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  1. The land is in the Gers and predominantly arable - intensively farmed for wheat, maize etc by our neighbour through a contract with the SAFER.  This was the case when we bought it, so no, we didn't buy lots of land without knowing what to do with it - there was a contract with a farmer. Now looking for alternative more environmentally friendly solutions.  Thanks for suggesting the Bio co-operative - will certainly try that, but not sure if there is one, organic farming seems to be finding it hard to get a foothold locally - all chemicals, big machines ... and possibly GM crops (!) .
  2. We own a house (currently uninhabitable) with approx 60 acres of land which is currently being farmed by our neighbour through a contract with the SAFER (to avoid him acquiring rights).  The arrangement comes up for renewal this year and we are looking for alternative, possibly more environmentally friendly, options to the current contract  ... but at a loss as to where to start.  Any suggestions ?  We sadly don't live in France full time and are unlikely to in the forseeable future.
  3. Cathy, This would be a Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum).  Grows best in a hot position on rocky soils. We actually have several growing very well on clay, though only where it gets baked dry by the sun in summer. Hope this helps
  4. We're about to have underfloor heating put into the ground floor of our old stone farmhouse & have been advised by our French plumber & architect to have conventional radiators put into rooms on the first floor. I'd be nervous about top up radiators only - better to go for the full heating solution in one hit rather than have to mess about later.  If fitted with thermostats you can always turn down the individual radiators if you need to.  We are in 32 and recent winters have been freezing so guess that's influenced my thinking.
  5. Thanks for the list - perfect.  Just need to trawl through les Pages Jaunes ... & hopefully find time to sit on the thing when I get it
  6. Jt

    Path Weeds

    How about a flame weeder ?  Saves spreading chemicals around + they work well in tricky areas between slabs/paving etc & will kill seeds near the surface.  Googling 'weeds' & 'flame weeder' should come up with more info.
  7. Jt

    Moss as a mulch

    I've tried moss in the past &, if used dry, it tends to just sit there looking rather unattractive.  I've found a mix of moss & grass clippings works well, but I tend to use it under shrubs & hedges where it's not quite so visible.  Here in the UK taking moss from the wild is discouraged, might even be illegal, for environmental reasons ... but I'm sure you know that & wouldn't be denuding your surroundings too much
  8. Does anyone know where we need to go to buy a comfy sofa in the Gers ? We've been to M. Meuble & Conforama & they're all incredibly uncomfortable and hideous ...  
  9. Jt

    Dog Disease Risks

    Here in 32 our vet told us to use Frontline & tick collars.  The tick collars last 3mths (apparently) - he recommended using them all year round, but starting a new one just before spring & autumn when tick populations are at their highest.  Our dog Elsa, recovered from a bout of tick fever this autumn - fortunately she's normally a very bouncy (& hungry) dog, so the symptoms were obvious immediately, to us and to the vet who said cases were a regular occurence.  I know nothing about the other diseases mentioned though, where's the best place to get info., prior to asking the vet ?
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