From the blog

Blueberry picking in the wild Forez

Few months ago, I was telling you about an instameet in  Forez, discovering winter entertainment in that area.

This summer Tourism office of Loire Forez organised an event with  Loire Tourisme , and Musée de la Fourme de Sauvain, and of course Igers St Etienne, and it was about spending a day picking blueberries, on August 17th

Blueberries, I eat them (a lot of them), and I had picked some in the past (when I was an au pair in USA). I do remember laying in the ground, picking berries and having the kids throwing blueberries at me, trying to hit my mouth. 🙂

But here, it was different from USA because of the size of the fruit : small because in the wild, not in a farm. And the landscape was definitely prettier than being in a farm : we were in the Forez, in the middle of nowhere, and it was gorgeous !

🙂

The schedule for the day was simple : walking all the way up to a “jasserie” (a shed build in the mountain that farmer use to shelter and make cheese), getting lots of explanations about local plants and flowers on our way there, and tools to pick up berries (we used “peigne” – combs) that makes picking much more efficient !

And then, after picking our blueberries, we’ll have lunch with local food (delicatessen and local cheese too, but also :  Sauvagnets ©, something between a blueberry donut and a blueberry pancake. Very yummy !

So here are in photos, a little sum up of my day there, what I did (and what I ate) 🙂

Driving through the Beal pass, the sky was electric, and quite scary !

Weather was announced to be with storms and lightning, and I believe we were lucky because we finally didnt have any rain on that day. But in the morning, there, it looked really frightning 🙁

You could feel the electricity in the sky 🙁 🙁 🙁

Our meeting was in Sauvain, auat the Museum of Fourme and traditions, with a little welcome breakfast:)

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And we drove then to reach a hiking path that will lead us, an hour walk later, to the Jasserie, were we’ll spend the rest of the day 🙂

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Beautiful landscape, in altitude, isolated and peaceful, where little flowers of the heather match with the yellow ones of the gentian. Quite magic !

Our guide actually gave us lots of informations about the local plants, and I remember one thing : how to recognize the gentian from it’s toxic look alike plant the “veratre” (couldn’t find the english translation for this, sorry).

Gential’s leaves are facing each other whereas on the toxic plant, they alternate and not facing.

good to know, right ?

🙂

Here is some gentian

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We also walked past some wild rapsberry. How delicious ! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Once at the  Jasserie, we used blueberry combs and after a little explanation we were ready for the harvest !

🙂

Picking technics but also difference between the good blueberries and the toxic berries : the bad ones are white inside, but also, their leaves are darker and more rounds (the good one are on the right side on this photo).

It’s so good to learn about plants and nature, I used to be a city girl but now I really enjoy learning about all this.

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So here we go, for some blueberry picking, surrounded by cows ! 🙂

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I’m quite proud of my harvest : I picked 1kg of blueberries (and made jam since then) 🙂

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But the thing I havn’t thought of is that when you pickup berries with a comb, you, indeed, also pick up leaves but also SPIDERS !!!!! (yes, I’m still a city girl inside, quite scared by bugs… but working on this !) 🙂

sorting this took a while but the jam I made out of it was worth it ! 🙂

After this morning harvest, here came the yummy part of the day : drinks and lunch ! 🙂

I had a great time with all the people around me, thanks a lot to the organisers for such an awesome event !

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and of course, talking about blueberries, it has to be about a blue tongue contest ! 🙂

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and then was the time to hike down to the valley again for the end of that event. Not without admiring for the last time these beautiful landscapes around us

🙂

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Once again, this event was just perfect. What an awesome day ! Learning discovering, tasting, everything local and natural, it was perfect and also great to meet new people and see again some others 🙂

THANKS A LOT to the organisers of this Instameet ! I just can’t wait for the next one 🙂

🙂

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Photographer, traveler, and silly knitter

Alone, driving a car for miles and miles, with a good music playlist, my cameras on the passenger seat.

Witnessing the beauty of a landscape, or the raw feeling of real love, emotions and bonds people may have with each other and sometimes crying just because this is just so beautiful...

That's where my best memories come from... and photos too :)

Andalusian in my heart, I've been dancing sevillanas (flamenco) for more than 12 years, I also spent 2 years living in USA. (I'm deeply in love with Oregon and the Pacific Northwest area)

Native French, I do speak English, and Spanish and love learning about cultural differences

Feel free to contact me  for further informations :)

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