I’ve just celebrated 5 years of owning my farm; I’m not really sure if the time has passed quickly or slowly but one thing is certain, I don’t regret any of it.
There have been ups and downs, the birth of crias being one of the highs and the deaths of alpacas and my lovely cat Snowy being the main lows but as I generally say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
So what about the next 5 years? That is actually a really difficult question. Earning a living in France can be a challenge well it is certainly one for me. My plans are constantly evolving; what is easy to do in the UK, (where my initial plans were formulated), can be nigh on impossible to do in France without enormous expense. For instance if I were to give up my farming status to just raise the alpacas for fleece, by law I wouldn’t be able to sell one bale of hay from my land, – to sell anything harvested you need to be a farmer and hay is classified as a harvest. The auto-entrepreneur classification, (similar to self-employed) doesn’t cover anything that the farming departments regard as their domain. The result of this is my plans are in a continuing stat of flux while I try to work out what I can do under which regulations and whether it will generate enough income.
All that said, and having passed the 5 year residency barrier, I’m off to the Marie today to get the forms to start my citizenship application. Although even that is now in doubt; up until Christmas you only had to display a working knowledge of French but then the law was changed so you now have to pass an exam to demonstrate you are at the level of a 15 year old native speaker. So anyone know what the French is for ‘What ever’?