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La Ferme du Chou Béni is our humble contribution to the possibility of human flourishing here in the traditional rural landscape of the Dordogne, in South-West France.

We know that agrarian abundance is possible here, as Phillip Oylers wonderful accounts of living and travelling in the Dordogne through the 30s, 40s, and 50s so eloquently shows

We know that this agrarian abundance was based around a peasantry which was secure in its land tenure and dedicated to production for home consumption first, followed by local and regional consumption. Export further afield was minimal.

The home and rural economy was based around production of high quality fats and protien through dairy cows (butter), pigs (lard, bacon, sweetmeats), geese and ducks (fat, liver, meat) and walnuts. Grapes and grain production were also crucial to the farm economy and peasant diet, providing reliable calories throughout the year in the form of bread and wine.

La Ferme du Chou Béni is a contemporary interpretation of the collaborative abundance which the Dordogne once knew not so long ago. We take as our starting point the basic pattern of peasant farms briefly touched on above.

Using a regenerative approach to production, with an emphasis on agroforestry techniques, and small scale low impact technologies to both assist natural systems in the process of regeneration, build and maintain the farm buildings and other infrastrucutre and process the production of these systems into high value products.

Most importantly, we are having alot of fun co-creating an ever more beautiful place to work and live, while producing delicious food for us, our friends and our community and regenerating our land. We love sharing this collaborative abundance; our fields, barns and table are nothing if not places of conviviality, joy and life.

‘How blessed, blessed and four times blessed are these men who plant cabbages in the solid earth. Why, o fates, did you not spin me a cabbage planters lot? Few and signally blessed are those whom Jupiter has destined to be cabbage planters. For they’ve always one foot on the ground and the other not far from it. Anyone is welcome to argue about felicity and supreme happiness. But the man who plants cabbages I now positively declare to be the happiest of mortals’

Rabelias: Gargantua and Pantagruel