Bir Ezzit is a family farm owned by the family of Elyes Ben Tara since 1883 which is in Takelssa, in the Cap Bon of Tunisia. The estate is a farm of more than 100 ha mainly producing cereals, forage and shelter an olivette in exclusively BIO for more than half a century. His last heir took over the management of the farm in 2014 to develop its activities and reintroduce different farms in BIO driving. In June 2016, the company launched a challenge to create the first AgriCamping site in Tunisia. The agriCamping, the Oleastre, Bir Ezzit_Takelsa now hosts animals saved from slaughter and abuse in an animal retreat center. Interview by Amel DJAIT
1001tunisie: Lyes Ben Tara, when did your beginnings in agriculture and livestock first go up?
Lyes Ben Tara: My first steps in agriculture date back to the 1986 cereal crop year. But it is a passion that I hold from my cousin, or more than that my big brother, who put me on the wheel of a harvester But my feet did not even touch the pedals. He also bequeathed to me the passion of horses, since my 3 years old, I was cleaning up his horse, racing champion at the racecourse of Ksar Essaid.
This mostly planted in me a great passion for the animals of the farm. Now, I’m breeding (sheep, goat and cattle …), while trying to save donkeys from slaughter and abuse in order to try to save this race with a remarkable intelligence and d An exceptional loyalty.
And if you told us more ….?
My ambition is to create a permaculture mega-farm, made up of several permaculture micro-farms. But in the immediate future, and over a 3-5 year horizon, the aim is to create an academic micro-farm housing a farm animal retreat site (saved from slaughter and ill-treatment)
By creating the first site of AgriCamping, the objective is to build a new model of management of family farming, trying to diversify income and spread it over 10 months / 12. This is the dream of all farmers! In the long term, we hope to develop the concept and replicate it on other farms in the region.
Specifically how will you welcome customers? What programs do you offer?
Our farm is currently concentrated on cereal and fodder production, but also produces an olive oil that has been exclusively organic for more than half a century.
We offer our guests the opportunity to discover the activities of the farm, according to the seasons, while participating in the management of the animal retreat center. We also plan to organize collective permaculture design workshops.
We offer our friends and nature lovers the opportunity to spend the day in picnic but also the possibility to spend a weekend in the campsite, in summer and winter, since our offer is quite wide. It ranges from the availability of the site to seasoned campers, camping accommodation in a built-in construction, rental of tents fully equipped …
Our site houses a forest of Oleastre (wild olive tree) so that it can offer our guests the possibility of hiking and discover the biodiversity of the region, while choosing a space to camp there.
What accommodation offers are there?
In June 2016, we began by restoring an old building built by my grandmother in 1903, and we transformed it at one time into a sheepfold. This space could be exploited in different ways by our hosts (camping, conferences, restaurant, …) We work there!
We also offer our guests a fully equipped family tent. We also have different types of tents to equip according to their desires (sleeping arrangements, tent model, camping equipment, picnic table, generator, water tank, etc.).
How much do customers pay? What are your catering offers?
L’Oléastre offers various offers and are all on request. The farming is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with various formulas to compose or to discover.
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