In recent years, there has been an awareness among consumers about eating-better with a desire to change consumption patterns and turn to French and local products.

According to Ipsos:

  • 82% of French people prefer to buy products of French origin;
  • 77% prefer to buy products offered by local producers.

Today, 86% of seniors have adopted this mode of consumption and there are now 71% of young people who are sensitive to buying local products.

The trend to buy local affects absolutely all food categories, led by vegetables 84% and fruit 83% (source).

The COVID-19 crisis has also made consumers aware of the benefits of local consumption.

The French are becoming curious, willing and actors of this new mode of consumption.

Whether they are young people, students, workers or retirees, each of them is now part of this new community that continues to grow, exchange, share and create new links to build a harmonious world between nature and humanity around eating well and consuming locally.

It is in this context that we imagined a crazy project: the Chevalier de l’Astrée, a contemporary quest that consists of creating and developing an edible forest, both a place of refuge and a source of food.

It took 3 years of work to find a suitable land, develop the project with a specialist in the design of edible forests, surround yourself with nurserymen and gardeners, go to Mouscron (Belgium) to see an inspiring initiative…

Today, the Knights site is 100% operational, with new formulas, so that everyone can (offer) an ethical gift to be called for life Dame Chevalier, Chevaleresse or Chevalier de l’Astrée, while sponsoring a young edible forest in the process of development at Roche Posay.

The Domaine des Chevaliers de l’Astrée: a refuge for all foraging insects

Unprecedented in France, the Domaine des Chevaliers de l’Astrée initiative creates an edible forest in which all foraging insects can take refuge and feed. Everyone wins: insects of course but also nature, animals and humans.

Because currently, modern intensive agriculture is wreaking havoc: we observe in particular the decline of nearly 40% of populations of foraging insects. Without them, more than half of our fruits, vegetables and everyday consumer products are doomed to disappear.

Moreover, the concept of edible forests is far from utopian! because

“In Spain, Austria, and several other countries, edible forest projects no longer have to prove their benefits for nature and biodiversity. It is also time for us in France, to start cultivating, in the middle of our fields, spaces populated by melliferous and nectariferous plants conducive to foraging insects. »

The Domaine des Chevaliers de l’Astrée is located in Fontsémont, near La Roche-Posay (Vienne 86). It is located in the heart of nature, on 1.7 hectares of old vines backed by a forest, within a perimeter of protection of drinking water catchments therefore protected from pesticides.

The edible forest, a flagship technique of permaculture

In contrast to monoculture, widely used in intensive and industrial agriculture, the edible forest is based on a model of sustainable and self-sufficient agriculture, in which man works with nature, not against it.

Like a natural forest, an edible forest is composed of a great diversity of plants ranging from mushrooms to trees. Once adult, this nourishing garden brings fruit, is able to live without watering, nourishes itself and creates a micro climate. This forest garden is divided into “plots” called guilds.

It is composed of melliferous and nectariferous species. Flowering takes place over long months and attracts foraging insects, develops pollination, repels pests and unwanted plants, and fertilizes good plants.

She’s self-fertile. As Robert Hart, who transposed tropical edible forests to our Western temperate climates, says, “No one fertilizes or irrigates a forest. The forest is autonomous. If you are able to recreate a food forest then your main effort will be to reap the rewards!”

“The edible forest is designed on the model of a multi-stage natural forest (roots and climbing plants, fruits and vegetables, then fruit shrubs such as bushes, fruit trees such as apple or cherry trees, then finally the canopy – the tallest trees), capable of constituting real refuges for pollinating insects, and conserving the biodiversity of our countryside. “

For all bumblebees, solitary bees, beetles, butterflies, wasps, osmias, xylocopes, flies and other foraging insects that play a crucial role in biodiversity, the survival of nature, and the production of our fruits and vegetables, it is important to develop in France edible forests, real paradises on Earth!

Want to join us?

To participate in this great human and ecological adventure, or to offer this symbol of friendship and ethical commitment, simply choose from the 4 packs offered !