La préparation des Hortomnales du Prieuré de Saint Rémy La Varenne

Preparation of the Saint Rémy la Varenne Prioress Hortomnales

Cucurbit crop

The Prioress Association crops by itself all of the cucurbit cultivars you can enjoy during the Hortomnales.
In the two hectares field, more than 6,000 cucurbit plants grow quietly.

From seed to fruit…

We chose seeds from organic farming, as much as possible to local suppliers. ‘Nimble fingers’ drop one seed by clod in sewing boxes. Vilmorin let us use their warm greenhouses for this crucial step.
When plants are tall enough, boxes are carried up to the field, and balled plants are dispatched over the biodegradable plastic, ready to be planted out (in May).
Young cucurbit plants are planted out and watered then exposed to weather caprices! After few month fruits are ready for the harvest! They are hand cut, grouped together by cultivar then bring to the Prioress.

The Hortomnales’s preparation: drawing up the party!

The Hortomnales are the result of a full year of effort for this large-scale party. A week before the party, the Prioress become a ‘beehive’, every voluntary knows what he has to do. Put up big tops, cooking and dressing cucurbit specialities, organising the cucurbit market, creating wonderful décor, drawing the car parks, managing stocks…

Both association’s organisers are mobilised, and they need to be totipotent, even driving tractors! Everyone complementarity makes each one feel useful. A setting up in a lovely atmosphere, a touch of stress (everyone looks after weather forecasts!) and the global happiness of the moment make this event eagerly expected by each volunteer, all generation mixed up. Everybody knows the Hortomnales will be a dream-weekend for all visitors!