Tuesday, October 24, 2006

In Search of a Farm

As we came back from a long walk on Sunday, I had noticed a sign about a farm which made essential oils just 3.5 kilometers away. Today we headed off on our bikes to try to discover La Ferme de Gerbaud.

After almost 3 kilometers of steadily climbing uphill, the road turned to rocks and we decided to lock the bikes to a tree and continue on foot. When we finally approached the farm, we were greeted by a pitbull who was sizing us up (for his next meal?) After coming this far, I was not about to just walk away. I told David not to run or make any sudden movements as I started talking quietly to the dog in whatever language I could muster.

Eventually he became less ferocious and we gingerly walked up toward the main house, where his owner greeted us and assured us he was tres gentil. She offered to open her showroom for us, where we found an array of local products, including essential oils and honey and lavendar and soap.

Paula proceeded to tell us all the beneficial uses of essential oils and it became obvious that this was more than just a business to her. We made our purchases and then sat down for a snack, with the dog (Daro) literally eating out of our hands.

The other animals on the farm included...

Perhaps the best find of the afternoon was a house with a large pool down the road which Paula rents for about half of what we are paying in the town of Lourmarin. It is surrounded by the 62 acres of the farm which supplies her business. Can you imagine living in the middle of lavendar fields?

The real joke was that Daro liked us so much that he tried to follow us home. When we hit the paved road and he was still leading the way, we called Paula on our phone and she sent her son down to get the prodigal dog.

I’m getting better at the biking. I managed the climb to La Ferme de Gerbaud without any real difficulty. And I must say the trip home completely downhill was a breeze.

Tonight we are eating out at a local country restaurant called Auberge La Feniere. We’ll see how this meal stacks up against our daube! It’s nice to let someone else do the cooking…


Blogger Richard said...

Your holiday looks absolutely wonderful. I think you are fullfilling your blog title - you are living.

Thank you for bringing us along and brightening our cheerless corporate gray days.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Perhaps next year you can rent from Paula :) I will practice my pedaling...

(Will trade my slice of chocolate pie for a vial of essential lavender oil)

6:34 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

You'll have to go back to stay at your new friend's (the pitbull's!) place! You'll be wanting to bring a French chef home with you!
Biking will be a breeze when you come back to flat teritory....of course, it might be in snow by then! We had flurries yesterday!

10:57 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Richard -- Only too soon will my days be corporate and gray once again. But this life certainly is nice while it lasts.

Pauline -- YES! I would love to have you join us at Paula's next year. Perhaps during the lavendar harvest. We could eat meringues and chocolate pie together while we basked in the essence of lavendar!

MOI -- Biking will only be easy when it's downhill. The road is not always flat at home!

3:31 AM  

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