“Dave & Mark write “Coppice Agroforestry”

this is a fragment of a post from the project update of   “Dave & Mark write “Coppice Agroforestry” follow their adventure as they collect the information for this legendary book!

Mark’s next reflection…

I awoke on Friday morning in a comfortable, unfamiliar bed. My British, turned-French host Brandon called up to me to let me know coffee was ready.. He sure knew how to get me up.

I headed downstairs and found him at the kitchen table. We sat and talked for an hour or so, Brandon filling me in about his experiences connecting with the locals in the village as we saw several of them pass by, enjoying a quite morning in the hills. He told me about one elderly man who would head out to the fields each day to cut grass with his scythe to bring back to his animals. As we were chatting another man who must’ve been in his 80s headed out towards one of his fields with 2 chestnut fenceposts in hand to place somewhere around the perimeter of his field.

This reminds me of an important property-ownership point I’ve yet to make. Early on in my conversation with Michael, I learned that property ownership in France grew exceedingly complex as a result of a decree by none other than Napoleon back in the day. This legislation required that property be split evenly amongst each descendant so that what was once a relatively large inheritance and contiguous property has now become a network of disconnected fragments with little relation to the whole of which they were once a part. Thus the 10 or more (I can’t recall how much specifically) hectares (2.6 acres to a hectare) that Michael owns are spread out over a vast, disconnected land base that features a range of shapes and sizes. The whole thing is so complicated that in many cases, people aren’t even aware of parcels they might own and so they lie as derelict fragments within a severed whole…

As we finished our wholesome porridge breakfast, Michael and Tom arrived for our first outing of the day. The previous night Brandon told us about ‘le gran chene’ – the big oak. It’s a massive ancient oak tree that was only a 10 minute or so drive from Bossabut. Being the tree lovers we are, we set off to check it out. On the way, I had a chance to see some of the architecture of Brandon’s village that was hard to make out the night before. The barn on his property features some amazing old timber frame joinery with some impressive rough hewn beams, and we passed another building in the village with stunning vaulted stone basements (exposed on the downhill side).

Link – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coppiceagroforestry/dave-and-mark-write-a-coppice-agroforestry-book/posts/57013?ref=email&show_token=3690aa892dcb1954


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