Gourmet Wear

A Beautiful Bounty from the Beauce: Made in France Mohair

Sumptuous mohair wool at the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Photo ©Accueil Paysan. Courtesy the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The Beauce is a celebrated region of France nestled between two of its most famous rivers, the Seine and Loire, close to Paris yet q world says. This is the bread basket of France, a natural region devoted to agriculture producing a host of cereals in fields that stretch out far and wide with the Chartres Cathedral keeping a watchful eye out over all. And, too, a rich farm art and craft experience awaits in less than two hours from the French capital. For It is here in this rich land that Sandrine and Marc Durgeau along with their children raise their spectacular angora goats and Shetland sheep, animals that proffer some of the finest wools on the planet.

Wool making at the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Photo ©Accueil Paysan. Courtesy the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The wool is transformed right on the premises to be made into high quality skeins, socks, knitted hats, scarves and objects for the home as well as knitting kits. You can visit this unique farm, Ferme des P’tits Bergers (the farm of the little shepherds), watch the wool being transformed, participate in workshops or shop for high quality Made in France woolen goods at the boutique.

An angora goat in the pastures of the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Photo ©Accueil Paysan. Courtesy the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Angora goats produce that lustrous fiber known as mohair and in France its production is more than limited. At the Ferme des P’tits Bergers, the shearing takes place twice a year in September and February allowing for a harvest of 220 pounds (100 kilos) each year. The raising of the sheep and goats and the production of wool revolve around a circular economy. The 60 animals feed exclusively on barley, alfalfa, green peas, hay and straw that are produced on the farm. The sheep and goats graze over the farms 12 acres (5 hectares) of pasture before heading into their winter pens.

Spinning wool in the boutique at the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Photo ©Wecando. Courtesy the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The farm’s wool is hand knit and only natural vegetable dyes are used to color the wool. In addition to shopping directly at the farm store or on line, the Ferme des P’tits Bergers offers unique experiences including a visit to the farm where you can see all of the steps in the wool transformation process, participate in dyeing workshops or an all day experience combining all along with a farmhouse lunch. For example the next angora goat shearing session takes place on September 2nd and is free of charge as visitors participate in the action. Reasonable fee are charged for the other activities. For the full schedule and on-line boutique visit: https://www.fermedesptitsbergers.fr/

Sorting wool at the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Photo ©Wecando. Courtesy the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The farm is located outside of Paris and can be reached by a TER train from the Gare d’Austerlitz train station in Paris to the Toury station which takes between 50 and 90 minutes depending upon the train. At Toury you can either rent a bicycle for the 30 minute ride to the farm or reserve with the local taxi company Pezin at 06 65 60 11 55. It is also a fine idea to visit the farm by car and then head out into the region where many more adventures await.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
La Ferme des P’tits Bergers
10 rue du canal Atraps
45480 Chaussy, France
fermedesptitsbergers@gmail.com
fermedesptitsbergers.fr

The boutique of Made in France mohair wool items at the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Photo ©Accueil Paysan. Courtesy the Ferme des P’tits Bergers. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

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