Our next-door-but-two neighbours, a kilometre away, have just celebrated their first anniversary in France. And despite the fact that they’re English expats like us, and that we pass their farm regularly on our way to and from Nouzerines, we haven’t got together very often at all. They’ve had a crazy year settling in, renovating a house and establishing a smallholding and, well, we’ve just had a crazy year with all our various activities. However, we hope to see a lot more of self-sufficient David and Nicole at Buzzycluck Ferme.

We called in yesterday and were amazingly impressed with what they’ve achieved in such a relatively short space of time. First up they have a colossal polytunnel, four or five times the size of ours I would guess.

It is full of huge, healthy plants including the biggest radishes I have ever seen!

Here’s an interesting way to get a bumper potato crop – grow them in a soil-filled stack of tyres.

There are a lot of very handsome Buzzycluck bunnies. Chris and I were astonished to hear how much David and Nicole love rabbit meat. We never enjoyed it that  much which is why we gave up on our rabbit breeding programme a couple of years ago now. We can only imagine that this variety are rather more tasty than the crossbreed mongrelly ones we produced. David told me what the breed is but I’ve forgotten, I’m afraid. Senior moment.

As the name of the farm suggests, there are plenty of bees and chickens on the farm. These lovely chickens are Gold Laced Orpingtons;

I love their shelter-cum-feeding-station.

And here are some Sussexes, like our Cynthia:

There are some Buff Orpingtons at the farm too. I learnt something new, which I always like to do. I learnt that you can get saddles for chickens. Not so you can ride them, of course, but to protect them from over-zealous roosters who are pulling too many feathers out during mating.

Buzzycluck farm also has quail, pheasants and ducks and geese. Gloucester Old Spot pigs and a Jersey cow will be arriving soon.

We left with some bean and pea seedlings, packets of comfrey seeds (pigs love comfrey apparently) and some asparagus. Nicole and David are not only very resourceful but very generous too!

Interestingly there is a connection between Les Fragnes, our farm, and where David and Nicole live. At one time, these properties were owned by the same family. So we have history in common as well as a shared desire to become self-sufficient in meat, egg, fruit and veggie wise.