sea salt
Eloi le Saunier
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The project

Adopt {publicVariety} from the orchard "{farmName}" in {cityfarm} ({countryFarm}) and receive your harvest in the form of {production} at home. The Farmer {farmerName} will take care of your adoption and take its picture. Also, you will be able to download the adoption certificate and, if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. As the production coming from one {variety} is big, the adoption is shared among various people. If you wish to have a bigger share, you may adopt more than once. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you receive your harvest and you enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.

The project

Adopt {publicVariety} from the orchard "{farmName}" in {cityfarm} ({countryFarm}) and receive your harvest in the form of {production} at home. The Farmer {farmerName} will take care of your adoption and take its picture. Also, you will be able to download the adoption certificate and, if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. As the production coming from one {variety} is big, the adoption is shared among various people. If you wish to have a bigger share, you may adopt more than once. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you receive your harvest and you enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.

What do you adopt?
A pit or "aire saunante" (a term typical of the Île de Ré) is the ultimate salt basin where the water reaches saturation allowing the crystallization of the salt. Harvested from the bottom of the aire saunante, the coarse salt is grey in colour due to the clay particles it contains. This salt represents the major part of the salt marsh production. On some days, when evaporation is particularly high, a thin film forms on the surface of the aire saunante, called fleur de sel. Each {variety} is adopted by 50 CrowdFarmers who receive a box with {masterUnitsMax}kg of {production}.
What will you receive?
The box we will send you contains: 1 x Fleur de sel from Île de Ré (500g per pouch) The fleur de sel is harvested from the surface of the salt beds in the evening with the “lousse” - the first salt crystallized into a thin crust when the wind is abundant. Not being in contact with the clay bottom of the basin, this salt is naturally white and also finer than the coarse salt. Naturally white or pink, fine and crumbly, the fleur de sel has a smell similar to that of violet: it is rich in iodine and magnesium, a property that mine salt does not have. The fleur de sel is neither washed nor treated and thus preserves its natural dietary and culinary properties. 1 x Coarse sea salt from Île de Ré (1 pouch of 1kg and 1 pouch of 500g) If the fleur de sel is not harvested, it falls to the bottom during the night when crystallization continues until the coarse salt is obtained. One kilo of fleur de sel then becomes 10 kilos of coarse salt. The fleur de sel is used as table salt while the coarse salt can be used for cooking. The coarse salt and fleur de sel are entirely natural products, they do not undergo any transformation between the time of harvest and their distribution. The coarse salt consists of 99% sodium and 1% trace elements. The fleur de sel contains about 95% sodium because it contains more trace elements such as magnesium, iodine and calcium. As salt is a preservative by nature, there is no expiry date. On the other hand, it is recommended to keep it dry and store it in a suitable container such as a glass or clay pot but never in metal.
When will you receive it?
Please, check the deadline for participating in this project (deadline for adoption) below. As of this date the Farmer will start preparing the orders that are to be shipped. You may select the delivery date of your box as suggested by the Farmer at check-out.
Why should you adopt?
* Learn who produces your food, how and where. Receive your food in a conscious manner. * Buy directly from the farmer. Help to generate wealth and better jobs in the rural areas. * Plan ahead and enable the Farmer to produce on demand. This way we can avoid overproduction and fight food waste. * Reward Farmers who make an effort to use environmentally-friendly packaging and cultivation techniques.
How does it work?
Meet the Farmers
Adopt and plan your harvest
Let the Farmer and nature work
Receive your harvest at home
Eloi Keller
The first salt marshes appeared on Île de Ré around the 19th century. These spaces were first reclaimed from the ocean thanks to a containment system whose maintenance is still the main task of salt workers today. In the 19th century, the salt-growing territories represented up to 1500 Ha, or nearly 20% of the island's surface area. For the preservation of goods, as well as for food, sea salt has gradually been replaced by rock salt (mine salt), so much so that the number of Rhaetian salt workers now stands at around a hundred. That's why I decided in the spring of 2012 to rehabilitate the family marsh inherited from my great-grandmother and left fallow from the ravages of storm Xynthia. Just as in my great-grandfather's day, I practice the exploitation of salt marshes in a traditional and natural way. Nature is simple and well-made, in order to obtain the fleur de sel, only sea water, sun and wind are required. Before becoming a salt worker, I studied political science in Bordeaux and then travelled a lot to discover other things before returning to France to become the keeper of the Whale Lighthouse not far from my current marsh. The salt worker’s job consists first of all in the construction and maintenance of the salt marsh using many tools, most often made of wood: the boguette, the rouable and the simoussi. I am in charge of my farm alone but many friends and acquaintances come to help me regularly and I also did a little Woofing to share the experience of the marsh with people from other countries. It allows me to share my passion for my job with people so that this activity continues.
Eloi Keller

"I am committed to producing a high quality fleur de sel and coarse sea salt, using traditional methods and without the addition of chemicals. I favour short distribution channels and direct contact with consumers. I try to rehabilitate wild plants and more particularly the forgotten wonders of nature. I think it is possible to create while having fun and that collective work can be one of the ways of living together. I will be happy to welcome you for visits throughout the summer."

Eloi le Saunier
Eloi le Saunier
My marsh is located in the heart of the Lilleau des Niges National Nature Reserve. Classified in 1980, it covers an area of 121 hectares in the north of Île de Ré and protects a series of salt marshes and mudflats favourable to birdlife. This natural bird reserve requires us to respect the fauna and flora during the harvest periods and to comply with building standards. We are therefore lucky to be able to meet a lot of egrets, grey herons, swans, hoopoe and birds of prey in particular. My farm consists of 26 aires saunantes and I have decided to make 10 of them available to the Crowdfarmers. Through a lock mechanism, seawater, which naturally contains 28 grams of salt per litre, is transported to natural basins to warm up, get rid of its impurities thanks to the algae that proliferate and load itself with trace elements. As the sea water flows through the marsh, it must reach 250 grams of salt per litre in order to form the precious crystals. The harvest season, on the other hand, depends considerably on weather conditions. It is generally concentrated around the longest, driest and hottest months (June, July and August).
Technical information
Address
Eloi le Saunier, Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, île de Ré, FR
Location