Le Verger Bio de Véronique is a family business based in Rivesaltes, right in the middle of the Roussillon (South of France). For 9 generations, our family has been cultivating vines and apricots, two crops historically grown in our region. In 2009, I started to convert our orchards to organic farming giving its actual name at our company. Today, all orchards and vineyards of the family are organic. 4 years ago, we decided to diversify our production and we chose the pomegranate as a new crop. In the wild, pomegranate trees are omnipresent in the region’s landscapes. This crop doesn't require much to flourish: only water and sun. This choice of crop seems obvious considering climate change. In 2021, we continue our diversifications with figs and avocados.
An apricot tree is quite sensible and needs a lot of attention during the year, in particular when grown in organic. During all periods where trees have flowers, leaves or fruits, we need to give them water and organic fertilizers, in small quantities but with regular intakes, in doing so we avoid the waste of fertilizers.
The big steps of an apricot tree are blossomings in February - March, thinning in March - May (we remove some fruits to allow the rest of the fruit to grow normally, take all their sugar and flavors), the harvesting from May to September depending on the precocity of varieties and finally the pruning between the end of the harvest and the leave’s fall.
Globally, windbreak hedges with birdhouses are installed around orchards to increase wildlife on the farm. Our goal is to have lots of different species of animal or insect in the orchard so they can regulate each other, and no one damages the fruits. In the same way, grass is only cut once a year: the week before the harvest. It’s more safe and comfortable for our team. During the rest of the year, grass is flattened to stop its growth but stays green and hosts wildlife.
Still in order to preserve natural resources, the packing station is equipped with photovoltaic panels. Those produce 5 times more energy than used by the packing station. Being organic, it’s also about ecology & preserving energies !
Besides family members, 15 people work daily in the orchard, harvesting, packaging, and shipping our fruits. Some of our team members have been working with us for decades. Our team picked carefully each fruit at it’s ripened point to assure you freshness and an optimal quality of our products.