Broken Branch

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Here’s an interesting recipe. Take a couple of urbanites. No kids, no pets. He runs a business that requires him to wear a suit from time to time, she’s fond of fashion and very high heels. Add 44 hectares of rich and varied landscape. Stir in forests with deer and (way too many) wild boar, meadows, marshland and holm-oak landscapes. So much to discover, so much to learn. Luckily, he’s the outdoorsy type and into DIY. She’s a good sport and loves him dearly. And thank goodness France employs foresters who assist private landowners in managing their woodlands.

While Cédric, the forester, is busy drafting a plan for our property, we try and take care of some of the most urgent tasks ourselves. Such as tree first aid in the aftermath of a major storm. One cedar at the back of the château broke a large limb (200 kilos at least!) and it was still hanging in the other branches. Thomas and Willem spent most of their time on preparation and safety precautions -looking up and looking down, and then up again- and on making sure to leave no wounds so the tree can recover faster. It took close to a full working day to get the job done, from taking down the branch to cutting up the wood and stacking it to dry. A very rewarding and empowering experience. We can actually learn how to do this, little red tractor and all!

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