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Hitting The One Key Just Slightly Harder

There’s no denying we are already so sumptuously endowed with natural beauty at Les Pierres that buying into an even larger portion of this earthly preciousness could easily be defamed as overemphasizing our luck, especially knowing that even though a deal has been made and our signatures have been placed, the Société d’aménagement foncier et d’établissement rural a.k.a. SAFER could still throw a spanner in the works, as this government agency has the right of first purchase on most rural assets that come onto the market in France. They hardly ever do exercise their prerogative, but are nevertheless given a contemplation time of at least two months by default and we all have to respect them never going to answer anyway by waiting patiently. Having said that, this must be but the smallest price we’re paying for being able to add this ancient maisonette de vigne to our property portfolio, as if we knew we had one.

I have always felt rather content with the fact that we chose tiny to be our shared catchword, abrasive for giants like us, I know, and not at all designed as punishment for previous splurging but as mandatory moderation opposing my tendency of enduringly dreaming too big for the shoes I walk in. Buying not just another stone house but a sizable plot of land around it as well, might take some adjustments on my part, but there’s a timeline for everything. 

For now, I’m fully on board with the objective of Ivory finally getting his own enchanted, secluded workspace while we lease the land out to a local farmer, if only for collecting hay without using any pesticides. Soon however, I will no doubt be revisiting my fantasy of housing the small herd of goats I have always envisioned to eventually make the transformation from common cheesemaker to ‘affineur fromager’, although honestly, I would want them closer to home, in the little field next to our cottage, unfortunately owned by our neighbor, who will probably never sell it to us anyway since we tumultuously collided over their woesome wall.

“Maybe I could plant our own saffron field there,” I cautiously started our daily lunch conversation.
In answer Ivory sighed, but I was only getting started and ignored his silence.
“Or plant some root vegetables that don’t need much watering. How about an ark? That’s an Act of Restorative Kindness, when you give half of the land you own back to nature.”
“I know. You told me.”
“And maybe we can also buy that small vineyard next door. I do realize it’s a lot of work and it doesn’t have to be now, but…”
“I think it’s perfect as it is. That’s what I think.”
Debunked, I mumbled something in agreement, at the same time steering into safer waters: “Tomorrow, the material for the new chicken coop will be delivered. I can’t wait to start building.” 

Previous lunches have already been highjacked by me, babbling on and on about the local poultry breed Poule Noir du Berry, and how these three (Ivory), no four (me) chickens will eventually push us a little further towards sustainability, sidetracking his concerns that adding farm animals into the mix will limit our opportunities to travel.

Weirdly enough, our decision to buy an extra property, way before Les Pierres has reached its limits, has strengthened me in thinking that dreaming big is like playing the piano, hitting the one key just slightly harder than the other and the luck I will never be able to overemphasize is secured in the fact that we are playing it à quatre mains.

Trying to make ones life sustainable is more than a personal choice and almost automatically leads to a multitude of decisions you have never even thought of before. On this website we share what works for us, or woefully no longer works, obviously without claiming the same for you.

We hope that our journey towards a supplementary comprehensive celebration of nature’s beauty might just clear a pathway forward for you too, perhaps challenges a revealing reconsideration, or simply provides for an equally indispensable diversion.

Can we change the world through food? We believe we can and we support Slow Food, a global movement of local communities and activists across more than 160 countries. Together we defend cultural and biological diversity, promote food education and the transfer of traditional knowledge and skills.