The adage is now known to all: for our health, consume five fresh fruits and vegetables daily! We try somehow to respect it, for the benefits that these gifts of nature bring us... But are we always aware of the origin and composition of what we eat on a daily basis? Do we respect the seasons like our grandparents did? Living in the Audomarois, nothing could be simpler! The marsh vegetables honor our stalls by the dozens.

Swamp Vegetable – Cauliflower Crowd Period

Sylvain Dewalle – The market gardeners of the Petite Meer

Thanks to the fertile soils of our marshes, mostly peat, vegetables find an ideal environment to grow there. Since the dawn of time, local market gardeners have maintained this marsh, questioning its nourishing lands, caring for its fruits and harvesting them with love to take them to market places. Nothing has changed since, or very little.

The railways have modified the distribution networks and the tractor has supplanted the flat-bottomed boat for transport... One of the heirs of these land experts perpetuates the ancestral gestures and always goes to the market accompanied by his escute... What audomarois does not know Sylvain Dewalle and his team, the market gardeners of the little Meer? These have been delighting insiders for more than ten years by offering, throughout the year, around forty vegetables including old varieties, as well as local products from Audomarois partners (oil, honey, etc.). ).

Quality labels

For these marsh workers, the hours and days of labor are countless. On average, the job requires twelve hours of daily work, six days a week... There is plenty to do! Peasant agriculture and obtaining certain distinctions, such as the Red Label, the Value Label of the Regional Natural Park or the GlobalGAP certification, require a certain amount of work and the application of know-how transmitted from generation to generation. . For good vegetables, the market gardeners of the small Meer take care to bring to the earth only what is necessary, while making the most of the resources of Mother Nature, such as the silt of the vases that we once pulled with a baguette. Before being able to harvest, the soil must be optimized for drainage, hoeed, watered, hoeed and this so that the vegetables can grow in a natural way.

Market gardening in the marsh of St – Omer – Credit: Philippe Hudelle, Walk in the Audomarois

Respect for the land and the seasons

Harmful treatments, impoverished land, disastrous carbon footprint, missing flavours, diminished nutritional qualities, improbable energy expenditure… This is what today's vegetables inspire in us! But this is not the case when you consume local products harvested by market gardeners respecting the seasons and leaving time to time. In addition, they guarantee unparalleled freshness and flavors, for healthy and authentic products at the best price!

Vegetables from spring to winter

At the beginning of autumn, summer vegetables slowly bow out while winter vegetables enter the scene: celery, carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Jerusalem artichokes, open-ground endives... So many rich, consistent and abundant products. vitamins and minerals! An essential cocktail to face the frost. Isn't nature well made? Tasty stews, soups, broths and stews are yours!

Author J. FLANDRIN – Article published in the Audomarwouah magazine of September 2017

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