Posts from 2014-11-12

The Poisonous Tree; turning to permaculture and self sufficiency
Over the last few years we’ve been watching a bunch of documentaries and films on the food industry and could not believe all the mind-blowing absurdities involved at every level of the process as well as the unbearable cruelty imposed to the animals.

At first we were disgusted, discouraged and slightly depressed. Instead of remaining stuck in apathy, we decided to take it as an incentive to act. The awareness of what we eat and how it is produced just triggered in us the desire and the need to take the matter back into our own hands and start growing our own food following the advice of inspiring people and documentaries we came across. We never expected the amount of energy, fun and inspiration it has given us.

Looking at the food situation nowadays, I have a story in mind I’ve heard some time ago about a poisonous tree:

A person is travelling through a new area and comes across a tree that he has never seen before. It is filled with delicious looking fruits and he decides to taste one. However he quickly finds out that the fruit is poisonous. He vomits it out and is able to survive. When he arrives to the next local village he shares his story so that the villagers can take action in order to prevent others from being poisoned. Some villagers think it is best to chop down the tree and make it go away. Other villagers think they should spare the tree and simply put a sign to warn by passers. One of them who has some knowledge of plans and remedies suggests that he can take the time to study the tree in order to find a cure.

When it comes to the “poisonous tree” of food production, there are different ways of dealing with this situation. And whatever way we choose to follow is to be respected as long as we don’t become righteous, dogmatic or even “preachy” about it.

Some of friends and relatives on scandals and others horrors they discover about the meat business and their decision to no longer take part in it by becoming vegetarian or vegan.

We ourselves are no longer vegetarian (after 10 years of vegetarianism for Sandra and only 3 for Santi) and for a while we did our best to by organic meat or avoid buying meat of “unhappy” animals. We eventually decided to take responsibility for the meat that we eat and decided to raise animals for part of the meat that we consume.

Taking a life is a very confronting and emotional action but it also brought us so much more respect and gratitude to the animals that we raise and take care of.

To us, respecting life is not about not killing at all but to understand and accept that it is part of the cycle of life and death.
Integrating Permaculture on our land

We’ve first arrived on this property at the end of 2007 and there were only the 2 houses and the wooden barn. With only 6 months to build and get everything ready for our first tourist season, there was plenty for us to do. It has then taken us the following 3 years to find our way and our balance with very little time, space and energy to focus on the land.  For the longest time our wish was to replant a forest and bring more life back into the empty 4Ha field. Watching a lot of documentaries during our spare time and in the low season, especially about nature, farming and food, it was only with shock, disgust and discouragement that we’ve discovered the greed, cruelty and sometimes madness pushing the food industry. Our first reaction was to stop consuming “bad” food and produce but as the list was getting longer and longer, we’ve both felt the need to act instead of just react and finally decided to dedicate more time, energy and most of our yearly savings to grow and produce our own food. While looking around and searching, we’ve dived into organic gardening and Permaculture as source of inspiration. After completing a PDC (Permaculture Design Course), we came up with tons of cool little projects and experiments that we have built throughout our land as well as a design for the coming 2, 5 and 10 years in order to turn the 4Ha field into a self-sufficient food forest. We never expected the amount of energy, fun and inspiration it has given us. We are happy to share this with you.Sandra & Santi  

Simply Bed & Breakfast, St. Jean de Duras, South West France

Garden to visit | Permaculture | Place to Stay

Come and visit our 5 hectare permaculture garden. A lovely outing for friends, the entire family, groups or schools. Regular guided tours and workshops. Situated in Saint Jean de Duras, between Bergerac, Duras & Eymet on the border of the Lot et Garonne et Dordogne departments

Sandra & Santi: Bonac, 47120, Saint Jean de Duras
I: www.simplypermaculture.com
E: hello @ simplypermaculture.com
T:+33 (0) 681768594
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