A herd of sheep will soon invade Brussels !
Son of an Irish mother and a Belgian father, I have always lived in Brussels where I have worked as a teacher in a professionnal secondary school of Molenbeek for the past 15 years. So when I decided I wanted to start a professionnal agricultural project in sheep farming, it seemed logic to me to stay in the city and that I would not decide to move to the countryside.
I started by following agricultural courses in Wallonie (at the Mouvement d’action paysanne and at the Fugea), then in Flanders (at the NAC) but what helped me most was meeting and spending time with Les Bergers urbains in Paris.
Grass or nothing !
So what about the project ? 10 zwartbles shee-lamb will leave the contryside of Wallonie for Brussels around June 20th. The project is built around sheep grazing on green fields (respecting organic agriculture principles) and transhumance on green areas in different areas of Brussels, a certain form of what is also called « agroecological pastoralism ». This means the sheep will spend some of the time on permanent fields and other moments in transhumance walking (why not with you!) around green areas of the city.
The sheep will be fed only on grass. I will have to give them a supplement of hay during the winter. I am hoping to produce some hay myself but I will also buy some from an organic farmer in Wallonie.
Brussels-Environnement are providing me with a permanent field along the « green walk » of Brussels (in the valley of the Vogelzang, in Anderlecht), the City of Brussels, the commune of Anderlecht and of Schaerbeek are supporting the project and hoping to give me access to parks (like the Josaphat park) or green areas of the city.
Meat and wool from the city
The herd will initially count 10 sheep but, my objectif, within the next 3 to 5 years is for it to grow to 40 sheep. I’m hoping to produce wool as from November 2018 but we will have to wait until autumn 2019 to be able to produce lamb meat. Both produce will be sold at a local level, in Brussels. I hope also to be able to bring people to realise the importance of sheep grazing for the ecosystem but also of the importance of eating less but better meat.
Hope to see you soon the streets of Brussels !
The sheep of Brussels
Why am I collecting money ?
Starting a new farming project is very expensive. At the moment, I have only received access to fields or green areas of the Brussels area but no financial help. In order to help me start the project, and in addition to my savings, I have decided to ask you for help via this crowdfunding.
What will the money be used for ?
The money will be used to buy the sheep (2000 euros), to buy a livestock trailer (2200 euros), to buy small equipement I need (300 euros), to buy the fencing (1200 euros), to buy wood (200 euros). If possible, it would also serve to buy more equipement to produce the hay (2200 euros) and to build a sheep pen (3500 euros).
What do you get in return ? Each donation to the project enables you, if you wish, to receive something in return…
For 15 euros : A project badge and poster !
For 25 euros : A picture of you in black and white with the sheep.
For 50 euros : Be the first to participe to a transhumance with the sheep !
For 60 euros : A child’s afternoon activity with the sheep !
For 75 euros : An afternoon with the sheep talking about urban agriculture.
For 150 euros : Some wool to make a winter hat !
For 200 euros : Give one of the ten sheep a name !
For 250 euros : 3kg of lamb’s meat from Brussels !