Excellent article on our gîte by Solène Pinhoat in Bleu Tomate: “Paradise hidden in the Kingdom of a Provencal Forest”

Solène exactly captures the essence of what we are trying to do, and what it is like to come here from the hurly burly of daily life in towns and cities… and then go back again.  She was asked to write this piece by the Parc National Régional de la Sainte Baume, which awarded our gîte their very first Valeurs Parc award for excellence. Here is the link to the article in French followed by this translation in English: Paradise hidden in the kingdom of a Provençal forest Géraldine and Mark Whitcombe-Power welcome all those who love Nature – but specifically those who have not had the good fortune to experience it – at their Domaine des Escavalins where they produce Extra Virgin olive oil. In fact, they are the first ever to be nominated best « Value of the Park » in the National and Regional Park of the Massif de Sainte-Baume, the mountains between Aix-en-Provence, Toulon and Brignoles. Go there and you will be immersed in the heart of the Var forest.  « To live happily, stay hidden », said Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755 – 94) in his poem Le Grillon, and Géraldine et Mark Whitcombe-Power do exactly that, except that the good news is they are prepared to share their home with those who want to experience a moment of great detachment from the world in their secret garden.  The adventure begins on the track. After some narrow streets and tight corners in the charming little village of Belgentier, the tarmac ends. Forget your GPS.  Dare to take a forest track, be confident in yourself… and put your faith in the...
Clay powder to produce organic olive oil

Clay powder to produce organic olive oil

A lot of producers have very few olives this season, the second bad year in a row which will make life very hard for some, and we heard that this is probably due to two or three weeks of very hot weather during the flowering period which roasted the small olive flowers before they could set to fruit. And it’s true we have very few olives on our Aglandau trees, but fortunately different varieties flower at different times and later at higher altitude (we are at 300 metres ASL), and some of our trees are protected by the cliffs from the drying Mistral wind. So in fact it looks like we may have a decent harvest with our Bouteillans, Cayet Roux and Brun varieties, which we are busy protecting with an organic treatment of clay powder which distracts the olive fruit fly and stops her laying eggs in the fruit,  (see photos), which of course allows us to produce organic olive oil.                       Before the treatment of clay powder…           After the treatment…           And more in the area we call the Feu Bas…...