In August, we welcomed eight chickens to Domaine Mirabeau. They came from a free-range poultry farm Elevage les Deux Coqs in nearby village of Gonfaron, just twenty minutes drive from the domaine, in the Plaine des Maures. The poultry farm has been going since 1975, and our Estate Manager, Pascal, headed over to the farm to choose our hens. He opted for two Sussex (white and black), two Bleu de France (grey), two Marras (black and gold), and two Rousse (red/brown).
When fully-grown, they will lay around 200 eggs per year each, so that could average around 4-5 eggs per day! Pascal has built them a fantastic chicken run to keep the foxes out, and we’ve also just begun introducing them to the alpacas and pigs. Pablo the alpaca was particularly interested in them at first introduction, but is now getting used to his new room-mates. We are looking forward to using the eggs in the Mirabeau Kitchen.
However chickens also play a bigger role in the domaine, as they create excellent fertiliser, help naturally control bugs like crickets, grasshoppers, snails, and slugs and also help control weeds.
August also saw the wild-boar hunters return to the domaine for the first time since February, to help reduce the very real problem of the boar eating the grapes before the vendange (harvesting) of the grapes. Wild boar have become a huge problem for winemakers in Provence in recent years, and they cause a lot of damage to vineyards as well as the collateral damage from their eating grapes (read Stephen’s blog on wild boar in Provence from 2013).
The grapes are maturing nicely and we’re super excited to get picking! Watch out for next month’s update on our first Domaine harvest.
We are very much enjoying sharing the domaine with guests staying in Le Mas and La Bastide. They’ve been loving getting to know the farm animals and enjoying homegrown vegetables from the potager. We were thrilled to receive this lovely testimonial from one family:
“A corner of paradise in Provence…We enjoyed lazy days by the pool overlooking the vineyard, alternating our swims with games of boules, table tennis and cards, the occasional tinkle on the grand piano, and delicious meals under the sheltered living green canopy of the terrace.
We slept well in the super comfy beds, lulled by the cicadas … We were well looked after. Owners Stephen and Jeany popped by to ensure we had everything we needed, and estate managers Ben and Bea hosted a fabulous pizza making session for the boys. We’ve already booked for next year! Thank you again for a fabulous stay.”
Due to lots of enquiries from you lovely people, we have just opened up Le Mas for bookings in 2021, so if you weren’t able to get away on a staycation or holiday this year due to COVID-19, get in there early and book your stay via AirBnB!
For enquiries for La Bastide for 2021, please email firstname.lastname@example.org