Pratale organic farm

Staying with us on the farm

The vegetable gardens

There are four vegetable gardens, many fruit trees, over a hundred olive trees and a vineyard.

The gardens are constantly rotated and we have four plantings: April for summer vegetables, August for winter vegetables, November for onions/garlic/broad beans/peas and salad and March for potatoes.

There are several acres of woodland (mostly Common Oak and Turkey Oak, Ash, Hornbeam, Sycamore) and we try to take care of it.  We use a woodstove for heating and cooking in the winter and an outside woodstove for summer cooking and we try to use wood from field clearing and prunings as far as possible.

We would like to end up with pastures that are dotted with trees so as to avoid erosion on these slopes and to make shade for the animals, enrich the soil with leaf-fall and provide acorns, berries and leaves for animal food.

This is a long, slow process of selectively clearing pastures and encouraging growth and after many years, the results are beginning to show.  The pioneers in the fields are blackberry, Spanish broom, sloe, dog-rose, dogwood and juniper which precede wild cherry, plum, field maple, oak, sycamore and ash.

We do without some things: car, tractor, TV, washing machine, gas stove, fridge in winter, etc. It takes longer to walk,  make our own entertainment and do things by hand but we feel less dependent like this.  Of course this is done out of passionate conviction and a desire not to use the world’s resources more than is absolutely necessary,  but we try not to be fanatic! We have a small three-wheeler Ape truck, chainsaw, computer, radio.