The guided tour: La Royrie, a walk in a 500 year old olive grove
  • Duration 1:15
  • In French or English
  • Price : 10 € / pax

Contents

  • The grove with its multi-century-old olive trees
  • The authentic “mazets”, peasants houses of the eighteenth century
  • The museum of rural life
  • The medieval garden
  • The herbularium
  • The collection of salvias
  • The medicinal garden
  • The insect place,
  • And ... tasting of olive oils and gourmet products from the garden

During the visit with detailed commentary, you will learn all about the cultivation of olive trees, its cutting, harvest, AOP, organic farming, use of auxiliaries, fight against olive fly, definition of a quality oil. All this in a fun and a sensory approach: feel, smell, hear, taste ... 

Detailed explanations of the tour

1- Dry-garden. The flora is rich in Mediterranean climates. To survive in this challenging environment, the dry climate plants have had to specialize and to diversify so as to become adapted to multiple soil conditions, exposure latitude or altitude. Achillea umbellata, Centaurea bella, Chamaemelum nobile, Hieracium pilosella, Sedum gypsicola, Tanacetum densum subsp. Amanii, Thymus ciliatus ... These plants play a role here of ground cover, they run between the tiles and allow an esthetic play between the vegetal and mineral.

2-Collection of sages. Considered as the plant with a thousand virtues, sage or « plant that saves »( salvia) effectively treats deseases asfor instance female infertility. Expert in seduction, sage attracts insects by bright colors, a lower lip constituting an ideal « landing zone » for insects. Look at them carefully, such as salvia canariensis (scent of camphor), salvia chamaedryoides (tiny indentations) or salvia guaranitica (anise scent)

3-Herbularium of scents . Amongst our five senses, smell is probably the least exploited. Yet it is a source of pleasure and discovery. Take a leaf from the plant, rub your hands. If your hands are fragrant, it shows that it is an aromatic plant that contains essential oils. In Grasse, they are grown since the seventeenth century. We have selected eg the fragrant geranium (remarkable smell of mint), wormwood, chamomile,... we use in our famous taste auxiliaries

4- Medicinal herbs garden. It includes plants and herbs studied since antiquity for both their aromatic properties but also therapeutic, magic and religious. It contains melissa that gives a lemony note to salads and relieves nervous disorders, rosemary that gives taste to the meat and treats the nerves, thyme that perfumes the soup and treats coughs, tarragon that gives flavor to chicken and heal digestive problems, marjoram enriching sauces and fluidize the joints ...

5-Dry stone wall of 500 years. Imagine our bricklayers from the fifteenth century, with simple tools, without cement, with a simple hammer and chisel. An incredible work! Cut very precisely, the limestone blocks are winckled out from the hill, adjusted to fit together like pieces of a puzzle. With a slight slope , an invisible pebble layer behind the wall to facilitate drainage, those walls allow cultivation on horizontal terraces and maintain soil fertility. These walls without cement bravely stand up for 500 years!

6-Cactus garden. They are fleshy plants adapted to survive in arid countries. Their adaptation is related to their ability to store water in the leaves, stems or roots. They are able to quickly absorb rainwater in the ground or the morning fog. The name succulent plant comes from suculentus, in Latin meaning "full of juice."

7-The olive harvest. Regular sending an olive sample to an analaysis laboratory allows us to determine the optimum moment of maturity for picking. When the D-Day comes, generally in November, the staff extends the nets on the ground, a second staff « comb » the trees to drop fruits, a third removes leaves. The olives are ready to be transported without wasting time, otherwise loss of flavor!

8- 500 years olive trees. Look around and admire the bark of this olive tree that has seen the reign of Louis XI. The evidence is, the olive tree is eternal, well almost eternal! For living a long life, the tree has a solid strategy. First a root system network that starts in all directions 50 cm below the surface in order to capture and retain every drop of rain. In the stump there is a real water reservoir located above the roots. Leaves, which one face is covered with wax to reduce evaporation. A grwoth extremely slow, with a circumference growing half a centimeter per year. Put your hand on the bark, and maybe you could feel the echo of battles that have marked the history of Provence for 500 years.

9-Flowers for perfume: Helichrysum italicum, the plant that makesyou immortal. Greek mythology associates this plant to the God Apollo; It is said that he wore these yellow flowers to remind everyone of his immortality. Napoleon found them in Corsica: a rounded bunch with blue effects, topped with multiple yellow flowers in early summer, a powerful scent evoking the curry. In the twentieth century, scientists recognize their medicinal properties, especially the care of hematoma.

10-Perfumes and olive oil. Since ancient times and until the industrial revolution, we could extract the fragrance of flowers only by cold absorption enfleurage (with olive oil or animal fat). On a frame are arranged petals, then an oil-soaked cloth will collect the odor molecules. At this period, Grasse perfumers should therefore possess olive groves.


11- Vegetable-garden. After departure of the Monks of Lerins, in the middle of the fifteenth century, peasant families were installed in the grove to maintain the olive trees and harvest the olives. Vegetables and cereals were planted between the trees, completed in the eighteenth century by plants for perfumes. Today we cultivate choice of tomatoes, cucurbits and centifolia roses

12- Pruning olive trees. It is very difficult to produce quality olive oil with very old olive trees, particularly in organic farming . That is why we opted for an ambitious pruning of the trees. An extremely severe cutting was made in 2003. Our goals, reduce the size of the tree and the quantity of olives and thus improve their quality. Shorten the sap stream , promote photosynthesis and thus improve the aroma concentration. Since then, we prune them lightly every three years to limit their growth and keep their optimal form.

13-Planting tuberosas. Polianthes tuberosa was in the past abundant in the region of Grasse, tuberosa is primarily used for perfumery. Natural essence of tuberosa was formerly obtained by the technique of cold enfleurage. The result is a very heady notes rather green in the beginning, it evolves into a milky and solar scent, That can recall a effect of coconut. Tuberosa enters in Fracas composition, a reknowed perfume composed in 1948 by the famous Germaine Cellier.

14-Associated plants. So as to use better nitrogen from the air which is released into the soil, to benefit from the protective effect (towards disease) or repulsive (towards pests) of certain species. To benefit from effect that certain plant species get on others, due to substances excreted by their roots. The preferred companion plant of the olive tree: the viscous inule (Dittrichia viscosa).

15-The shed-museum of rural life. In this shed from XVllth century, a floor is devoted to the daily life of women in rural areas in Grasse, and another in the work of men: agriculture, hunting ... This small museum of Elie and Marguerite tries to revive a mood, to create emotions and show tools, instruments, devices and everyday clothes that xere used up to in nineteen century in Grasse

THANK YOU TO MAKE A U- TURN AND COME DOWN AT THE CACTUS LEVEL BEFORE TURNING LEFT

16- Insect hotel. Pollinator insecst,, ladybird larvas that eat aphids, insects that transform the dead wood, warms that plow and aerate the soil ... organic gardens must welcome all hosts from woods and fields, because they allow ecosystem, balanced wildlife and limit the occurrence of inevitable diseases in intensive farming areas.

17- Medieval-style garden. For the monks of the fourteenth century, the garden is as much philosophical as useful. The squares (wattle braided chestnut) symbolize the four rivers of paradise. The arbor is used to meditate, cypress are fingers that indicate the sky. In the Middle Ages, people used to eat according to their social class. The farmer square is planted with nutritious root vegetables. The noble square is reserved for tall crops, not "contaminated" by the ground. The monk square show vegetables for the "pot". The women square (or witch square) has medicinal plants and edible flowers

18- Hen house. The chicken is the best friend of theorganic farm, if it is nourished with organic foods and rich flaxseed Omega 3 that provides essential elements protective of the cardiovascular system. It is also a remarkable transformer of domestic waste into organic fertilizer.

19- Boutique / oil cellar. Here you will find olive oils , gastronomic products from the farm and the immortal oily macerate. You can buy our books, request additional information and explanations, and inform you about tourism in the Grasse country. You will be invited to taste our products, our oils through our method: oléologie, i.e. oil tasting session.


Good walk full of taste and sensory !