Monday, 14 June 2021

Valencay Cheese, a Loire Valley Speciality

Valençay cheese is a goats milk cheese that comes from the Berry, in the area around the town of Valençay. Like the other goats cheeses of the Loire Valley it is a raw milk cheese, coated in ash and salt and eaten at about three weeks old. 

Valencay cheese, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Pure white inside.


 If you are a fan of goats cheeses, let us introduce you to our favourite.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.


Thursday, 10 June 2021

Fabulous Medieval Fortresses in the Anglin Valley

 ‘Castles’ in France fall into three broad categories: Medieval fortresses ie proper defensive castles; Renaissance luxury country houses built by the aristocracy, and what most people call ‘chateaux’; and 19C luxury country houses, often closely mimicking their Renaissance forebears, but built by wealthy industrialists.

Chateau de Forges, Vienne, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Chateau de Forges.



Most of the attention in the Loire Valley focuses on the 16th century Renaissance chateaux, but if you step just a little outside the UNESCO World Heritage area you could encounter some entirely different chateaux.If you would like to see some chateaux that are fine examples of surviving medieval fortresses let us know when you book your tour with us.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Truffles in the Loire Valley

Black Truffle Tuber melanosporum (Fr. Truffe noire) is native to the Loire Valley, but has long since disappeared from the wild. According to my expert botanist friend François the best place to find truffles was under isolated oak trees in the middle of wheat fields, but fifty years of modern farming practices and fungicides sprayed on wheat crops have destroyed the habitat for truffles. Nowadays they are cultivated, in orchards planted with inoculated oak trees. Black Truffles fruit in the winter, and over winter there is a series of specialist markets in the otherwise undistinguished village of Marigny-Marmande.

Buying a truffle at a market, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Me buying a truffle at the market.



If you would like to learn more about truffles how truffles are cultivated, and maybe even experience the pungent savoury atmosphere at the truffle market, let us know when you book your tour with us.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Joan of Arc in the Loire Valley -- The Chateau of Rivau and the War Stallions

 
The chateau of Rivau, near Chinon, was built in 1420 so when Joan saw it would have been quite shiny and new. She came here after her meeting with Charles VII, as the Chateau supplied the war stallions she had been granted. The existing stables at the chateau are several centuries later though, so she definitely would not recognise those. Nevertheless, it is a lovely place to visit, with a fairytale 15th century castle in a charming blend of decorative and defensive styles, and an extensive and beautiful garden. 

 

Chateau de Rivau, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Cheese in the Loire Valley

In my experience travellers to the Loire Valley are divided into two sorts of people. The first are already fans of goats cheese. The others are people who have tried goats cheese elsewhere, and think they don’t like goats cheese. Once they try any of the Loire Valley cheeses they discover a new food that they love, and from then on are hooked.


Selles sur Cher and Sainte Maure de Touraine goat cheese, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Selles sur Cher and Sainte Maure de Touraine goat cheese.

All of the traditional cheeses in the Loire Valley are goats milk cheeses (usually referred to as ‘chevre’ in French) and the area is known for them. The biggest selling goats cheeses in France come from here and there are protections in place to ensure the product is what the label says it is. If you would like to learn about how they are made (as well as taste some of course) then let us know when you book your tour with us.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Pears In the Loire Valley

 

Like apples and cherries, pears do extremely well in the Loire Valley. The perfect climate for them here has resulted in many very old gnarled pear trees in farmyards and along country roadsides. These old, semi-wild pear trees have fruit that is very large and woody. They are not for eating fresh, and even cooked they are not always successful, so mostly now they become food for omnivorous wildlife such as martens and badgers.

Pears on the tree. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Doyenne de Comice and Nashi pears in my orchard.

To find out the surprising ways pears are (or were) used in the Loire Valley and why there are so many pear trees in the landscape book a tour with us.

 

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Friday, 21 May 2021

A Conversation About Bread in France

Organic bread at a market, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Organic sourdough bread at my local market.
 

A few months ago I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Annie Sargent from Join Us In France about bread. She recorded our conversation as one of her weekly podcasts, and you can listen to it here [link].

Using a baguette vending machine, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Using the baguette vending machine in a nearby village.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.


Monday, 17 May 2021

World War Two French Resistance in the Loire Valley – Remembering the Communists.

8 May is Victory in Europe Day and there will be commemorations all over to celebrate the end of the Second World War in Europe. The memorial plaque on the town hall in the photo is in a tiny village in the Touraine Loire Valley and names two local Communists who joined the Resistance and were killed. The ceremony in the village will begin at the town hall, with the laying of wreaths, then villagers will march to the cemetery, a few hundred metres away, where more wreaths will be laid at the foot of the War Memorial. Then there will be drinks and cake in the village hall.

 

Memorial plaque to Communist French Resistance fighters in a small village, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

If you would like to learn more about the Resistance in the Touraine Loire Valley and hear the stories of personal courage from ordinary people then book a tour with us.


To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Joan of Arc in the Loire Valley: Chinon and Convincing the King

When she first arrived in Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, near Tours, from the north-east of France, Joan stayed in the pilgrim hostelry, dressed in men's clothing, with her six male companions, on her way to see the Dauphin Charles, on 4 and 5 March 1429. From here she wrote Charles a letter requesting to see him. He responded favourably and sent two men to escort her to Chinon.

Medieval pilgrim hostel (now town hall), Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Medieval pilgrim hostelry (now town hall) that Joan stayed in.


If you want to know how the rest of the story goes, book a tour with us.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Apples in the Loire Valley

Apples are the most popular fruit in France, with each French person eating on average 16 kilos of apples annually (followed by 12kg of bananas and 10 kg of oranges). The three most popular eating and culinary apple varieties in France are Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Reine des Reinettes. In France there is no prejudice against apples that are not red, and sweet, not too acidic apples that retain their form when cooked are preferred.

Organic orchardist at a market, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
My local organic orchardist at the market, with an old variety of apple that he has been unable to identify.


When people think of apples and France they normally bring to mind Brittany and Normandy. But we would like to introduce you to the dessert apples of the Touraine Loire Valley.


To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Joan of Arc in the Loire Valley

Joan of Arc, or Jeanne d’Arc as she is called in French, spent most of the part of her life that history regards as significant in the Loire Valley. Mind you, that’s not a very long time – she arrived here from her birthplace in the north-east in March 1429, and just over a year later she was captured by the Burgundians and her fate sealed. Living as I do in the Loire Valley, I ‘meet’ Joan in Chinon, Loches, Tours and Sainte Catherine de Fierbois. Orléans, also in the Loire Valley, where her association with the city is better known, is a bit far east for me and outside my home territory, so I won’t relate events there. Following in the footsteps of Joan of Arc in the Touraine Loire Valley will take you through some of the most attractive landscapes and towns the area has to offer.

Statue of Joan of Arc, Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Of course, Joan can be encountered in literally any and every French church all over the country. Curiously though, the focus on her as a cult figure is relatively recent. She has always been a heroine for genuinely saving the kingdom of France, but it was not until after the shock of the Prussian invasion in 1870-71 that campaigning really gained popular momentum to have her declared a saint. She was adopted as a symbol of French independence and resistance, and all over France communities raised money to erect statues in her honour. She was finally declared a saint in 1920.

 To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Cherries in the Loire Valley

Cherries are one of my favourite fruits, but I never lived anywhere that they grew well until I moved to the Loire Valley. They absolutely thrive here and many people have one in their garden. I have eight in my orchard. They also grow wild in the forests, and are a part of the indigenous mix of broadleaf decidous species in natural woodland here. If you love cherries too, let us know when you book your tour with us.

Cherries. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Claudette Comes Home

We went up to Saint Pierre des Corps to pick up Claudette, who has been languishing in our garage there for the whole of the pandemic. She's had a flat battery, so driven nowhere because of that and because a lot of the time we were not allowed to go there due to lockdowns. So we picked up a new battery from Classic Auto-Elec in Nazelles-Négrons, Simon changed the battery over -- a bit fiddly and stressful in a Traction Avant and involves taking the bonnet (hood) completely off (and more to the point, getting the unco-operative thing back on again!). Then we noticed she was leaking petrol from the fuel pump, so I quickly phoned our expert mechanic Jean-Louis to see if he thought we were going to catch fire. He reassured me that the fuel pump seal was dry from lack of running the car and would most likely plump back up once we drove a bit. We checked it when we stopped for lunch and it seemed fine, and we got her to the mechanics for her pre-roadworthy service with no problems. We will keep her at home now until travellers start returning to the Loire Valley and we are working.

Citroen Traction Avant, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

 

 

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website. If you would like an idea of how your tour might look and sound, please check out our YouTube channel.

Friday, 23 April 2021

Baguette Vending Machines in the Loire Valley

Increasingly, as the population in rural France ages and declines, village bakeries are struggling. Yet French law demands that everyone have access to fresh bread. When a bakery closes, often when the baker retires and no one takes the business over, small villages can be left with no supplier of bread in the community.

Using a baguette vending machine, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Find out about the modern solution that many villages are coming up with when you take a tour with us.


To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Monday, 19 April 2021

What We Know About Joan of Arc


For someone of seemingly legendary status, we know a remarkable amount about Joan of Arc. One of the things we at Loire Valley Time Travel know is that she isn't just associated with Orléans, as many people believe. We think there are much more interesting sites associated with her at Loches, in Tours and in Chinon, and we would be delighted to show clients these place. We also know with astonishing detail quite quirky facts, such as exactly where her armour was made, how much it weighed, what it looked like, what it was made of, who paid for it and what colour her war horse was.

The site where Joan's armour was made (now a second-hand designer clothing shop).
The site in Tours where Joan of Arc's armour was made.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website. If you want to go shopping at independent boutiques like the one in the photo, just ask and we will build it into your tour.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Fighting Frost in the Loire Valley Vineyards

The past few days have seen many dramatic photos of vineyards in France apparently on fire. After a warm spell which caused the leaf buds to open ('burst' as it is called) there followed a cold snap. Winemakers scrambled to get supplies of paraffin candles (sometimes called smudge candles) and hay bales to burn, hoping to raise the temperature in the vineyards by enough to save this year's vintage. In these modern times, the winemaker receives temperature readings on his or her mobile phone, and an alarm when the temperature goes below the danger point. It means a disturbed nights sleep, and cold dirty work in the early hours of the morning. And sadly, this year, it has been to little avail.

Frost candles in a Vouvray vineyard, Indre et Loire, France.

We hope that when you visit the Loire Valley you will support local small scale wine estates. These are usually family run, and you will probably never have heard of them. But they are making great small batch artisanal wines that reflect the long traditions of working with chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, cot (malbec), gamay and cabernet franc in the Loire Valley. 

The photo above was taken by our friend and colleague, Laetitia Rey [link]. She's an independent specialist wine tourism guide living in the heart of our favourite local appellation, Vouvray. If you would like a full day of wine tasting and winery visits, let us know and we will put you in touch with Laetitia. If you would like a more varied day of chateaux visits, a great lunch (with local wine) and a visit to a market, cheese producer or winery, contact us and we will design personalised tour for you with us.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Gourmet and Specialist Markets in the Loire Valley

Street markets are common everywhere in France. Everywhere has its weekly market where locals pick up their regular supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy. But lots of places also have special annual gourmet markets. I’ve written already about the truffle market at Marigny-Marmande, and two other favourites of mine are the saffron market in my own village and the combined art and food market, called L’Art et Lard, held in a nearby village.

My own village, population 1000, was one of the medieval centres of saffron growing in medieval times and the annual saffron market is a 20th century revival of a medieval tradition. If you want to experience a gourmet market let us know when you book your tour with us.

Pressing apples into juice at a fair, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Pressing apples into juice at a local fair.

 To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Célestine at the Chateau of Amboise

Our last excursion with Célestine before the third Covid19 lockdown was a trip to Amboise. With help from the Chateau Royal d'Amboise and Photograph France we were able to spend a day in the grounds taking photos that in normal times would be impossible.

 

Citroen Traction Avant in the grounds of the Chateau Royal d'Amboise, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Baguettes -- the staff of life in the Loire Valley

The long thin French stick, or baguette, as it is called in France, is the archetypal loaf of bread, bought on a daily basis by almost every household in the country. It is made from wheat flour, bakers yeast, salt and water. Nothing else is permitted for a baguette de tradition, and it must be made from scratch every day at the bakery where it is to be sold. Many visitors comment that bread tastes quite different in France to their home country, and this is a big part of the reason - no additives, which includes bread improvers, nutritional supplements, sugar, or flavouring elements, all of which are commonplace or even legal requirements in other countries. 

 

Baguettes in a boulangerie, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Organic baguettes for sale in our local bakery.

 If you want to find out exactly what makes French baguettes so special let us know when you book your tour with us.


To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Candes Saint Martin, One of the Most Beautiful Villages in the Loire Valley


Small but beautiful villages are a special category in France. They have banded together to have their own co-operative marketing and website and are officially designated as les plus beaux villages de France (the most beautiful villages in France). They are all quite tiny as one of the requirements is to have a population of less than 2000 people. All of them are well worth visiting, full of stunning views and thousands of photo opportunities.

Candes Saint Martin sits on the Vienne River, very close to its confluence with the Loire. Its narrow main street runs parallel to the river, with steep side streets coming off it. The buildings are all a mellow limestone and flowers poke up from every crack and crevice. You could not find a more picturesque place. If you would like the opportunity to stroll about in this lovely place, let us know and we will include it in your itinerary. It's not far from Fontevraud Abbey, where Eleanor of Aquitaine is buried, and the mighty chateau-fortress of Chinon, where she was held prisoner by her husband.

The church porch in Candes Saint Martin.

The church at Candes Saint Martin, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.


To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Gardens Open at Easter in the Loire Valley

Hurrah! Several lovely gardens in the Loire Valley have got special permission to open at Easter despite the Covid19 restrictions. We only wish that you could be here to see them! We recommend going to Cheverny at this time of year -- the tulips are magnificent. Even with the interior of the chateau out of bounds still, this will be a gorgeous visit.

Tulips at the Chateau of Cheverny, Loir et Cher, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

New YouTube Channel Featuring the Loire Valley

We have created a new YouTube channel, to show you a bit of what you might see when you tour with us. At the moment we only have a few older videos loaded, but in time we will be adding more videos showing gardens, chateaux, markets, churches, restaurants, wineries, cheese producers, industrial heritage, nature reserves, troglodyte caves and anything else that interests us and that we think will interest you. If you subscribe to the channel you will be notified by email every time there is a new video.


 

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Trees for Notre-Dame from the Loire Valley

 Like all over France, owners of forests and sawmills in Indre et Loire (the Touraine Loire Valley) have mobilised, donating more than sixty trees for the reconstruction of the Notre-Dame de Paris roof carpentry. The trees, all between 150 and nearly 300 years old, will primarily come from forests at Amboise and Loches, but also Sainte Maure de Touraine and Orbigny. If you tour with us you will drive through some of these forests and learn how they are managed to provide such important timbers. The project to restore the Cathedral is a huge learning experience, and we would like you to be a part of that aspect of it by passing on our knowledge of heritage conservation practices.


Measuring a tree felled in the Forest of Loches for the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris.
Felling trees for the restoration of Notre Dame. Photo courtesy of Alain Biard

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Friday, 12 March 2021

French Bread

Bread - the one absolute staple of French cuisine.

Bread oven in a bakery, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The modern steam injected stone based oven in one of the bakeries in our village. The water bottle is for adding water into an external inlet to periodically top up the steam reservoir.

 

Like most things French, bread is not just a simple matter of water, flour, yeast, and common salt - although by law these are the only ingredients allowed in the item labelled "pain". If you want to find out just what makes French bread so special, let us know when you book your tour with us.


Baker at work, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
One of our local bakers at work.


Boule, sliced. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A typical boule, cut.


Boule, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Boule.

 


Long loaf made for a food and art festival, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A long loaf made for a food and art festival (L'Art et Lard) in the next village to where I live. Customers buy chunks of the loaf which is priced by weight.

 


 

Traditional bread display, Loir et Cher, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Traditional breads on display.


Short term parking tolerated sign, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
This parking sign indicates that parking is not allowed, but stopping for 10 minutes will be tolerated. You only ever see these signs outside bakeries and pharmacies.

 

Bakery, Loir et Cher, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A glimpse into the back of a bakery near Blois.

Organic sourdough bread at a village market, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Organic sourdough bread at the market in my village in the Loire Valley.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Wattle for Women


As Australians we love to see the wattle bloom in February and March in France. But we were shocked to discover how few people here know that wattle is Australian. The locals call it mimosa, and a surprising number think it is native to the south of France. It has been adopted to such an extent that in Europe, from Spain to Russia, there is a well established tradition that wattle is given to women on International Womens Day. We think that is entirely charming and we are proud of how much our neighbours love and enjoy this beautiful Australian plant.



Silver Wattle Acacia dealbata in a garden.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Mushrooms in the Markets in the Loire Valley

Good markets in the Loire Valley have mushrooms for sale. They fall into two categories -- cultivated (truffles, buttons and chestnuts in various sizes, several species of oysters, shiitake and wood blewits) or wild foraged (ceps and boletes, chanterelles and girolles, morels, trompettes de la morte and hedgehog). Expect to pay between €800 and €1200/kg for truffles (a ping pong ball sized truffle costs about €30), €10 - €15/kg for cave grown and €25 - €30/kg for wild foraged. Supermarket button mushrooms (champignons de Paris) are about €2.50/kg.

Black Truffles at the specialist market that is held once a month over winter.

If you would like to see the markets where they are sold, visit an underground mushroom farm or meet expert mushroom foragers let us know when you book your tour with us.

Wild foraged Chanterelles at a greengrocers in rue Daguerre, Paris.

A truffle orchard.



To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

The reality of market shopping in the autumn in the Loire Valley :-).

Mushrooms being cultivated in a troglodyte cave.

Shiitakes growing in a troglodyte cave.

Chestnut mushrooms (champignons rose in French).

A selection of ceps and boletes gathered by us in our local forest.

Susan's friend Dominique teaching members of the public how not to die by accidentally picking and eating a Deathcap.

Hendrick the mushroom man with his cave grown mushrooms at the market in Loches. Sadly, he  retired in January, but this was where we usually bought our mushrooms.

Homemade mushroom ragout with polenta, made using a mixture of mushrooms bought at the market -- button, blewits, oysters, shiitake, porcini, girolles.

Homemade sautéed cave grown button mushrooms, onions and lardons.

Homemade cultivated White Ferula Mushrooms (a highly sought after and rarely grown type of oyster mushroom) in cream and garlic sauce.

A wild foraged Bay Bolete (closely related to ceps/porcini) prepared for cooking at home.

Yellow Oyster Mushrooms being cultivated in a troglodyte cave.

 


Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Why are There so Many Poplar Plantations in the Loire Valley?

 

As you travel around the Loire Valley you will most probably notice a lot of poplar plantations -- regimented lines of trees on the low lying ground near the many rivers in the area. I've frequently been asked what these trees are used for. People often know that poplars were used for making matches, but who uses matches these days! The answer is much more interesting and unique to France.

 
Poplar plantation. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

The wood is used to make crates for taking fruit to market, and especially for making the little round boxes that cheese like camembert comes in. There are lots of other uses too, and if you'd like to find out more, let us know when you book your tour with us.
 
Camembert box, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

 
Vintage fruit boxes, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Vintage fruit boxes, lovingly preserved by our local organic orchard.

 To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.