We, Rick and Yvonne van den Oord and our children Nino, Yrsa, Lou and Fay have been living in Bonnebosq, Normandy since the summer of 2004. Since the end of 2005 we are the proud owners of farm 'Le Lieu Thomain'. We have been looking for a - for us - suitable company for a long time and have looked at many companies and seen a lot of France.
From the Netherlands to Normandy !
Since 2001 we have been looking for a suitable company. We visited and viewed many companies, but something was always wrong. Or too close to a busy road, or not good soil, or too far from the Netherlands… ) In September 2001 our eldest son Nino was born. Finally in April 2003, now pregnant with daughter Yrsa, we took a look at this company and both thought: ‘This is it!’.
But as is the custom in France: it takes and takes before something is finally done.
In the summer of 2004, Rick was finally able to start working on the farm and we placed a caravan in which we could live for as long as we wanted. Initially this would be for a year, because after that year we would take over the farm and also live in the house.
After a year and a half – and with another daughter (Lou) richer – we were finally able to take over the farm. We gradually replaced the originally Norman dairy cows with black-and-white dairy cows.
The company consists of 96 hectares of land on which we grow corn, sugar beets, barley and wheat. This also includes the grassland for the hay and for grazing the cows. And we still milk the black-and-white cows.
As a sideline, we have converted old stables into holiday homes (or in French: gîtes) and also bought a house in the village for holiday rental, which we (and I think the guests) enjoy a lot.
Full of ideas about changes and improvements for the farm, house and garden, we took up this challenge at the time and hoped to be able to realize all those dreams and plans in the years that followed.
Dreams come true
Now, a few years later, many of our plans and dreams have come true (not all of them, of course). We are still happy and healthy with our family and now much bigger kids and we live in the most beautiful spot in France.