Contents of the box: 1 box contains 1.6kg of Demeter organic chestnut specialities
Variety: Bouche de Betizac
1 x cooked chestnuts (500g, glass jar): sweet flavour, powdery texture; may be enjoyed as salty or sweet dishes, warm as a side with meat or with vegetables, or cold in a salad; shelf life of at least 2 years, preserve it in a dry cupboard
1 x chestnut flour (500g, 100% biodegradable paper bag): ideal to make gluten-free desserts; can be preserved for up to two years, be careful as pantry moths love it; therefore keep it in the fridge or in a tightly closed container
3 x chestnut cream (200g, glass jar): pairs perfectly with dairy or can simply be enjoyed as a spread; its shelf life is about 3 years if kept in a dry place without opening
Organic farming certified by the European Organic Farming label since 2012
My husband Hervé and I take care of the trees so that they produce the best fruit. I wasn’t brought up on a farm, but I knew from a very young age that I wanted to work with nature. It is thanks to my marriage that I could make this wish a reality. We converted to organic agriculture when I joined the family farm and, after the massive frost of 2012, we trained ourselves to the biodynamic farming methods. We tried to help our trees to defend themselves independently. It is by developing a healthy soil that is rich in micro-elements that they can succeed in fighting against external aggressions. Today, our role is to return vitality to the land so that we may offer you quality fruits, and to work as much as possible respecting the natural rhythm of the seasons while observing the life cycle as a whole.
Hervé takes care of the production: during the fruit-forming period, he produces a weekly report of the pests that he may encounter and decides if treatment is needed or if to leave the work to the beneficial species. He also takes care of grafting and pruning the fruit trees as well as mowing. He is also a fine handyman who always has a new idea to try and save us time.
As for myself, I take care of the transformation and of the shipping. I started my career as an employee at a cereal grocer where I stayed 10 years inside an office. I loved my job but I missed nature, this is why I joined my husband. I didn’t know a thing about arboriculture but being surrounded by passionate people allows you to learn fast. At the beginning, I developed direct sales at the farm. On holidays, I was giving fruit jams to our customers to make them happy. Some of them soon wanted to buy jam, hence I started commercialising it and this is how the adventure began! I still cook my recipes in my copper cauldron because I believe it gives them a unique taste. I patiently stir the whole morning to thoroughly cook my chestnut cream. Slow and long cooking is the secret for a perfect recipe. Taking the time needed is important. I love this job because it is alive and changing, and because I could develop a close relationship with my trees.
We decided to join CrowdFarming to make people discover chestnuts which are an ancient fruit but consumed by few despite being rich in energy and gluten-free.
Le Verger Bio de Quinsac
Our farm is located in Limousin, between Brive and Limoges, among livestock farming lands. We are surrounded by meadows and woods. We live in one of the least inhabited regions of France, which is mainly rural. Our farm isn’t very industrial; we hire 12 seasonal workers for the harvest season, and 4 for the pruning. Our climate is ideal for fruit growing with warm days and fresh nights in the summer.
Our orchard is named after the place where we live: “Quinsac”. It may not be very original, but at least we can be found easily!
The property belonged to my husband’s family for a very long time (our house was built in 1766) and used to be a traditional polyculture livestock farm. Hervé’s great-grandparents used to breed sheep and cultivated cereals to feed them. It is my father in law, Bruno who decided to grow fruits and planted the first trees in 1979. He eventually planted an orchard of pear, apple and chestnut trees. Most of these trees are still there today. Our orchards thrive on the acidic soil and low altitude that make the trees vigorous and give the fruit the flavour of our land. Our plots of land are all around the farm, less than 2 kilometres away. We have a pond to collect rainwater which allows us to irrigate our trees using a micro-irrigation system in case of drought.
We practice traditional arboriculture. We do not weed our orchards in order to encourage the development of beneficial species. We install nests to attract chickadees and bats. The chickadee is a formidable insect predator (caterpillars, aphids, spiders, codling moths…). During the brooding season, it eats up to 500 insects per day!
We own a software that allows us to reproduce the flight of the codling moth (main pest of the chestnut) which lays eggs inside the chestnuts, considerably decreasing the quality of the fruit if no natural treatment is applied. This tool is connected to a forecast station that measures the hygrometry and the temperature. Thanks to the statistics it provides, we know in which weather conditions the moth will develop, hence we know when it will be around. We use essential oil based repellents to treat the trees against pests, and we introduce natural predators.
Our whole orchard is certified DEMETER. In biodynamic agriculture, we also rely on formulas that are made of plants (thistle, dandelion, horsetail…) and we follow the biodynamic calendar with the application of horn manure in spring and of silica just after the flowering.
We do not produce renewable energy but we do have the highest compost heap of the whole commune. In fact, we gather the chestnuts when they fall to the ground but they are still inside their shell. We have a machine that shakes them to allow the fruit to separate from it. All the waste is accumulated in a big heap. We add to it all the waste from processing other fruits too. After two years and adding to it a few biodynamic preparations, we spread the compost on our plots to feed our trees. Nothing is wasted!
Antonio, our employee, accompanies us in this adventure.
As our farm is small, we are able to sell all our production. The apples and pears are sold directly or transformed into juice. The fresh chestnuts are sold to intermediaries everyday during the harvest season and we transform what we can in order to sell it ourselves.
Le Verger Bio de Quinsac, Saint Yrieix la Perche, FR
2 men and 1 woman
Organic and biodynamic farming
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