little over the past twelve years, the house has been renovated, and the barns repaired.

 

The desire to see our children grow in the country, in safety and the dream of eventually being self-sufficient food wise, was the driving force behind our decision to move there. The first thing we established was a chicken house, and ducks, turkeys and geese have been tried and tested. 

We realised quite early on that an acre of cider apple orchard needed the grass keeping short to help us pick the apples off the ground rather than searching for them in the long grass. Sheep were, and still are the solution. The benefits are that they give us four or five lambs per year which are always a joy to see playing in and out of the trees. Then the English Saddle back pigs came along. We have had several litters ranging from 9 to an astonishing 14 piglets, all adorable. The star of the show is always Lilly our goat, she keeps guests entertained for hours with her antics, our personal favourite is when she stands on top of the childrens slide.

 

We  insist that all our animals have free range, eat natural food, and our vegetable patch is totally organic. 

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© Julie Foster