For those interested in how some governments work!
Do you feel that Australia is over governed?!!!!!
Averyonè is the most easterly of the 8 departments in the area of South West France known as the Midi-Pyranees whick extends to the Spanish border.
Department Number for Averoynè is 12 - it is alphabetically the twelfth department of the 95 which make up the French Republic.
There are 3 arrondisements - Millau, Rodez and Villè Franchè de Rouergue (3 largest centres of population); Each arrondisement is divided into cantons, Millau has 15, Rodez has 23 and VFdeR has 8.
Each canton is further divided into Communes, 304 in all in Averoynè. Each Commune has a main town or village with it's Mairiè and a small number of villages or hamlets and will include farms in the vicinity. These function as a talking shop for local affairs and are a focus of local decision making. (adapted fro, AVEYRONE. THE TRAVEL GUIDE by John Couth - RJ Snowden).
The following item is for retired farmers and other interested people:
. Local produce is promoted and sold locally, e.g. in the service centres on the Freeways
. See the picture of the "barbed wire gate" and all these years I thought this was an Australian invention!
. Cheese is big in these parts, made mostly from unpasturised milk, either from sheep or cows and some goats;
. Near Millau is Roquefort famous as the home of one of the world's supreme blue cheeses.
Made from unpasteurised ewes milk, it is matured in limestone caves through which we had a conducted tour: A damp, undergound city and low in temperature which allows the unique Roquefort cheese to develop.
The farmers whistle up their sheep and walk in front of them back to the feed stalls and paddocks, they are strip grazed as we do with dairy cattle in the Hunter.
The cattle around here are mostly a local breed and appear to be half way between a dairy and beef breed (see picture of statue of bull in Laguiole; This is a prosperous town high up on the plateau, it's prosperity is based on it's cheese making and it's local knife manufacturing. The horned local cattle provide lots of material for the knife handles. Don't expect all knives labled 'Laguiole' to be produced in Laguiole! China and Pakistan are producing lower quality knives labled 'Laguiole'. (PJM 25:4:06)
For the 'foodies': (Judy Buchhorn 24:4:06)
!a treat un store was our lunch in Laguiole. The hotel bar led to a huge restaurant which served 'Plat du Jour - Terroir'.
The mind boggles qt the "Terroir". We had a piece of steak each - nothing else on the plate, then they produced the "Aligot" which the waitress twirled around the serving spoon like spaghetti. We discovered this was a mixture of mashed potato, local soft cheese, cremè fraichè, lard & garlic. After our meal; the Chef came around with the container (the size of an old fashioned round bath tub) dressed in a long black cloak and a large brimmed black hat to serve out the left-overs. What a delight!