Nature et Progres 16th l’Aude a la Bio Festival 2-3rd August

Nature et Progres, the  organic certifier and militant proponent of deep organic small farmers is celebrating it’s 50th birthday and its 16th L’Aude a la Bio festival this year.

L’Aude a la Bio takes place over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of August at Couiza in the municpal park on the banks of the Aude river. Alongside a wide range of local producers there are workshops, discussions and demonstrations of all things organic and environmental- from dry loos, to solar herb drying systems.

There is a series of events for kids, loads of lovely food- check out the fresh fried organic trout. We won’t be having a stand there as it would mean missing both Natbonne bio market and Perpignan and two markets on the Sunday but there will be a east three other organic herb growers to choose from. We will however be there to enjoy the show sometime on Saturday afternoon

For more details check out Nature et Progres website www.np11.orgFoire-bio-2014_web

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Lavender Harvest

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Foire Bio Peyriac de Mer

Caroline and the plants between storms at the Foire Bio at Peyriac de Mer- the first organic festival in Peyriac and a lovely, if somewhat humid at times day- thanks to John and Ken for the lovely picnic- even if John did eat his in the back of the Landrover to avoid the rainPeyriac de mer

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Laroque de Fa special markets

This Friday is a special artisans and local producers market in Laroque de Fa, 17.00-21.00,

next week is a special musical event after the market- with a bar and food available

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Foire Bio Peyriac de Mer

The first organic event in Peyriac de Mer, the Foire Bio Peyriac de Mer is on the 20th July. Lots of local produPeyriac de cers and artisans displaying our wares, the local Tapas bar is going organic for the day. Lots of activities for kids, a Treasure hunt organised by the Natural Park, a painting competition, all in one of the most beautiful parts of the Languedoc coast.

To help market the event please join the Foire Bio Peyriac de Mer Facebook page and invite all your friends, for more details see the Maries of Peyric de Mer’s website de Mer


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Vietnamese Coriander Persicaria odorata

Vietnamese Coriander Persicaria odorata also know as Vietnamese mint and Rao Ram

One of the great things about meeting fellow organic aromatic herb growers at markets and festivals is that great opportunity to get our hands on unusual plants that we can’t get through our seed suppliers.

At the Fete du Nature in Perpignan I met Virginie Pouchucq from Jardine L’ Auguillou in Castelreng, as well as the usual arrangement of lovely aromatics I found Vietnamese Coriander, or to give its official Latin name Persicaria odorata. a wonder coriander/lemony perennial herb.

The only problem was being a idiot I forgot to ask how you keep it alive, and equally important how to propagate it. Thank goodness for the internet- I found this on Youtube which gave me the basics


I also stumbled across another US based website, Dave’s Garden which claims to have the largest public  database on plants . For  Vietnamese Coriander I found the generic information pretty basic but what was very helpful was the comments and ideas supplied by site members at the bottom of the page, will definitely sign up for this one.


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Laroque de Fa this evening

Thanks to Patrick Herson for the photo

Laroque de Fa

Laroque de Fa

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Promaude over, Summer begins

We did it, four days at Promaude, the Aude Department’s country fair ,  - it wouldn’t have  been possible without our friends Jon and Ken putting us up and feeding us every evening in Ribaute.





Temperatures of over 35 must mean that Summer has arrived. All the plants are out of the polytunnel, and watering has taken on a new intensity. The sooner we get the irrigation system from Gilles the better, plumbing it in shouldn’t be difficult- though we will need to invest in an electric pump as I doubt gravity by itself will be enough.

We also need to look at a low cost drip system for all our mother plants, would save a lot of time and energy and ensure the long term viability for these crucial plants. There are some good ideas over at iDE and SSWM.

Post Promaude, which was a great four days, more communication than commerce but with a few interesting leads. Met a guy from Sigean that makes aperitifs and cocktail drinks, he is interested in mints for Mojito  - which is quite a happy coincidence, strimming what use to be our vegetable garden yesterday I stumbled on a patch of peppermints a metre wide by three long- they were absolutely thriving- probably something to do with be at the end of our septic tanks out flow pipe. Looking up Mojito on Wiki and what do I find- the original Cuban recipe uses Peppermint- cool.


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Promaude and maybe Paziols

promaudeWell summer is allegedly here, and with it comes the Departmental show, Promaude. 55,000 visitors in four days is the Promaude organiser’s claim, though as it is free and their is not toll agte how they actually verify those figures is a little hard to imagine- maybe their are Departmental functionaries who sit at the gate counting, somehow I doubt it. But it is quite big anyway, certainly beats our little Laroque de Fa market hands down.

What it is is certainly long, we have to be there on Thursday to register, pay our money and get checked out by the security commission, then Friday is the big school day when all the kids from the department get bussed in for  a tour, so Friday will be a dead day really for plant sellers.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday should be better I hope but we have been warned that we won’t sell much stuff but we will get to talk ourselves senseless. But a lot of markets are like that as well, they are a slow to trust bunch the folk from around here, often you will have long conversations for weeks on end with passers by in the market while they suss out if you know what you are talking about, then finally one day they will put their hands into their pockets and buy something. Anyway we will see how it goes,  this year we are being supported by the Pays Corbieres Minervois, a fancy Community of Communes bunch, that have invited 8 new agricultural projects to their stand, so its 13o euro and not the usual 460. If you do the maths on 460 that is approximately 230 plants just to  pay for the stand, no chance I’m paying that. However talking to folks on Sunday they are flexible, one guy said they started at 450, and eventually dropped down to free- and he still didn’t do it.

Sunday at the Organic market in Villesque Corbieres was  very interesting, as well as being a good and fun market I meet the owner of the new resto,  in Villesque des Corbieres, the Place des Marches Bistro,  who invited me over after the market and poured Rose down my neck and ordered a load of plants, and I also met Andre from the association Terres a Sac, who has now been elected as the new Mayor of Paziols- possibly the only Socialist gain in the whole of the South. We had a long chat about organising an organic evening market in Paziouls he was very enthusiastic, well for Andre he was, so we will see how that develops.

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Journee Bio Villeseque des Corbieres

A wonderful day celebrating all things bio at the Domaine de Bonnefous. We will be there selling our plants alongside lots of other local organic producers. Come and say hello. Wine also appreciated.

Bonnefous is not in the village of Villeseque de Corbieres but on the main raod that goes into Durban from Thezan/Portel, it is about three klics before Durban on your right- lots of parking



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