Olga Booker

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since Aug 17, 2015
Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
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Recent posts by Olga Booker

Hi Skandi,

You can find some in the UK at the Real Seed Company: http://www.realseeds.co.uk/unusualtubers.html or in France at La Ferme de Ste Marthe: https://www.fermedesaintemarthe.com/A-10693-poire-de-terre-ab.aspx

There are other places but my dealings with these two companies are excellent.
Good luck.
Hi Bethan,

Nice to have some  Permies in France, welcome.  I love what you are doing with your land, it reminds me of my early childhood in the 50's in the South of France.  My great uncle's farm was very much as you describe.  Well, it wasn't a very big farm, he never had more than 6 cows at any one time, 4 pigs, some chickens, ducks, guinea fowls, pigeon and rabbits - totally self-sufficient except for salt, coffee and oil. He even made his own wine, I imagine in Brittany it would have been cider.  Of course, I forget his beloved horse who was the best worker on the farm!   There was no bathroom, water from the well and cooking was hanging pots in the fireplace.  As you said, everything was done by hand and being organic was not an issue, it was just the way it was.  I know what you mean about working by hand being slow but quite enjoyable.

I hope your little homestead will thrive with your new ideas, keep us posted . Nice photos by the way.
1 year ago
Hi David,

Did you mean Lapacho (Handroanthus impetiginosus) sometimes also called Pau d'arco?  I have used it, I drank it as a tea from time to time as I happened to like its taste.  I don't think I derived any benefits from it as I wasn't taking it for that purpose but It is supposed to have many properties including cancer healing properties.
1 year ago
Everyone has given a lot of advice about using all the different bits in a chicken so I won't repeat what is already good advice, but there is something that we used to do in the South West of France when I was a kid, and I am still doing it now: it's using the blood.  Before I kill a chicken, I prepare in a bowl a mixture of the soft inside of a crusty bread (crumbled), garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.  I then stir in the chicken blood and fry the resulting mix like a pancake until crispy - delicious, hot off the pan!  The amount of bread depends on the amount of blood, you need to have the bread well soaked before cooking it, you can add a small drop of vinegar to somewhat retard the coagulation if you wish.  By the way, it's called "sanquette" in French and every small farmer worth their salt used to do that with maybe some small variation like adding onions, different herbs or small bits of cured ham.  
1 year ago
When the children were young, we lived in a big 3 storey house in the UK, but as a single parent of 4, we were poor as church mice.  Being French, Christmas was celebrated on Christmas Eve but we'd start a few days before that by getting the biggest Christmas tree that we could afford.  We then spent many hours making Christmas decorations: pine cones glued and glittered, baked dough stars and balls painted and ribboned, match boxes wrapped in colourful paper tied with pretty sting, paper chains, all to hang in the tree.

On Christmas Eve's day, the kitchen was a buzz of activity from early on.  Cooking was taking place in a grand scale with all hands on deck and a lot of fun.  I can still remember the feel of excitement in the air mingled with the beautiful smells and the laughter.  By 8.00pm, we would all sit around a large decorated table and enjoy the most traditional of Christmas dinner with all the trimmings - Christmas crackers and party poppers were in abundance.  But as enjoyable as all that, we were all looking forward to the next part of the evening.  After clearing the table, we turned all the lights off in the house except for the Christmas tree lights and started a  game of hide and seek throughout the big darkened house.  You can't imagine the fun we had as over the years the hiding places got more and more elaborate!  This we did until around 11.30 when the little ones were sent to bed as:"Santa won't come if you are still up!!"  Just past midnight, armed with lit candles, we would ever so gently wake them up, to tell them that Santa had been and left some presents.  So we all trooped back downstairs, and opened what was only token presents: a few colouring pencils, a knitted scarf or something from the thrift shop, but it never mattered really because we'd already had so much fun!  We then proceeded to have a midnight feast sitting on the floor by the open fire and then slowly, one by one, we would all fall asleep, all the kid piled up like a bunch of puppies amongst sheepskins and blankets on the floor.  The next day, Christmas Day was just spent lazying about and eating whatever was left over, having visitors and making endless cups of tea.

To this day, even though my eldest son is nearly 50,  he and his siblings talk about it with such fond memories.
Hey John,

For £9.00 you get 90 ft = approx 300 grafts.  You also get to support Martin Crawford and the Agroforestry Research Trust.
1 year ago
When we changed our system from 24v to 230v, we needed a new fridge.  We looked for one with no freezer and the highest economy rating of A+++ .  I don't think the make and model is all that important, they all work pretty much the same.  What we did though, is place it in the outdoor porch so that in the winter when the porch is very cold and we have less electricity, the fridge barely kicks in.
1 year ago
Joe says to Paddy: "Close your curtains the next time you're making love to your wife. The whole street was watching and laughing at you yesterday."

Paddy says: "Well the joke's on them because I wasn't even at home yesterday."
1 year ago
Hi Stephen,

Aquitaine is a fairly big region, maybe you could be more specific.  The weather will be dramatically different if you are to the north in the Dordogne area or to the south in the Atlantic Pyrenees
1 year ago