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Our Chelsea Green Authors : Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante

Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante

Centre Terre Vivante is an ecological research and education center located in Mens, Domaine de Raud, a region of southeastern France. Terre Vivante hosts courses on regenerative gardening and farming, renewable energy, and ecological building techniques. In addition to more than fifty books, Terre Vivante publishes the influential organic gardening magazine, Les Quatre Saisons du jardinage. Eliot Coleman is the author of two best-selling gardening books, The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest.

Terre Vivante is a nonprofit association founded in 1980 to promote a way of life that is respectful of the natural environment. Until the early 1990s, Terre Vivante's main activity was the publication of an organic gardening magazine, Les Quatre Saisons du jardinage. Since 1994, with the creation of a remarkable ecological education center, the work of Terre Vivante has taken on new dimensions, including:

  • Construction of hands-on demonstrations of numerous ecological approaches to the challenges of daily hft, for instance energy-efficient buildings, organic gardens, and water-conservation methods
  • A range of projects intended to contribute to the revival of a rural region, after years of decline
  • Assistance and support for farmers and gardeners, particularly in the development of long-term plans to widen the popularity of ecological agricultural techniques

The design of Centre Terre Vivante's facilities and programs is based upon "first principles"—clean air, clean water, and clean food, which used to be the birthright of all people. Although the effects of pollution can now be traced throughout the world, at Terre Vivante the malign impacts of human development are being minimized. On formerly infertile land at an altitude of more than two thousand feet above sea level, Terre Vivante's horticulturalists are growing a wide range of foods, induding forgotten or endangered varieties, relying entirely upon composts and organic fertilizers generated nearby In addition to vegetables and flowers, visitors can see a bamboo garden, nursery, playground, wild meadows, and a constructed wetlands for waste-water treatment. Terre Vivante's buildings demonstrate the potential for earth-friendly construction, utilizing passive and active solar features including photovoltaics, composting toilets, solar and wood-burning water heaters, and natural materials. The center's restaurant offers delicious meals made from locally grown ingredients, featuring many regional favorites, and has been described as having "the finest restaurant view in Europe."

The publishing program of Terre Vivante has grown beyond production of the magazine Les Quatre Saisons to encompass a list of more than fifty books on a diversity of subjects, including organic gardening, health and nutrition, ecological building methods, and environmental education. An ongoing series of lectures and workshops is also offered at the center, with schedules available on Terre Vivante's web site.

Centre Terre Vivante is open to visitors from May through October. For more information, please contact:

Terre Vivante
Domaine de Raud telephone: 33 (0)4 76 34 80 80
BP 20-38710 Mens cedex fax: 33 (0)4 76 34 84 02
Isére, France

    Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante's Books

    The Preserving the Harvest Set

    If you're a dedicated gardener you probably know about hot-water-bath canning and pickling, but there are many other ways to preserve the bounty of your harvest so it will last the whole year. This set combines a classic book on food preservation with a new book on gardening that includes some innovative preservation methods.

    Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning

    Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation

    Traditional food preservation techniques from France that retain the nutritional value of foods with a minimum of boiling or freezing.

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