In the first years, we have worked hard to become as self sufficient as possible when it comes to our food consumption. Also, we have created accommodations for volunteers and interns to stay with us. To give you an idea of the essential tasks that need to be executed in the upcoming period, a description per theme follows:
On La Resse, we are dependent on spring water. In order for everyone to be able to make use of it, a larger water reservoir needs to be built closer to the house. Besides that, a reed filter will be put into place that will serve as a water purification system.
Living from the forest
Apart from the naturally preserved forest parcels, some plots need to be slightly managed In order to sustainably generate a valuable harvest. This is done by planting, trimming and pruning, and the final logging of certain trees, as well as removing broom which slows down the development of young trees. Moreover, a useful product needs to be made from the harvest, firewood needs to be sawed and split and tree trunks need to sawed to beams and planks.
Living from agriculture
We have created a large vegetable garden, that is designed according to permaculture principles. Every year, we work hard to be self-sufficient year round. At the moment, all vegetables we eat come from our own garden. Besides the vegetable garden, we also have a large greenhouse on the field, where we mainly grow our summer crops such as tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers and bell peppers. Around this greenhouse, we also cultivated a part of the field where we grow larger crops for our animals, like corn, wheat and sunflower. Our fruit trees are currently still rather small, due to which they do not produce us enough fruits yet, to eat from whole year round. However, we have been grafting many little fruit trees that we wish to plant next to a variety of nut trees in a parcel we have designated to become food forest. Furthermore we have built an orangery in the shape of a dome, where citrus and avocado trees are growing.
Living with animals
On la Resse, we now have dogs, cats, sheep, pigs and some poultry. We will work on enhancing the existing animal enclosures, hedging pasture lands and building barns for larger animals.
The sheep graze the meadows, the pigs tilt and fertilize the soil of the cultivated field and the chickens give us eggs. In the future, we would possibly like to add a few cows and horses to our livestock.
There are two buildings on la Resse. A large building of 40x7m and a smaller one of 12x6m. Both buildings are to be renovated extensively. In the “work in progress phase” we will first focus on the essentials. For example, enhancing sanitary comfort, making the small building livable and building an eco cabin with wood from the forest here. For this, we need to pour concrete, do masonry work, saw, batter, dig, repair roofs, place water pipes etc. We currently have constructed two tiny tents and completely renovated an old pizza caravan. Furthermore, two bedrooms and a bathroom were constructed in the barn, as well as an additional kitchen, outdoor kitchen and outdoor showers and bathtubs that overlook the vegetable garden. These are all for our volunteers and guests to use.