Building a sustainable, environmentally responsible place to live.
La Taillede is an ancient farm, dating back to the 16th Century although the site has certainly been inhabited for much longer than that. It sits on the shoulder of Mt Canigou (2785m), the first major peak in the Pyrenees and with the Mediterranean visible in the distance it sits between the two different climates.
Being on this climatic boundary brings a huge number of sunny days, coupled with plenty of rain, even during the summer - an ideal climate for growing plants. For hundreds of years and many generations the farm has supported people and animals in an almost completely sustainable way. For most of that time the people here produced everything they needed to live and raise animals (with the exception of salt).
In recent generations this has changed and the farm here and indeed most of the valley has ceased to be farmed, either becoming houses or simply falling into disrepair and ruin. Indeed before the last 2 owners before us took on La Taillede it was almost a ruin, the roof rotten and falling in, open to the elements. Presumably due to the advent of intensive farming the land here became uneconomic to farm. The land which was once used for growing fruit and grazing animals has slipped back to wild forest. The buildings were abandoned and Nature set about (quickly) taking them back.
With the growing awareness of all the Global environmental problems that now face us all we saw this place as the perfect place to come and live and to try and rediscover some of the old systems and ways of life. Coupling these with modern ideas of Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture and with access to modern tools and equipment we hope to turn this place into a healthy, sustainable place to live, not just for Humans but for everything else that inhabits this ecosystem.
As we rebuild La Taillede we are trying to keep the character of the farm intact. It has changed slowly over the hundreds of years there have been people and animals living here. Nearly all of the buildings and terraces here would have been built entirely by hand, long before the arrival of fossil fueled machines and hydraulics. We have had the benefit of this incredible power of fossil fuels to help us, but we aim to create systems that need little or no ongoing regular input of this sort of energy.
We have renovated the buildings here to provide accommodation not just to bring in an income, but to share and hopefully learn alongside the people that come to stay. So often now children grow up in urban environments completely isolated from nature. Children and adults alike have become disconnected, losing the knowledge of where food, especially meat comes from and the result is that we have come to treat animals and the environment as something to be exploited, not cared for.
So here we go! This part of the website is dedicated to sharing updates and what we learn about Sustainability and re-learning the old natural techniques.