Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Royal Farm

As you know, I like to travel to Rambouillet from time to time and explore.

The Bergerie Nationale was established by Louis XVI in 1784. He imported a herd of Spanish merinos whose genetics have been preserved. There are currently 3 races of sheep, milk cows and meat cows, donkeys and horses, pigs, goats, chickens and pheasants, rabbits.

Earlier this week I walked around the complex, exploring for interesting things. I found a large potager and a retired man who was probably close to 80 working in the very dry soil. He had a wonderful knowledge of the place and I enjoyed my brief conversation with him. I don't imagine he'd meet many New Zealanders at the Bergerie. The potager is full of flowers and vegetables and fruit tree cuttings as you can see from the photos.

School children visit the farm regularly and get to sample the produce and work there too. Open days for the public see displays of sheep-herding and animal husbandry. Also on site are lectures for students on forestry and artificial insemination amongst other stuff including sustainable agriculture.

There's a pond sort of lake enjoyed by ducks and geese and there's something(s)else living in it which can stay underwater much longer than any air-breathing creature could. It splashes and makes a big ripple. I think there are two of them. I suspect little Loch Nessies may be resident but no matter how long I waited for them to perform they only did so out the corner of my eye. I'm convinced they are there.

The breeze, the smells of compost and animal manure, the sounds, the colours, the peacefulness and the ancient history; that's an intoxicating mix.

Photos show the environs, you can see my big building in the distance from the potager, the kind old man, animals, the complex.

Below are some videos relating to the Bergerie


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