Sunday, September 28, 2014


Those of you who like to do a little farming "over t'fence" while travelling may be interested in the nature of the countryside we cycled through, which was deeply rural. 

The route notes promised strings of pretty villages, which there certainly were, though these would have looked even prettier with a functioning bar, cafe, or shop.  Churches with these curious tiled domes were very prominent.

High pastures, divided only by electric fences, feed the small herds of Montbelliard cattle whose milk goes into the Comte cheese.  Each cow needs one hectare of land, and a day's milk from twenty of these cows is needed to produce one wheel of the cheese.  Groups of farmers supply their milk to the fruitiere or creamery in the larger villages.  Pastureland is meadow grass with a wide diversity of flowers within it.  This is much prized in enhancing the flavour of the cheese. Average herd size is only forty cows.

A second major product of the area, especially over in the Jura, is wine.  Huge areas are laid down as vineyards.

However, the product we saw most of was firewood, stacked outside, stacked in special buidings, being delivered by tractor...  From the many, many areas of woodland where wild hunting is clearly very important.  We did not see any deer, but they are out there.

Many of the villages still had their ancient lavoirs, where once the women would have done their washing alongside their neighbours.  Public weighbridges were also much in evidence as historic features, along with the occasional old plough or farm-cart.

Note the ubiquitous brown and white cow!

However, prize for creepiest product must go to this enterprise.  What do you think was, being reared for the retail and restaurant trade on these curious frames?



Valerie said...

My guess is they are snails!

It must have been a lovely trip.

Mary Lou said...

More armchair travelling 0 such fun and I don't get sweaty!