Thursday, 29 September 2016

Jus de Raisins

So what do you do if you are driving along a country road in SW France,
and the road does some twists and curls,
and then you see a warning sign saying
'Jus de Raisins' quickly slow down, that is what you do,
  because you don't want to drive into a sludge of grapes (raisins in French) lying on the road,
just waiting for you to do a grand skid on,
which will do neither your nerves or your car any good at all.
The annual wine harvest is underway, and motorists in the wine region of south western France, which is our region, have been urged to take precautions
due to the unusual hazard of spilled grape juice.
We often come across large spillages of maize grains during the maize harvest,
as the over filled trucks take the maize from the fields to the grain silos,
but they do not present a hazard,
but I do know that driving into a spillage of mushed up grapes from an overladen truck going from vineyard to the wine presses of the domaines, does not bode well
because I heard of someone who did actually drive into such a spillage.
She said that it was not an experience  she would never want to have ever again in her life.
And another lovely day today,
and starting to get an idea of what we are going to be doing on the smallholding in the future.
I had a sort of flash of inspiration this morning when I woke up,
which has made us quite enthused about the future here.
We need to earn a living here, but we do not want to be swimming in lots of money,
just enough to pay our way, but we need to be motivated.
Drifting about from day to day is all very well,
but it can become a habit if it goes on for too long,
so the inspiration I had this morning has quite woken us up to new possibilities,
.... a sort of feeling that pieces of a jigsaw were falling into place.
Simply put, the inspiration I had was to open a 'Produits de la Ferme',
or 'Farm Shop' here.
Feeling excited, but dazed at the same time because there is a lot to do,
I am going to have a little nap to recuperate!
Bye for now,


Cottontailfarm said...

Oh, Vera thanks for sharing this! What fun that sign is, it makes me want to visit. Do these spills happen often?? What are you thinking of selling?

Vera said...

COTTONTAIL FARM, The vineyards are always planted on rolling, hilly countryside, which then have winding rolling lanes, so I would think that the spills are reasonably frequent! As for the farm shop, we would start off small, selling veg that we grow for ourselves anyway, then we would see how we go. Looking forward to this new project though!

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, I suppose your hubby could always use his computer skills to help business in the area that need help. Just a thought. A lot of farmers around here sell chickens (dressed) to make money or sell eggs as well. I just depends on how hard you wish to work. Good luck on which ever venture you wish to do.

Janice said...

I have wondered for a long time why you don't sell stuff 'at the gate' as they say. You make so many wonderful things-especially your jams-and surplus produce, I hope you do very well. Will you think about getting chickens again so you can sell eggs?

Cro Magnon said...

The only Farm Shops around here (if one can call them that) sell either Honey or Foie Gras. I think you might start a trend. The pukka Farm Shop as we know it, is yet to take off. I think you'll do well.

Denise said...

Simply perfect idea!

Vera said...

HORST, lovely to hear from you and hope you are doing well. I am working on a web site to support what we do here, plus I do Facebook, and of course email. I can also have leaflets and business cards printed out, which should help. We shall concentrate on vegetables and eggs to begin with because we are already licensed to sell them, but are exploring being able to sell dressed rabbits and chickens, and our milk products. A lot of work, we know, but worthwhile!

JANICE, yes, chickens will be here again early next year. As for 'selling at the gate', it was only yesterday that the idea fell into place that we could do that, previous to that there was always reasons why it was a good idea NOT to do that! I think the Universe must have decided that we needed a push so did just that yesterday!

CRO MAGNON, bless you for your encouragement, and thank you.

DENISE, It was amazing how things have suddenly tumbled into place! Lots of work to do, of course, but it will not feel like work because this is something that we both want to do!

DUTA said...

You must sell products for profit, otherwise your small farm turns into a big headache. Work on a farm is too hard and demanding to be only a hobby or a sef-sufficiency means.
Good Luck with the shop project!

northsider said...

Great idea for a shop Vera. I would also sell second hand items (car boot sales stuff) or perhaps you could hold a car boot sale/ market/ yard sale? Charge the other car booters ten Euros a pitch?

Any more news on the B&B idea? Could you not make a building into a self catering annexe for another income? That's what we want to do when we move to Portugal?

Vera said...

DUTA, we have never regarded our farm as a 'hobby farm', but as a wonderful way of life that pays us back in so many ways, and when you enjoy what you are doing, then it never feels like 'work' as in 'going to work for somebody else'. Sure, there are days when everything gets a bit too much, but then there are plenty of them when you are having to work for an employer. We feel very blessed that we are able to make a living doing what we love to do.

NORTHSIDER DAVE, I don't think the French authorities would let us hold car boot sales here, but a good idea nonetheless. As for the B & B idea, we have a room which is nearly ready, so are going to continue on with that. We shall probably need the income to help in the early days of the farm shop. You mentioned another good idea about the self catering annexe, or 'gite' as it is called here, and we do have the tall barn where the cows is a tall building, and we could easily put an upper floor in which we could convert into accommodation, but that is not budgeted for at the moment. We could also put en suite bedrooms upstairs in the house, but again, that is not budgeted for. In other words, we don't have the money for that! All in all, it makes sense to put a large shed/ shop out front, and then to offer to the public the produce that we grow, and make, for ourselves, and see where that leads! We are particularly interested in growing micro greens over the cooler months of the year, as this is something which commercial growers can't grow. Interesting times ahead for us both..... hope Portugal becomes a reality for you soon.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Well gosh it seems like they would just put less in the trucks? That way they wouldn't lose food on the road or cause bad driving conditions?

Vera said...

LISA, they probably don't mean to fill the trucks up so they spill their contents, but the roads are twisty and hilly, so probably the grapes just slide about!

Rhodesia said...

Left a comment here before, wonder what happened to it!!! Diane

Vera said...

DIANE.....a Google glitch? Thanks for the comment, even if it never arrived!

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