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Hello I’m Zoë

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default Hello I’m Zoë

Post by Guest on 17th March 2010, 6:56 pm

I am living in France department 49 north of the Loire River. We are where the Atlantic weather used to stop and the continental started...so things were very changeable. The last few years though have shown a marked change with dry African southern winds often stealing the show and in the winter northerly winds pouring down from the Arctic. So we are now having extremes of weather and it makes all things a bit more complicated.

I have been here for 7 years and I am the humble custodian of 6.8ha of a small green valley. The natural environment is diverse. We have meadows and boggy area and hill slopes, and dry limestone hill top, a lake and woodland. We have the resources of clay and limestone, spring water and lake water plus water from the building roofs, trees ranging from osier and poplar to walnut and oak, wind and sunshine. We have 300 square meters of well developed vegetable beds and a greenhouse, orchard trees and soft fruits….and chickens.

We are vegetarians and only eat our vegetables. We don’t produce grain or milk products. We would like to grow some grain if we had a working horse and a couple of goats for the milk and cheese. We can buy locally produced fresh cheese from the supermarket so it’s a difficult decision with the goats!
The horse would help with the work with the trees.

My primary aim is to protect this area and increase its biodiversity and biomass. We have seen already rapid regeneration of tree saplings and marked increase in birds and other wildlife. I have been very “green” since I was young – it was ecology then. This stage of my life seems to be the consolidation of all the previous building blocks acquired through out my life.

When I was 18 I told my father I would build a house and plant a wood. He argued against my ability to do either. Well the house is built according to passive solar gain ideas with heavy insulation and wonderful light levels. This is in the UK and no longer mine. Due to the effect of a mudslide on my life’s path I ended up here in France in a house and other buildings that was purchased so I could work as a “healer” and have people to stay and benefit from the natural beauty of the valley. There have been serious delays in this but I am well known locally as a “hands on healer”. Previous to this I sold my life for large amounts of money as a business systems and information analyst and a senior projects manager. The simpler my life has become the happier I am so I would like to help others to find the way.

Wood Troll lives with me and has consolidated the wood side of things. He brought here books by Mike Abbott and Ben Law which made me very determined to complete my work of establishing a wood. Thanks to Wood Troll the dreams are more realizable. I am also the proud mum of my son who is training to be an Architect in the UK.


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Post by Compostwoman on 17th March 2010, 9:13 pm

That is very interesting and informative Zoe..

I have found Ben Laws and Mike Abbotts books very valuable as well, also The Green Woodworking Bible (Tabor) is very good?

I am trying to persuade CM that goats and pigs are a Good Thing..but he wants to keep them as pets whereas I ..don't. ( not a vegetarian here!) Also want a horse for logging etc as I am skilled with them...but again am struggling against the tide there..... pets vs working animals ....

Good to know a bit more about you, anyway


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Post by Guest on 3rd August 2010, 10:25 am

HI Zoe,
Wow, what a lovely place! I can sympathise about the selling your life for tons of dough . I'm a shaman so we have some common ground perhaps there, and I used to teach healing for the NFSH back in the 80s and 90s.

With rheumatoid everywhere, and gradually becoming bionic as they give me more replacement bits, I can no longer ride or work with horses but I do love them. When I had horses they were both co-workers with me and delightful friends ... I've never been comfortable with the concept of "pets" !!! Our cats are co-workers in that they help with rats and mice and rabbits in the garden but also dear friends without whom I wouldn't want to be.

good to know you.


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