Contribute something productive you reprobate!!

The leading English language magazine. Now covering Poitou-Charentes, Dordogne, Vendée and Haute-Vienne too!

Living magazine distribution map

Eric Gargouil - the third generation of apple and pear growers

Eric Gargouil - the third generation of apple and pear growers

Eric Gargouil is the third generation of his family to head up the family firm, SARL Gargouil in Charroux. Growers of apples and pears, they produce a range of products which are available at their farm shop...

Gargouil

 

Is apple growing in your blood?

Being the son and the grandson of apple growers it was, in a way, my destiny. My grandfather planted his first apple tree in 1948 and now we have 5 hectares. In 1997 my turn arrived and, since then, we have diversified the business year after year by producing new products from our fruit, such as jams, juices, compotes and vinegars. Now-adays, we produce around 150-180 tons of apples per year and, in a few weeks, we are expanding again as our shop will start to stock other local products such as cheese and meat.

 

How do you manage your orchards?

In December and January, we have to shape the trees and thin their branches out and then, after a few weeks, it’s time to treat them. Being a member of the ANPP (Association Nationale des Pommes et Poires), we are committed to working in an eco-friendly way, respecting the environment by using less pesticides as well as using insects as natural predators against parasites. Each year our practices are verified through an external audit. In June, it’s time to thin out the trees again. We only keep the best fruit on the tree to make sure our harvest is of the highest quality and also so the trees’ energy is not wasted on poor fruit. The harvest starts around 15 August when we hand pick our Williams pears, the first of our 12 varieties, and finishes mid-November. After harvesting, the fruits are stored in the cold room with production starting in September. Other ingredients, such as redcurrants and other berries which are used in some juices and jams, are bought from local producers.

 

What varieties do you recommend for this time of year?

The apple varieties of the season are Gala and Rubinette, and I would always recommend a good apple juice, whatever the season.

 

What other local speciality do you love?

I really enjoy sharing a Broyé du Poitou biscuit while I’m drinking one of my apple juices. They complement each other perfectly!

 

Sarl Gargouil – Chantegrolle 86250 Charroux - 05 49 87 50 23.

Open from Tuesday to Saturday: 9h30 – 12h30 / 14h30 – 18h30

www.gargouil-producteur-pommes-86.com

 

[ INTERVIEW BY ALEXA CUILLIERIER ]