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The Couderc family 
   

Situated 12km south of Bergerac, the 37-hectare, mixed crop and animal farm has been cultivated organically since its establishment in 1980. We have never used chemical fertilizer or pesticides on our land. We compost with our animal’s manure and practice crop rotation. Added to this, some crops are fed natural fertilizer (ground rock, natural phosphates, Patenkali) and some vegetables sprayed with natural pesticides (pyrethum, rotenone). We irrigate with our own 10 000m3 lake and use the water supplied by a communal spring for watering the garden.

     
   

We produce the following crops :
• Cereals :
• wheat for bread
• mixed cereal fodder (barley, oats, peas)
• maize as fodder
Excepting catastrophic seasons, cereal is never purchased from outside the farm.
Straw from the farm provides bedding for the animals.

• Natural fields : farmed alternately (reaping / pasture) to control parasites. The presence of wild boar on the farm prevents the practice of surface composting which lowers yields.

     
 

• Artificial fields (lucerne, clover and other legiminosae) : included in the crop rotation, these legiminous plants provide protein-rich fodder. They are also extremely useful in the organic control of « weeds ».

• Vegetable garden : the vegetable plot changes places every 3 to 4 years to prevent it grassing over. We mainly grow outdoor, seasonal vegetables for the market.

• Orchard : the trees are planted in rows spaced 15m to 20m apart with crops grown in between. The apple trees thus receive more sunshine and produce more flavoursome fruit.

• Several rows of vines for fruit juice.

• Animals : all our animals are fed exclusively with our own farm produce.
• 30 cows of varied races and one bull stabled in loose housing. The calves are stabled with their mothers (as this is a natural method of preventing diarrhoea) in complete liberty but do not graze in the field as « grazers » produce less tender meat than those whose remain indoors.
None of our animals is ever treated with anti-parasitical chemicals (even those allowed in organic farming).
• 20 or so pigs are raised on the farm. They are fed with our own organic cereals, leftover vegetables (raw and cooked) and lucerne. They live in an airy, sunny (open to the east) stable rather than outside to prevent parasites and spoiling the earth structure.
All our animals are cared for with homeopathy or phytotherapy - antibiotics are exceptionally rarely used on our farm.