After a few days of grey sky, we almost forgot it is already late spring.
The temperature dropped considerably last weekend and only since Thursday, it is going slowly up, back to the usual for this time of the year.
It is no surprise for the French, we just left behind the ‘Ice Saints’!
Despite being a pretty secular society, they can’t help but trust Saint-Mamertus, Saint-Pancras and Saint-Servatius, 11th, 12th and 13th of May. Respectively, these days are considered as the last ones that might bring nightly frosts and only after these three days it is safe to plant in the garden the most sensible plants: tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and pumpkins.
Saint Mamertus, who lived in the 5th century, is the only one with a real connection to the farming world: he’s the founder of the rogations, processions followed by prayer, that farmers hold on to for good crops (read more here).
I have always looked at this tradition with skepticism, and this year, I decided I trusted the weather forecast better than medieval beliefs.
Winter has been particularly mild, so I planted my tomatoes two weeks back… along with every other single sprout I had worked on since late February.
Well, the curse of the Saints took a modern twist, sending hail for 10 minutes, followed by 36 hours of intense rain. In total, 24 of my tomato plants ended up like Marie Antoinette, decapitated by ice.
If you are in the countryside, you will find French who decided to take a slow pace towards de-confined life, happily bent over, in their veggie patches, planting tomatoes and marigolds.
An engraving of Saint Mamertus from an 1878 book, Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints @wikipedia
(Pour lire dans Français ou une autre langue, s’il vous plaît vérifier sur le côté de la main de la plate-forme de la page pour le bouton à traduire)
The produce stand can be a challenge in supermarkets, everything is available nearly all of the time…and it maybe even says ‘organic’or ‘bio’ which is a great idea. In France, if you are buying in your local market you’ll find the best selection of local and seasonal produce but it may not be organic. So what is better for you? Which is better for the environment?
Local. How local is local? Let’s say that the products are only being transported from the farm to point of sale (market), or that you are buying from the farm directly where you can see how everything is managed up close. This is going to have a low carbon footprint, but you will also being helping farmers immediately in your community. There are plenty of farms that you can buy locally from or sign up for their weekly delivery of seasonal products through an AMAP.
Organic. Buying only based on the word ‘organic’ or ‘bio’ is generally going to be the worst choice for the environment. It is likely produce that is coming from Spain (in Europe) and grown in very unsustainable methods, in dry landscapes with row after row of greenhouses where water has to be diverted to. Then it is also being transported long distances, adding to its carbon footprint. Many smaller farms find achieving official organic status impossible because of the many government demands, when in reality they essentially are. Farms listed as biodynamic are immediately given organic status, as their farming methods are rigidly controlled by natural systems.
Seasonality. Then there is the idea of seasonality, because nothing tastes better than a tomato in August or a strawberry in June. The idea that we eat only those items available during a certain time of year is really only natural and ensures the best version of that product. Plus, many vegetables that grow during a certain time of year supply our bodies with what our bodies need during that season, like a watermelon supplying our body with more water in the summer and mushrooms being high in Vitamin D which is needed in the winter.
Local farms with pick up and delivery are available on our website but we want to hear about your favorite local product! Send us an email or post it on Facebook at Aquitaine Travel Guide! Right now is asparagus and strawberries-enjoy!
ENGLISH If we can’t be out giving tours, we can still help bring local products to our neighbors. Please keep supporting your local farms. They will still be growing and raising food. By buying online on their websites, you’ll support local business and keep the people who feed us in business! Most deliver to your home or a local pick up point. FRANÇAIS Si nous ne pouvons pas être dehors pour donner des visites, nous pouvons toujours contribuer à faire venir les produits locaux chez nos voisins. Continuez de soutenir vos fermes locales. Elle continuent à faire pousser et élever. En achetant en ligne sur leurs sites, vous soutiendrez le business local et aiderez ces gens qui nous nourrissent à maintenir à flot leur affaire. La plupart livrent à domicile ou dans un point de collecte local.
Here are some options for online delivery orders with multiple farms in France (individual farms are next, des fermes individuelles ont dans la prochaine liste) Voici quelques options pour les commandes de livraison en ligne avec plusieurs fermes en France (les fermes individuelles sont les suivantes dans la prochaine liste) : Note this is new to me as well, please share your personal experiences with each provider, if you’ve used them, in comments below. Thank you!
My Farmers– works with producers locally, register online to make your order of what is available for delivery in central Bordeaux / travailler avec des fermes locales, créé votre compte et choisir des produits dispo pour une livraison a Bordeaux https://www.myfarmers.fr/
Pourdebon– some producers are not selling during this time period, be sure to click in description to verify their Facebook page seems to have what is available posted / certains producteurs ne vendent pas pendant cette période, assurez-vous de cliquer en description pour vérifier. Leur page Facebook semble avoir ce qui est disponible posté / https://www.pourdebon.com/
Cagette.net – Nouvelle Aquitaine / Offers multiple options for delivery (usually to a fixed location) from different local farms and producers / Offre plusieurs options de livraison (généralement à un endroit fixe) de différentes fermes et producteurs locaux / www.cagette.net
La Compagnie Fermiere – Merignac and Gradignan / store with local producers that does pick up and just starting delivery in Bordeaux and surrounding areas / magasin avec les producteurs locaux qui ne ramasser et tout juste de commencer la livraison à Bordeaux et les environs / Merignac@lacompagniefermiere.fr et email@example.com / https://www.lacompagniefermiere.fr/
Individual Farms – ENGLISH I’m working hard on collecting local farms still delivering, as long as they’re allowed to. Please feel free to send me more to add. There are a lot of farms open for pick up, I’m just not sure how much longer we will be allowed to drive very far. I’ve worked with many of these people, they make some amazing products in BORDEAUX/GIRONDE/AQUITAINE generally x FYI Some farms needs masks, if you have some at home or know how to make any…please give them to your local farmer! FRANÇAIS J’ai travaillé dur pour rassembler des informations sur des fermes locales qui assuraient encore des livraisons, tant qu’ils en ont encore le droit. Il y a plein de fermes ouvertes pour une collecte sur place, même si je ne sais pas combien de temps encore nous pourrons nous déplacer loin. J’ai travaillé avec plusieurs de ces producteurs sur BORDEAUX/GIRONDE/AQUITAINE. Certaines fermes ont besoin de masques, si vous en avez à la maison ou savez comment en faire, n’hésitez pas à leur en faire parvenir.
Vegetables / legumes
Ferme de Cantis – Couthure (10 minutes de Marmande) / call to order your vegetable basket to be picked up at farm / appelez pour commander votre basket de legumes à être ramassé à la ferme / Bastien +33 (0)6 16 31 86 40
Le Domaine d’Ecoline – Sadirac / vegetables and fruits, legumes et fruits / pick-up or delivery w/in 20kim of Sadirac, récupérer ou livraison entre 20km de Sadirac / order online for delivery in 48hrs, faire la commande en ligne pour livraison dans 48hrs / +33 (0)6 10 13 26 81 / Lieu dit Joyeuse, 33670 Sadirac / firstname.lastname@example.org / https://www.domaine-ecoline.fr/
Asparagus, Asperge – Noaillan / pick-up at farm, récupérer à la ferme / asparagus,asperge 5€ kilo, tips et des points a 6€ kilo / Chez FAUQUE Nathalie, 1 Suscarrot, Noaillan / +33 (0)5 56 25 39 05
Thierry Premieur– Langorian (closed) et Podensac et Langon (ouvert) / vegetable stand doing pickup and delivery orders via ONE SMS (put name, address, contact info) / stand de légumes faisant des commandes de ramassage et de livraison via UN SMS (mettre le nom, l’adresse, les coordonnées) / +33 (0)6 08 01 47 92 (Thierry) / https://www.facebook.com/thierry.primeur
Muriel ARNULL – Langon, Bazas, Cudos, Captieux, Villandrault / delivery of chickens, pintade, and butchered duck as well as eggs and duck hearts / livraison des livraison pour la volaille, poulet 7.80 le kilo, pintade 9.30 le kilo, canette 9.60 le kilo et magret découpe plus des œuf pleine aire et les coeurs de canard / email@example.com
Little Black Pig – Montesquiou / charcuterie products for pick or local delivery / des produits charcuterie, récupérer sur place ou livraisons local / +33 (0)5 62 07 15 19 / Enjouanisson, 32320 Montesquiou / firstname.lastname@example.org / http://littleblackpig.eu /
Duck / canard
Palmagri – Magasins aLangon, Auros, Bordeaux et Bazas / pick-up and local delivery at local duck coopérative making foie gras and any other sort of duck product from magret to rillettes, des produits canard et foie gras / récupérer sur place et livraisons locales dans coopérative de canard local faisant du foie gras et tout autre type de produit de canard du magret aux rillettes, des produits canard et foie gras / http://www.palmagri-foiegras.fr
La Ferme de Queyran – Bernos-Beaulac / duck and foie gras products, canard et des produits foie gras / pick-up for orders under 50€ and more than 10km, récupérer sur place ou livraison pour les commandes plus de 50€ et mois de 10km / Fabien +33 (0)6 03 19 17 86 / https://www.facebook.com/fermequeyran/
La Ferme du Moulinat – Loubens / canned duck goods, sunflower oil and canola, bio lentils, dried corn, grains for animal feed and they are part of the association Les Paysans d’Aqui, we are a group of organic or very reasoned producers who offer sales via cagette.net on Thursday evening at the new plant (former prison of La Réole), the second Wednesday of the month at my farm and we have just set up specially for sales containment on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the farm / FRANCAIS conserves de canard gras (et produits frais sur commande) huiles de tournesol et de colza Bio, lentille bio, maïs popcorn bio, céréales pour animaux bio et ils faites partie de l’asso Les Paysans d’Aqui, nous sommes un regroupement de producteurs bio ou très raisonnés qui proposons des ventes via cagette.net le jeudi soir à la nouvelle centrale (ancienne prison de La Réole), le second mercredi du mois à ma ferme et nous venons de mettre en place spécialement pour le confinement des ventes le samedi matin de 9h à 12h30 à la ferme / email@example.com / www.lafermedumoulinat.com
La Ferme Gauvry – Rimons / Bazadais beef, ducks and canned goods for pick-up, bœuf bazadais, canards et conservés pour récupérer sur place / Lieu dit Gauvry, 33580 Rions / +33 (0)5 56 71 83 96 ou +33 (0)6 07 75 19 43 / firstname.lastname@example.org / https://www.lafermegauvry.com/
La Grise de Bazas – Bazas / Bazadais beef, race bazadais veal veau Le semaine de 23 mars ready for pick-up the week of 23rd March with sausage and pate ten days after / veau le semaine de 23 mars prêt pour récupérer sous place le semaine de 23eme mars et des saucissons et pâte dix jours après / +33 (0)6 12 27 84 16 / email@example.com / https://www.lagrisedebazas.fr
Cheese and Milk / Fromage et lait
La Ferme de Pre Chic – Prechac / fresh goat cheese (and soaps), pick-up and delivery locally on orders over 15 EURO / fromage de chèvre frais (et de savon) récupérer sur place et livraison a domicile locale pour 15 EURO commande / 4 Lieu-dit Bergey et Bardine, 33730 Prechac / envoyer message sur Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lafermeduprechic/
La Ferme des Jarouilles – Coutras / pick-up at 17h Monday-Friday goat and cow, milk, yogurt and cheese as well as grains and eggs, / récupère a 17h le lundi à vendredi du chèvre et vache lait, yaourt et fromage et des graines et les œufs / +33 (0)5 57 49 28 20 / 36 Les Landes, 33230 Coutras / http://www.jarouilles.fr/
Dénis Morlans – Sendets / organic bakery delivering locally, pick-up at bakery. Hugo Délices a Bazas or at Bazas farm Johan Musseau on Saturday – boulangerie organic pour livraison locale, Hugo Délices a Bazas, récupérer sur place ou à la marche à Ferme Johan Musseau a Bazas les Samedis / 4 A Rippes, 33690 Sendets / https://m.facebook.com/LesConfituresDenisMorlans
For general inquiry check these locations :
Bienvenue à la Ferme – Great source for local farms and even places to visit after the virus quarantine is over. They are working with farmers to make sure all necessary hygiene and safety measures needed to deliver local foods / Grande source pour les fermes locales et même les endroits à visiter après la quarantaine du virus est terminée. Ils travaillent avec les agriculteurs pour s’assurer que toutes les mesures d’hygiène et de sécurité nécessaires à la livraison des aliments locauxhttps://www.bienvenue-a-la-ferme.com/nouvelle-aquitaine/produits-fermiers-produits-de-la-ferme
Lodene headed by Nicolas FAUGERE will be updating his list with map as well to help you find local producers – with a great interactive map! / Dirigé par Nicolas FAUGERE mettra à jour sa liste avec carte ainsi pour vous aider à trouver des producteurs locaux – avec une grande carte interactive!http://www.lodene.com/annuaire-covid.php
There are so many lovely towns to visit within an hour of Bordeaux. One of the most authentic and unspoiled French countryside towns might be Bazas. Its arcaded town square, beautiful Saturday morning markets and unique festivals are only a few of the reasons to visit. Come for a taste of what French life was, and has been, for centuries.
Lovely Spring Morning on Cathedral Square
How to Get There:
The closest airport is BordeauxBOD which is serviced by AirFrance, Vueling, Easyjet, RyanAir and Volotea among others. A bus can take you to Bordeaux Saint-Jean Gare for 8 EURO one way and departs every 30 minutes and tickets can be purchased online, inadvance with http://www.30direct.com.
The closest train station is Langon (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) which has regular service from Bordeaux Saint-Jean Gare. The round-trip fare is around 18 EURO for adults. There are car rental companies within walking distance to the train station.
There is limited bus service which makes arriving by car the only way to visit Bazas and is the main reason it has retained its authentic French countryside charm.
What to See : There are tours of Bazas village, Saint-Jean the Baptiste Cathedral, the ancient hospital apothecary, summer underground visits and even theatricla tours for children through the Bazadais Tourism Office, in French. There is a small archeological museum underneath the mairie which can be visited during high season on Thursday or Saturday, or with a guided tour. This traces the growth of the village and area from prehistoric times, with displayed artifacts collected over the centuries of habitation. Hours vary depending on season / +33 5 56 25 25 84 / Place de la Cathedrale, 33430 Bazas
The Cathedral and town itself is considered a UNESCO heritage site due to its placement on the Saint-Jacques Compostelle Trail. The building suffered through the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution, with many of it’s riches stolen or destroyed. One can still appreciate its significance by strolling through the aisles or by watching one of the local concerts from the pews.
For a bit of nature, take a walk along La Breche, a path along the outside wall of the cathedral with a pastural view of the town. Or, rent a bike with Les Cycles du Bazadais to tour the town and surrounding area as there are plenty of bike paths. Half day starting at 10 EURO / +33 (0)5 56 25 48 26 / 5 allées St Sauveur, 33430 BAZAS
Private tours of the town and food tours visiting the local farms can be booked through Aquitaine Travel Guide, contact directly for pricing and times / firstname.lastname@example.org / +33 (0)6 33 91 37 90
Chateau Cazeneuve 15 minutes drive from Bazas, in Cazeneuve, this chateau was started in the 13th century. The residence of Henri IV and Queen Margot has amazing gardens on its grounds for picnics and an enchanting walk to the queens grotto. Tours in French only / 11,50 EURO adults / check website for hours / +33 (0)5 56 25 48 16
Chateau Roquetaillade 15 minutes drive from Bazas, in Mazeres, is a chateau started during the 100 years war with a rather unique style. They also have a beautiful heard of Bazadais on their property and a farming museum (open in summer). Tours in French or English on demand / 9.50 EURO adults / Winter hours are Sunday only with more tours during high season / +33 (0)5 56 76 14 16
Queens Grotto at Cazeneuve
Where to Stay : While Bazas works as a day-trip from Bordeaux, there is plenty to see and it’s worth an overnight stay.
Le Sorbet, is a bed and breakfast in the hills just 5min walk to Bazas. Their stunning French countryside bedroom with balconied bathroom is a relaxing countryside escape with a garden view over the cathedral. 90 EURO for double occupancy / +33 (0)6 32 31 74 64 / 3 Sorbet, 33430 Bazas
Le Clos de la Cathedrale opened in 2019, the larger bed and breakfast has elegant rooms in an old mansion with garden, in the center of town near the cathedral. 86 EURO for double occupancy with breakfast / Book online / 9 Rue de la Taillade, 33430 Bazas
Domaine de Fompeyre*** is a larger hotel, about 15 minutes walk into town, with a great view of Bazas and covered, heated pool. They also have a restaurant and substantial parking. Rooms start around 70 EURO a night for double occupancy / +33 (0)5 56 25 98 00 / email@example.com / Route de Mont de Marsan, 33430 Bazas
No matter where you eat, you’ll want to try some Boeuf Bazadais! (pictured at Caro&Co)
What to Eat : There are a great selection of restaurants for this small town, all with their own unique charm and great lunch menus. However, don’t miss this opportunity to taste some of the Boeuf Bazadais*.
Boeuf Pop!offers up a great burger with fois gras and works with local farmers to serve locally sourced meats and cheeses with lunches under 30 EURO. Ask for a terrace seat in summer. Reservations recommended by calling / +33 (0)9 83 72 28 28 / 30 Place de la Cathedrale, 33430 Bazas
Caro&Co works with local farmers and has a light touch with their food, incorporating a lot of seasonal vegetables and beautiful plating and a lunch menu around 18 EURO. Nice garden area for dining in summer. Reservations recommended by calling / +33 (0)5 56 65 24 58 / 38 Place de la Cathedrale, 33430 Bazas
Hugo Delices does classical French and some international plates with a French touch and lunch menus at 16 EURO. Small, so request indoor dining in winter. Reservations recommended by calling / +33 5 56 25 54 34 / 23 Place de la Cathedrale, 33430 Bazas
Indigo has great classics like sweetbreads with truffle sauce but also incorporates hints of SE Asia in many dishes and lunch menu at 16 EURO. Nice for date night. Reservations can be made with LaFourchette well in advance / +33 (0)5 56 25 25 52 / 25 Rue Fondespan, 33430 Bazas
Le Maquignon has an open grill to sear your Bazadais steak to perfection, a cold buffet and a lunch menu at 14 EURO. Good for groups and they have a covered terrace out back for summer months. +33 (0)5 56 65 58 73 / 4 Cours du Marechal Foch, 33430 Bazas
La Breche Antiques Hunting
Where to Shop : Not all the shopping is found on the pedestrian street of Rue Fondespan and antiques lovers will want to come Saturday when all of the antiques stores are open.
Antiques of all varieties and pricing can be found in Bazas. The charming Jean-Luc Creiche on 8 Rue Bragous has a collection of tableware, light fixtures and furnishings of all price ranges and will search for whatever you need. Un Air de Curiosities specializes in fine French countryside antiques in a romantic shop under the arcades at 43 Place de la Cathedrale. When you look to the Cathedral, notice a small road leading to the right called Rue Theophile Servieres and you will discover Antiquites La Breche which is like going into your grandmothers garage and realizing she collected unique antiques during her travels.
Fine foods and fresh produce can be found at the idyllic green grocer Serge Baradat on Rue Fondespan who sells fois gras products from Palmagri in nearby Auros. The Concerverie Lamigeon under the arcades at 26 Place de la Cathedrale has been making excellent pate since the 1940s, like porc pate with Sauternes wine and pate of boar or deer.
If you are looking for a nice memento of your visit in Bazas, look no further than the Bazas Tourism Office with mugs, aprons, books and other items for sale. The tableware and cavisteTradition, on Rue Fondespan, has charming plates with the Bazadais cattle or palombes on them to take home, amongst other specialties.
When to Visit : Outside of festivals the town is great to visit most days, except Monday when everything tends to be closed. Oddly, for a small town, on Sunday mornings and early afternoon there are shops and restaurants open. Saturday, however, might be the most charming day to come and enjoy the market, shops and dining. During festivals and market days, the parking in the main square is closed. Try finding a spot on Avenue Anatole de Monzie (near the rugby stadium) and take the 5 minute walk into town.
Fete de Boeuf Gras 2019
20 February, 2020 – for the Boeuf Gras Festival, get there early as this town of 5,000 people swells to 20,000 to celebrate epiphany and the cattle bearing their name. Bazadais cattle were originally brought over by the Moors during the 400AD invasion. A smaller breed, they were used for pulling carts and work but in 1980’s were brought back from near extinction and have found their place as one of the finest beef products for their marbled, fatty flesh. Bazadais have been celebrated since 1283 with parades, demonstrations and stands serving any style of beef. Restaurants also have special menus this day, but you’ll need to book at least two weeks in advance.
24 June 2020 – Festival of Saint Jean, to coincide around the summer solstice, is an evening parade (arrive early for a good view) and fire spectacle with people jumping through bonfires by the end. The entire town turns into outdoor bars, live music and restauration during multiple days. It can get messy in the late hours but the day time is fun, there is even a carnival for the kids by the library.
TBA September/October 2020 – Fete de la Palombe, a celebration of the hunting season. Specifically, the wild pigeons. Come learn about this unique hunting method and hear bird calling coemptions, witness the blessing of the pigeons in the cathedral, horn concerts and meet the brotherhoods celebrating the palombe and other regional delicacies.
Fete de Saint Jean
*Restaurants in alphabetical order and not exhaustive. Boeuf Bazadais represents a race and could have been raised and slaughtered anywhere in the country. If the restaurant is serving Boeuf de Bazas, this is an animal raised and slaughtered in the area but could be a Blonde d’Aquitaine, Bazadais or other race.