Farmers in the homeland of d'artagnan

The house and cook Dmitry Klimov visited Gascony, where he learned local features of farmer cooperation, improved skills of cooking various delicacies from the poultry and pork, as well as surprised the French hospitality. On his discoveries Dmitry shared in this article.

You went to Gascony, where he watched farmers working in the agricultural cooperative. How did it go?

We went over his account with a clear purpose, so it was hard timing. The plane from Moscow to Paris, then 740 km driving in the rental car, 2 days of jumps and throws, on the fourth day in the morning to go to the airport by car and back to Moscow. In the morning somehow slept by some kind of business doing. I don't think there are many who have to work that hard to learn some things, not promising short-term benefits, and focus on the future development of the business.

I'm not the first year engaged in farming, and I was sick of mediocrity and wretchedness associated with this activity in Russia. I want to bring into your business is something European, well established and organized, so I go there to gain experience and once again make sure of correctness of the chosen strategy.

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In what wretchedness of our agriculture?

Agriculture we have destroyed. And all attempts to revive it until quite unconvincing compared to how agriculture should work in developed countries. When you go on the European provinces, whether Gascogne, Provence or Sicily, you every few kilometers, meet some farm houses, tractors, seeders, see how everything is neat and tidy, working and thriving. You realize that this established system. We, unfortunately, food production is limited by the construction of huge industrial complexes – meat, dairy, poultry and so on. And the farmers really hard to work on the ground – no desire, because there is no way. My neighbor and friend Alexander Pocheptsov noticed that within a radius of 50 km from our farm there is no longer a farmer. Few of the farmers liquidity of the economy allows to exist on its own without risk to get a payment of some crazy interest, because now loans are given at six months at 25-27% per annum. Our farmer usually surly angry man, anyone who is not happy and does not trust anyone. And it is possible to understand when you only care about how to stretch his legs and time to pay the Bank, of course, would be.

And in Europe, with interest rates on loans?

In the West, the bet – 3, maximum 4%. The European Union for the contents of one organic chicken farmer pay extra 5 euros each year. The chicken farm has 1 – 2 years and all this time, its maintenance is subsidized by the government! So – I was very interested to learn how it all works abroad, so I took a big trip to Sicily where I was 11 days on the farm, which produces olive oil. On a farm of 60 hectares has 20 years experience one man – a hired laborer Santa, the activity of which is controlled by the owner of the farm Giovanni. For seasonal work it is, of course, hires a team of olive pickers. And they collect it is very technical – using tents that fold like an umbrella around the tree, the fruits strahovatsya these tents and Packed in bags. Very nice and efficient, no unnecessary gestures – established system work. I saw how it all works, and realized the way to do it. I am a perfectionist in all that relates to product quality, expansion of assortment and creation of a business, is beautiful not only externally but also internally.

What does "inner beauty" business?

If you compare the suburban farm with Western counterparts, it is evident that we have to achieve results in working pattern typically involved a large number of unnecessary people. Why do we have problems with farming?! In addition to want to do it, you have to have the money to do it, understand how it needs to be addressed, and to have the scheme implementation. Without an established sales all this work is useless. Be you though seven spans in a forehead, though money by the billions, all your products will simply rot. We like first to do something, and then think, and to whom it is actually necessary. I also had this experience – when my partner and Lenya raised on the money 5 000 Guinea fowl, and they was not necessary to anybody. Then, fortunately, I have assessed the situation, we zaminusovali a $ 350,000, declared bankruptcy and ran away with Lenya, and was followed by debridement and published "lament of Yaroslavna" of fundraising, and with the help of the Shop built a new house in a new place.

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Poultry house on a Farm in Kurovo, built with the help of buyers LavkaLavka


What were you able to learn in Gascony?

My trip to Gascony helped me to understand the system of relations between small farmers – when people are cooperative, and each is a link in the production chain. One raises ducks, the second is zakerman ducks for foie Gras, and the third delivers food and so on. Each has benefits, guaranteed product market and structured time schedule. My buddy Argentinian Walter nurses a year, 80 thousand ducks. Ducklings he gets another neobchopdimo, newly hatched from eggs from factory devoted exclusively to incubation, which is the breeding herd, and where the ducks are, innumerous eggs and ducklings for sale. Factory operation is subject to the cooperative, so the cooperative dictates her own conditions. If the cooperative decides to change the supplier, the factory will suffer serious losses. This is not necessary.

What is the use of agricultural cooperatives for the farmer?

The structure of the cooperative is not bureaucratic, is a group of people gathered with the same interests, they have the Charter and the rules adopted long ago. In it about two hundred people, for them the sense of membership in the cooperative is receiving real value and assistance in the business. First and foremost – financial benefits.

I liked that the members of the cooperative comply with internal requirements not because is afraid of something, but because they have vnutrikorporativnye rules by which all want to live. No one is trying to 'launder' – if we say that the fattening of ducks natural food, so 100 percent it is. No chemical additives or anything that could give the desired result over a short period of time.

People relationships are built not on who someone a trick, and that without each other they will not survive. As well as the cooperative Lakalaka understands my value for myself, I understand the value of Shop for my modest enterprise. We always go to meet each other to resolve any issues.

Walter gets the ducks who come to him in large poultry houses – hangars with automatic doors, gas heating. To achieve 21 days the Chicks are not on the street. When goes down and appears the plumage, they live on the street, on huge areas, initially overgrown with grass. Pond available on-site, fenced: ducks too much, and they are forbidden to swim because of considerations of ecology. A few months they grow and eat, while they are looked after by one man. We were on the farm, where it grows 15 000 ducks, and spend the night and feed them in a warm light the hangar, and the whole day walking in the street. Feed them twice a day. In such circumstances, little ducklings grow into adult ducks. Then turn around and sell them to other members of the cooperative, which force-feed them foie Gras. After feeding the birds is slaughtered, cut up and sell the raw liver or cooked in their own cooking. Wonderful and absolutely accurate mechanism.

Each farm has its own shop – in fact, some cozy nook with a fridge where you can purchase foie Gras, raw and cooked, duck breast, all sorts of confit, pâté, Rieti and the like.

Perhaps this pattern to repeat in Russia?

All this I plan to produce on their own. Importantly, many of these products are secondary parts of the carcass, which many people simply throw. Traditional French recipes I adapted to the Russian taste. I want the development and use of accumulated baggage, especially anything like us yet.

Now, there are good opportunities for collaboration – I have already established horizontal links with its neighbor Carabas, Pocheptsova having at the disposal of hundreds of hectares of land, allowing him engaged in the cattle. He delivers pork to be smoked and Saltanov, shares my views on the cooperation and support experiments in the field of agriculture. Our joint experience shows how you can establish useful relationships. I would like to develop cooperation in this vein, not only have membership discounts in shops and restaurant Shops. By the way, we farmers have helped agricultural cooperative in opening a store at Chayanova str., providing for these purposes, cash and commercial loans – what is not an example of this reciprocity.

In addition to ducktales, I had to travel around to different meat gastronomies to adopt the experience of Smoking and so on. By the way, compared with the French pigs head, which is made with a vinaigrette dressing, my saltison tastier at times – sous-chef Shop Dima Klimov will not lie! And Boris Akimov tasted it a year ago, when we were brought samples of pork tested in a cafe Shop in Armagh.

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Farmer Klimov with culinary inspiration and Gascon Stalker Andre Kuspit


In the near future will begin to work with posazavsky pigs, I want to make a delicious dry-cured ham that is done throughout Europe and called somewhere jambon somewhere prosciutto, prosciutto and so on. It's not a real ham "pata negra" — "black hoof", but it will be tasty jerked pork, a very special dish, which will combine the features of the terroir of the Central strip and the old French culinary traditions, which, despite our love for Russian cuisine still prevail in the world.

Are you sure quality farm cooking will go in Russia?

Of course, I monitor demand and continuously communicate with customers. And most importantly – helps me in the expansion of the product line known Russian French Gastronome Andre Kuspit that we went to Gascogne. He, like me, interested in the fact that our joint project was not a sham, and gave stable quality. Because the main problem of farmers, the handmade – his instability. I have been struggling with varying degrees of success but in this case I am sure the quality will be stable!

What was your favorite thing in Gascony?

In Gascony everyone is smiling, happy with life, although in France, Gascony is considered a backward province. The friendliness of the Gascon farmers incredibly. He had only to know that guests arrived from Russia, they immediately introduced us to all doors, all show and tell, treated, waste your time. The owner of the diner where we ate two pounds of duck Breasts and drank a lot of wine for 13 euros per bottle, I said "You're my first Russian, you will not take the money!".

Actually, I was very lucky to Gascons in this journey: Walter is Argentine, Tom Hollander, Thierry – Italian. Thierry is the most important because he grows corn. I even brought the corn here, all show, and no one believes that such corn, in principle, exist. And in France, the law banning the production of GMO products and planting genetically modified seeds, that is, it is absolutely pure corn. Farmers co-op, they feed the young and produce foie Gras, he bought the corn at a ridiculous price. Think about it – 136 euros per tonne. That is, at the current rate – less than 8 000! It is almost two times cheaper than in Russia! They have corn – the main feed, it is cheaper than wheat and oats, and we have it on the contrary the most expensive. In the suburbs the corn Matures just for silage, ripe grain is not obtained. So you have to carry from the Krasnodar region, hence the high price.

What is the fundamental differences in the culture of ducks we have in Gascony?

We have a large poultry farm, say, in Millerovo, where ducks are kept in excellent conditions but in indoor ventilated hangar, and they are absolutely not adapted for street maintenance. If these ducks will come out, then just die. Moreover, these precocious factory ducks slaughtered at the age of 56 days, during which time the weft is gaining weight up to two pounds. Swollen literally by leaps and bounds. Meanwhile, waterfowl, as well, and chickens can live outside in temperatures of minus ten degrees. They do not need to drive and stick into any of the houses. But that few who understands us. In Gascony duck aged 21 days is already walking on the street, if the temperature allows. By the way, a year ago France banned cages for sukarma ducks and geese for foie Gras where birds cannot move and thus rapidly gaining weight. One head stuck out. Now all fuehring farms these cells not used – not all. The whole bird sitting in zagonchike, covered with straw. Of course, movement is limited, but the duck is now sitting in the straw, a happy, fat and has no particular claims about what her force-feed for foie Gras. Moreover, the Dutchman Tom exchanged a career chef for farming, told us that one duck from the wild flew to see him two times a day by the time sukarma.

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The cost of biomerica — 18 euros. Every day this is not going, but sometimes you want to pamper yourself


As for everyday food, chickens, for example?

Why Bresse chicken so delicious? First, due to the terrain – the soil, plants, worms of all sorts, which the hen eats, and secondly, the specifics of the breed. Well, of course, the chicken live and feed on the street. We, too, all this can be done, albeit in limited quantities. And I want it to do.

Podbroshennye chickens and pickles – food in every day, they grow much less weight, but due to the fact that their food used a natural food, they are much more than factory. Although now given the shop prices on the chicken – 150-160 rubles per kilogram, soon not much of a difference will be, and the prices of the Shop stopped to look high on the crowd – look around!

The bird, like any living entity, to grow better in the air than within four walls, it is better to eat some worms on the street than artificial factory-made fodder and all himonya supplements. The only way to come close to the taste of the product "as my grandmother in the village." But the grandmother in the village does not grow 50-100 chickens for the weekly slaughter. To preserve the taste and useful qualities in the scale farmers, which is not ashamed to show gastrotourism – it must be able. And most importantly – to want. Without desire for change and development is running in place, the illusion of life. I don't like doing that, so I go further, getting rid of ballast.


P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©

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