the lake

if you take a walk around the lake without stopping too often it takes about half an hour. l'etang neuf covers 6 hectares (14ish acres) and is full of fish. There are mirror and common carp, pike, zander, roach, tench, bream and black bass. There is a small cabin on the lakeside and a couple of pontoons from where we fish and launch boats. We are in the process of changing the status of the lake from 'eau libre' to private. It is a process which requires a great deal of time and patience and consideration. We need to create a 'derivation' and change various aspects of the outflow before we will be approved. Watch this space... So for the time being we don't 'own' the fish, but are happy to have them around. When the carp spawn it is quite a sight.

the garden

around our house we have a garden with areas of lawn, flowers, fruit trees, kids climbing frame and vegetable patch. Our vegetable patch is split into two raised beds, one poly tunnel and two smaller beds for asparagus and potatoes and the other for tomatoes this year. Next to them is the fruit cage with strawberies, raspberries, blackcurrants and other bits and bobs. The tunnel proves to be a great growing environment (especially if you remember to water!). There is a willow hedge that splits the two areas of the veg patch that we prune each year to give a denser but lighter effect.

the land

apart from hay and wild cherry tomatoes, we don't produce a huge amount on our land, however, a few years ago we did plant a hectare of hazels and holm oaks. They aren't your average specimins as they have been 'infected' with black truffle. So, you never know in a couple of years we might have some interesting news. It is not easy to produce truffles and although we are right next to the Perigord we don't have the same geology and so have had to work the land to change the pH and the soil structure. It's a waiting game, we'll see.