A flock grazes these days at la Casa del Molí. May has arrived starting with Worker’s Day. Despite the festivity there is a lot of people who also has to work. It’s the case of Joan, a shepherd from Pontons who owns a flock where both goats and sheeps share food and space. His flock consists of 300 animals and during next fifteen days half of it will be grazing in our valley.
Here grass grows strong since the arrival of Spring. Even though it is wonderful when grass sprouts and winter colour is left behind and replaced by green, high grass colonizes everything fast difficulting the access of the fields and giving way to disenchantment of abandoned fields.
We have spoken to Joan and he says he is the last shepherd of the area. People doesn’t want to work on this because it is a very slave job. Among many reasons, sheeps need to go out daily and it is not easy to make money as a shepherd. Chatting with Joan has been really interesting and we would like to share it with our readers and, maybe, future guests.
Joan has to shepherd dogs who follow him wherever he goes. They are their best tools for this job and he comments that without this couple of loyal friends the fock would be completely out of control. Canela and his son called Pardo look like a good tandem.
Joan also mentions that this time of year is tricky for his flock. In this area grows a kind of bush known as “redó” or “rodó” which contains a substance that drugs the animal who eats too much of it. Joan remembers goats and sheeps collapsing, even dying… On the other hand this bush is harmless for them in Summer.
Regarding predators, there are not many of them left. Foxes don’t dare to approach the flock and it is only important to watch out for abandoned hungry dogs. The flock is kept within high fences during night and both Canela and Pardo are around to keep them safe. Joan says goats and sheeps are good athletes and jump easily any obstacle so it is a must to check the status of the fences from time to time.
Young animales can be spotted easily and we ask Joan if it is breeding season. But we are wrong. Since they are domestic animals and their basic needs are covered they don’t need do adapt breeding according to an specific season and they can do it all year around. That’s a good point for Joan since he makes money from the flock thanks to its excellent meat. We can ensure that the meat you can buy in Pontons will not leave you indifferent. Actually, we encourage you to taste this meat by making a barbeque in La Casa del Molí. This is an excellent plan to enjoy your stay with your family and friends.
From this humble Casa del Molí’s blog we would like to lean the job of shepherd which actually brings many benefits to our society. Our forests and fields grow healthy when the flock passes by. These animals d’ont only eat grass minimizing the risk of fire and flood’s damage but also fertilize the soil. For this reason we think it would be necessary to encourage this job from the administrations, always done in a traditional way lie Joan does and giving aside intensive livestock.
Since a flock grazes these days at la Casa del Molí we would like to encourage you to come and see it. We are sure if you stay around with Joan you will be able to learn much more things than the ones we explained here in this blog.
If you cannot make it now don’t worry at all. You can book some days in July when the flock will te around again for a while. See you soon!