We have been on local radio, here is the address to hear Lesley talk about the project Naturellement Chouette:
It is so important to Naturellement Chouette that single use plastic bottles become a thing of the past. This is why we have installed refill stations in several of the shops which stock VAM. In return for remembering to bring back an empty bottle, our customers can now help reduce plastic waste and pay less for their VAM. Win win, VAM VAM!
We have used up nearly all our plants in our new batch of VAM and we are proud to say it smells great! We macerated the herbs in 12% organic vinegar at a local coop, Jardins de la Haute Vallée, of which we are a member. This gives us access to the facilities we need to produce on a large scale.
We are selling our Herbosel as fast as we can make it, and are very happy to have found a local supply of salt from Gruissan in the Aude department.
We swapped a handful of Herbosel for a handful of fleur de sel, and filled the car with sacs of salt for our next batch ... next mission, harvest rosemary and thyme...
The use of lavender has been recorded for more than 2,500 years. Egyptians, Phoenicians and the people of Arabia used lavender as a perfume, and for mummification. In ancient Greece, lavender was used as a cure for everything from insomnia and aching backs to insanity. Lavender flowers were sold in ancient Rome for 100 denarii per pound - equivalent to a full month's wage for a farm laborer - and were used to scent the water in Roman baths, hence the plant's name, from the Latin lavare, meaning "to wash". The Romans also used lavender as a perfume, insect repellent and flavoring. Cleopatra, according to legend, used lavender to seduce Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, lavender was strewn over the stone floors of castles for use as a disinfectant and deodorant. It was one of many medicinal herbs grown in monastery gardens, used to ward off disease.
During the Great Plague of London in the 17th century, people fastened bunches of lavender to each wrist to protect themselves from the Black Death, and glove makers scented their stocks of leather with lavender oil to ward off the disease. In France, the town of Grasse has an important part to play in the history of lavender. The development of its perfume industry in the 18th century made lavender, which grows on arid soils and was collected by women and children, an important source of income for small farmers who would otherwise have been forced to join the rural exodus of the time.
At Naturellement Chouette we have planted lavender augustifolia, or 'true lavender', for its therapeutic and antiseptic properties.
Like many herbs and spices, savory is indigenous to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region.
Today, several varieties of both summer and winter savory are cultivated worldwide - summer savory for cooking, winter savory for herbal and medicinal extracts.
The old English word "saverey" was derived from the Latin "satureia" meaning "satyr's herb." It has been associated with love potions for centuries. The famous French herbalist Maurice Mességué suggested savory instead of ginseng to help couples restore happiness in the bedroom. Romans used savory as a medicinal and culinary herb long before they discovered pepper. They used it as a medicinal herb for bee stings, and as an aphrodisiac. Shakespeare wrote of savory, and the herb was taken to North America by early settlers to remind them of their English gardens. Through the centuries, both summer and winter savory have been used to soothe stomach pains, curb flatulence, to promote the health of female reproductive system, and as an aphrodisiac.
Winter savory, and its annual cousin summer savory, are known mainly as culinary herbs, though they do possess medicinal properties. Savory is a carminative herb recommended for gas and digestive upsets, including colic, diarrhea and indigestion. Its antiseptic and astringent properties make it a good treatment for sore throats. A poultice of the leaves gives quick relief to insect bites.
Savory leaves and tender shoots carry high-quality chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing and health promoting properties. Savory leaves contain many essential oil phenols such as thymol, which is scientifically proven to have antiseptic, anti-fungal characteristics. Another, carvacrol, inhibits the growth of several bacteria strains like E. coli, and Bacillus cereus. Carvacrol, therefore, has been used as healthy food additive for its anti-bacterial properties.
Savory 's leaves and tender shoots are also one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium. The herb is also a rich in many important vitamins such as B-complex group vitamins, vitamin-A, vitamin-C, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine.
At Naturellement Chouette we have given savory the place it deserves in our fields and in our recipes. It is an essential ingredient of both VAM and Herbosel...
This weekend our new baby plants arrived from the Pepinière ensoleillée
(http://www.pepinierelensoleillee.com/). Our more local supplier was a bit overwhelmed by our order last year so this time we had to go further afield. We have hundreds of lavender, verbena, savory and rosemary plants to get into the earth. As storms and rains were forecast for saturday we got straight on and planted all the lavender on one of our abandoned terraces. These plants will be visible from the road and we can wait to see them grow and flower. The storm came in the evening and watered our new plantation.
A lot of preparation work went into preparing these terraces which were covered in broom bushes
We also made the most of the good weather to harvest our thyme plants which we planted last year. These plants are spreading out and filling in the ground between the rows with baby thyme plants which we will transfer this autumn to increase our plantation.
We will leave a few plants in flower for our friends the bees
Mint is grows all over the world and has many as 600 different varieties. i has long been used as a culinary and medicinal herb .
Mint is originally native of the Mediterranean, and was spread by the romans throughout their empire.
The name mint comes from a nymph named Minthe or Menthe, who was the lover of Hades, god of the underworld. Hades’ wife Persephone was jealous so she turned Minthe into a ground-clinging plant and trampled on her. Although Hades was unable to change Minthe back into a nymph, he gave her the ability to sweeten the air when her leaves and stems were crushed.
Mint has long been a symbol of hospitality, which can also be traced back to Greek mythology. Two strangers walking through a village were ignored by most of the villagers until eventually an old couple offered them a meal. The couple rubbed the table with mint leaves to freshen and clean it for their guests. The strangers were in fact the gods Hermes and Zeus in disguise, who in their appreciation rewarded the couple by turning their humble home into a temple.
According to the Bible mint was so valuable it was used as tithes by the Pharisees along with anise and cumin. It has been found in Egyptian tombs. In the 14th Century mint was known for its healing properties and was used to whiten teeth. Culpepper used mint to treat almost 40 different ailments.
Mint contains a wide range of minerals, is rich in Vitamin A and C and contains small amounts of Vitamin B2. It is also a powerful antioxidant.
To make a strong concoction and enjoy the curative properties of the herb, dried mint leaves are boiled in water to soothe the digestive tract and help relieve severe stomachache. Herbal mint tea cleanses the stomach and helps to eliminate toxins from the body. Taken on a regular basis and included in a healthy diet, mint reduces the growth of fungus and bacteria. Mint also has antifungal properties that help cure asthma and allergies. Mint is a natural stimulant, and the smell alone can be enough to charge your batteries and get your brain functioning on a high level again if you are feeling sluggish, anxious, depressed, or simply exhausted.
Mint juice is an excellent skin cleanser. It soothes skin, and helps to cure infections and itchiness, as well as being a good way to reduce pimples, and it can even relieve some of the symptoms of acne. Its anti-pruritic properties can be used for treating insect bites like those of mosquitoes, honeybees, hornets, wasps, and gnats. The cooling sensation will relieve you of the irritating sensation to scratch, and the anti-inflammatory nature of mint will bring down swelling
At Naturellement Chouette we have planted spearmint (mentha viridis), for its pungency. We can be as mean to it as Persephone was, it just keeps coming back for more! We use our mint in VAM and Herbosel, and we also make little mint bags which are perfect to put into the hands of children who suffer from travel sickness. They can rub the soft material and release the refreshing aroma of mint, a quick and effective remedy for nausea. With one of our 20g sachets of mint you can make your daily cup of medicinal mint tea and refill the little mint bags when they lose their aroma!