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A first for LifeinourVan – French Passion stopover on a Snail Farm in NE France

A first for LifeinourVan – French Passion stopover on a Snail Farm in NE France

So after yet another frantic dash across country, we crossed the border from Belgium to France and headed last night for Comines… very small rural village with something a little different!

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Waking up to yet more rain beating on the top of the van, we stoked up the coffee pot and decided on a plan of action for the day ahead…First on the list was the fantastic l’elevage des escargots or to you and me – a snail farm! Part of the brilliant idea that is France Passion (a chance to see agriculture at firsthand whilst enjoying blissfully quiet small rural idylls), we certainly enjoyed the tour of the indoor facilities.
The fast flowing french form the enthusiastic farmer was roughly translated to the girls by your truly and we enjoyed each and every minute – from seeing the eggs being cultivated, to the little snails in the meadows (inside the growing tunnels) to the final products… some 15,000 snails on ‘grandes lignes’

The whole process is entirely without mechanisation and involves hand turning the planks to ensure they grow correctly… whilst the outside cultivation takes less time in the warmer summers where feed is left outside the meadows so the snails can be harvested from the edges of the field by hand..

Both girls were genuinely interested which seemed to enliven the farmer who showed us more and more… onto the description of what makes a snail mature (the shell hardens), to the rings around the shell (4 is a good number) to some stranger specimens…

Apparently snails don’t grow to the left (only right)…. the one in our picture is a 2 in a million chance, but that wasn’t all……we saw albinos, uni-colours, snails from Morocco etc etc

It really was a totally different experience, but one that we loved and it showed the girls just how important it is to respect nature, support agriculture (especially in France at the moment) and also to appreciate your food and where it has come from!

Only Lottie can claim to have eaten one… perhaps we will have to match this feat in the summer when we tour the Gironde & Dordogne…

comines

so where did we park the bus for the night?

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About The Author

Richard

Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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