A Farm in France

Good morning everyone. The weather is gorgeous here in California.  Today we go to France!  To see Jean who blogs at Brat Like Me.  Have a lovely, lovely day, love celi.
Hello! I am Jean. Above is my youngest daughter who is, to my mother’s glee, a lot like me. I’ve been following the Farmy for awhile now. Beautiful photos and good times. We run a grass-fed beef farm in France. On our farm we call Miss C “che-chelia” like my favorite Opera singer Cecilia Bartoli. I don’t think she knows this.jeans-cows
The herd is moved each day sometimes three times a day. They eat alfalfa and pasture. In the winter we feed them hay with the grass. Grass-fed and grass finished. We sell direct to customers in France.jeans-cows1
My husband has a farming background. Me? I grew up on the beaches of Southern California. I think I saw my first cow while pregnant with my fourth child searching for a farm to farm in France at age 39.
jeans kids
We have four crazy kids ( optimistically crazy ). Okay spirited. People ask us, “so, are you going away for the holidays?” To which I respond, “ no, I can’t get to the end of my driveway without someone screaming or crapping their pants.” … So no, we don’t go away for the holidays. We stay on the farm and get bored and then invent something to do.
We have three crazy Golden Retrievers.  Look at them.  Antsy.  Energetic.  Ready to roll … by the fire.  Bug the Siamese cat sits under the fire for the winter months.  When he dies, we shall have him stuffed and place him under the woodburner.  No one will know that he has passed.
When I help Brent with the cows, I take photos.  I help when needed, but he handles the herd all by his ownsome.  Great thing those herding animals.  Brent can move ninety cows before I can get four children out the door to school.  True story.
jeans beautiful self
Lumi is on steak patrol.  When a steak is up for tasting, he is there to support you.  We taste everything that goes off this farm.  If it isn’t to our standards.  We don’t sell it.
The herd is used to the routine.  When Brent arrives, good things happen.  He has a big fan club.
Friends come and help.  Then we get lost in the sunset talking about cows and pasture and life in general.
We also raise chickens.  We have often lost our favorite chook only to find her a few weeks later with peepy peeps under her wings.jeans-chicks
We enjoy raising beef in Southwest France.  The country supports farmers like us. And our children have no idea how great they have it.jeans-lucky-kid
Love Jean.


84 Comments on “A Farm in France

  1. Beautiful! What kind of beef critters are they and what geographic area of France do you live in? It’s just gorgeous. Your kids are definitely lucky!

    • Hi! We have a herd of Salers. Great mother cows. They pop them babies out. Full of milk. They are outside all year. Our farm is in the Gers. Sunny, warm with short winters. Very friendly.

  2. This idea of Miss C to have guest writers is getting more exciting as the days pass. That, Jean, was great. It was humorous and serious and made me smile and laugh. What a wonderful family you have, all those animals, and dogs, and cat, and children..what more could any woman want(apart from a holiday)Thank you so much for taking the time out of your extremely busy day to write and to photograph your life in France

    • ah. It seems it never ends. I do sleep sometimes :). A little local red wine helps 😉

  3. Hi I’m just catching up with the posts. Gerlinde your post yesterday, lovely what a great farm in Germany, I want to go there, and today wow, Jean your farm is something dreams are made of, fantastic I want to go there too! X

    • It’s a work in progress. Though, we’ve just made the decision to start farmstays. We have a three bedroom villa in the middle of the farm surrounded by pasture. First time I’ve said that out loud. So if you’re ever in France … 🙂

  4. Good morning Celi in the sun and thank you Jean for the tour of France today. Great looking cows and what delightful children.

  5. Sounds like you know exactly how great you have it. Thanks for a very enjoyable post!!

  6. What a delightful farm. One can always rely on the French to provide the best possible food. We’ve enjoyed some wonderful gastronomic experiences in France in the past.
    P.S. Love the cat under the stove!

    • We brought that cat from America to France. Those Siamese keep going ang going and going. His Siamese “meow” arrived five years ago. He has one neuron, but very cute and cuddly.

  7. Hi there Jean. Thank you so much for your post; it’s wonderful to catch a glimpse into your life…and now I’d love to know more about you and your farm. I’m with every one else. Great post, do you have a blog? If not, can you write one for us? LOL 😀 Have a glorious week.

  8. HI Jean, I pop over to “Brat” often and love reading about your adventures. I have been meaning to ask why only 3 Goldens and not 4? ;0 After todays description I can see why your trips to Bordeaux are your holiday. Laura

    • ah. thanks for reading! Lumi, our “himbo” golden, is a stud. Handsome, gentleman, dim. I’m waiting for his offspring for the fourth. That should keep us one shy of “crazy dog people.”

  9. What an amazing gift you are giving to your children, to be raised on a farm in such a lovely place. Thank you for hosting today’s post.

  10. Such a lovely post Jean… You were gifted with the correct name to live in France!!!

    Your stove looks to have a 3 billy goats theme, I love it!!!! Thank you for the view into your life!

    • I can’t tell you how confused people are with me and my name Jean. “Jean comme les jeans,” I say. “OH! I thought Jean was your husband!” In French “les jeans” are “jeans” and “Jean” is a man … most likely a neighbor ( or two ).

  11. What a beautiful family you have! I love how each of the pups sleeps in his own bed. Great shot of the kids – they look like great fun! Thanks for sharing!

    • Poele. aaah. Poele to me says ” It’s cold in France today. So f-it. I shall snuggle and read a book by the poele. ” Super snuggy those woodburning stoves!

  12. Hi Jean, from the photos and descriptions, it looks as if you live in the same part of the world as my sister in Eymet, Lot et Garonne. Such a very beautiful country, France, and as you say, extremely accommodating to food producers of all kinds… They have their priorities right!

    • We are in the Gers. No trains. One stop light and everything closes from 12 -2pm like clockwork. I stopped at that stoplight with my kids in the car and they said, “wow! look at all the traffic!” … there were three cars, my car included.

  13. What a splendid life and family. Beautiful children. Some day they will appreciate the place and way in which they were raised. I bet they already do in their own subtle ways.

  14. Thank you, Jean, for such a fun post. Your children have the best life and they will realise it one day. Our cows also follow my husband and his tractor, as they know he will have something to eat. Your goldens are gorgeous but naturally we are biased. One can never have too many golden retrievers I always say. Joy

    • Love it! Cows, they want to eat grass. They are well behaved if you keep giving them great food.

  15. Beautiful chaos with the children and the dogs and the cat and the cows. I too love that stove! A work of art in and of itself. Thank you for sharing with us. You have a great wit and I’m sure you need it! Ahh, the South of France. Sounds like heaven.

    • The stove is called “Fremont.” We used to live in Seattle, WA. In the village of Fremont there is a bridge ( the Aurora Bridge ) that has a giant statue of a troll under, quite impressive. I was pretty amazed by the stove as well when we bought it … and it was cheap! Fremont heats the room well.

  16. What a candid and honest post, Jean! I love your photos and narration of daily life. You have your hands full in a delightful way. I wish American’s were more “grass-fed” minded with livestock farming. Your cows, kids, dogs, cat, and chicks look so happy. Simple life is good, eh? Have a lovely day Jean. 🙂 Thanks for entertaining us!

    • Thank you! It’s nice to be reminded that my hands are full. I forget about that. Wait! There is so much going on, it’s good to stop and think, “wait, there’s a whole lot going on.” I totally lose sight of this.

  17. I love your farm and your family and your kitty ad golden retrievers! The shot of all the sleeping beauties by the warmth of the stove is priceless.We used to have two Goldens and yes, you can never have too many.

  18. Thank you Jean, darling girl! I for one would Love to come and rent your villa in the middle of a field! Just give me a year or two, you never know! Lots of love.. c

    • Thanks for letting me share! Just helped Brent pull a bucket off one of our calves. Silly calf. They can get into so much mischief sometimes. It’s been fun commenting on comments. Hope the farmy is well!

    • Oh me too! I haven’t been to France in years – worked there for a while and loved every minute. And oh the food – real good coffee, pastries, fresh bread every day and don’t get me started on the cheeses! You have a lovely farm and a beautiful family Jean!

  19. I laughed out loud at your comment regarding holidays. We raised 6 children. I can relate. Loved a peek at your farm. Thank you for posting : )

  20. I laughed out loud at your very first sentence–your mother’s glee at your having as bratty a kid as you were. What goes around comes around, hey? Thank you so much for this fun experience. You indeed have such wit and humor about you!

  21. I’m on a tour or Europe! Holy Cow! I made those potato pancakes yesterday. The slow food way. Actually I think they were more French because being a great fan of Julia Child the method was more of an attention to oxidation and fermentation the French way. The trick to additional flavor was the balance of onions and pepper. The potatoes were processed on liquefy( blender, with no scratched knuckles like granmma had), as were the onions. The moisture driven with gravity through a fine strainer and the starch reserved to be added to a “batter” and not a patty. A good hot iron skillet too. Some fine sausages with horseradish and sour cream. We are home y’all. Tak for Fransk and Deutchland so far. From an American missing Europe very much.

  22. Wow! How incredibly beautiful. You guys are blessed! We spend summers in Burgundy…I was hoping your farm was closer so that we could come visit you, but alas, you are at the other corner. Your photos are beautiful. You and your hubby are both good with your “herds” and all your herds are beautiful. Take care and thanks for blogging to us today.

  23. Ahh, this was delightful and I too have popped over to your blog now and then after finding you on Chee Chelia’s blog and Trapper Creek awhile back! I love your beautiful, crazy, wonderful, life filled life you have! Your kids will have these joyful memories all their lives!
    We are also from the Seattle area, (Gig Harbor), so loved the photo of you and your hubby with his SeaHawks beanie! 🙂

  24. Awe! The cover photo & the beautiful end photo! Thanks for taking me to France this morning. It is lovely to travel when I can’t even possibly leave my icy driveway today!

  25. What a nice sunny post! Those are lucky kids ( and dogs/cat) with such lovely smiles – can almost hear the laughter. I love iron stoves. Nice cattle – it’s rodeo/livestock show here shortly, seeing all the breeds is great fun. Nothing’s funnier than seeing a sleepy heard of cattle suddenly wake up and rush towards a pickup arriving in their pasture.
    Enjoyed visiting your farmy!

  26. Pingback: Guest Post For The Farmy – Brat Like Me

  27. I just watched a show on the French channel about Salers cows and that the cheese from their milk is extraordinary! Lovely blog, gret writing and photos. I read a few entries (no time to read all of them right now). The thing about Seattle having one dry month-July-and Fluevog not making rain boots had me laughing out loud. So true! As are the antics of your goldens, our standard poodle behaves the same way.

  28. As usual, I’m among the very last to read today’s post, due to living in Australia and not being a night owl! What an ideal life, though not easy at times, I’m sure. Good for you chasing your dream. One day, your children will know how lucky they were. Thank you, lovely photos!

  29. Hi Jean. Loved your guest post but I got sidetracked… for quite a while… clicking over to your blog. And felt quite at home with a few Aussie influences… gumboots, lamingtons, and your sense of humour definitely qualifies. Great to meet you 🙂 EllaDee

    • yeah. I’ve always loved Australia. We have family there. Aussie humor is near and dear to my heart!

  30. Hi Jean
    What beautiful children you have and what a wonderful life you offer them. I love your farm and the work you and your husband put into it. One day I hope that someone like you and your husband will continue with our farm.

  31. Four beautiful bilingual children, three dogs I would love to pinch and those handsome cows enjoying that rich grass in a part of France I have not yet visited . . . thank you for giving us a brief glance! Regards also from Australia [obviously I get up last 🙂 !]

  32. What a beautiful, lush farm, and a luscious life! Enjoy your humour, the dogs, the children.

  33. Such a fun post!!! Real life on the farm, that’s for sure! I’d love to know how you and your hubby met and how he whisked you off to France! Is the story on your blog? xo

    • Funny. I can write that up. I think I whisked him to France. England, New Zealand and Australia were on our list. With kids this young, we took advantage of the ability to learn a new language. Their French is MUCH BETTER than mine, fer sure.

    • ah thanks. i have a lot of opportunities with images. There is so much to photograph!

  34. I love cow drool! My roommate from college and husband were going through a difficult time many years ago. They packed up their five kids, rented a villa in France and spent the next year there. They went from San Diego beaches to France and loved it. What a wonderful post today. Hopefully, your children will know someday what a wonderful life you have chosen for them.

    • What crazy people! Who would pack up five kids and move to France!? Insane!

  35. Beautiful – we mus drive close to where you farm several times a year as we go to and from Spain. Lovely post, thank you for sharing your story and stunning photos!

  36. This is terrific! Thank you so much. Happy cattle.
    I have a question. I grew up on a dairy farm in British Columbia. We grew alfafa but we Never Grazed the Cows on it. It was bailed. The Only time the cows were put on the alfafa was after a killing frost in the fall. The reason was bloat. My foggy understanding is that the cows will bloat if the alfalfa is actively growing. I have seen cows suffocated because of bloat.
    I notice that the alfalfa is high and starting to bloom. Has the alfalfa stopped growing, or is it not alfafa, or …..

    • My husband, Brent, could go on and on and on and on about grass and alfalfa. We graze alfalfa often. We know that bloat is the risk. After four years, we’ve never had an issue. Brent has the herd graze alfalfa when conditions are right. Which in our area, is often. He writes about grass and pasture on http://grasspunk.com . He should have a post up there on this. If not, I’ll get him to write one. We do a lot of trial with the herd. In search of the perfect steak, grass-fed is an important input. Our alfalfa has been very successful. He should chuck some more data out there on the interwebs for others who are interested.

  37. You have a beautiful family and farm. Golden Retrievers are my favorite dogs. Nice to meet you.

    • I never thought of myself as a Golden Retriever type, but thankfully they arrested me. Such funny, silly, loving dogs. Love them. Ug.

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