My name is Hervé BARBISAN. I’m a wine-producer by profession … but also an amateur gardener … and above all, fascinated by the aromatic, flavouring and medicinal plants which I do my best to cultivate on every square centimetre of my garden, according to the needs of each one.
In fact, as it happens it was my grandmother who introduced me very early on to gardening. After some initial reluctance on touching the mud, I finally got the taste for it. Which just goes to show that all passions are not innate! Without meaning to, this elderly lady, who gardened mainly to economise on her food, planted a real passion in me, which is still alive today. She only wanted me to weed her vegetable plot: I pay her a genuine tribute today …!
Among the plants with special virtues, I invite you to discover crocus sativus, the only flower on the planet which gives birth to the most precious and the most desirable spice in the world: SAFFRON.
Our saffron beds are planted around several villages in the Haut-Rhin, in Alsace.
It was the combination of my childhood reading on the one hand – wild, epic tales of the great, intrepid explorers who crossed seas and oceans in cockleshells to look for rare and precious species in unknown lands - and my own hazardous trips on the other hand, which gave me this passion for aromatic flowers and plants.
In fact, between the ages of 18 and 25, I covered several thousand miles on foot, in donkey-carts, bush taxis, farmers’ trains, lorries, ‘buses, and other extraordinary modes of transport in the Asian and African countryside … in every case slowly, which suited my meditative nature very well. And so I discovered by chance the colours and the intoxicating smells of the spice bazaars in Istanbul, Mumbai, Kabul, Singapore, and so many others, which left indelible memories on my senses.
And then, one fine day in July 2006, I set myself a challenge – yet another! To make saffron grow in Alsace, in the middle of the vineyards and the maize fields.
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