CSR: a permaculture garden at the Manufacture de Roanne

RSE: un jardin en permaculture à la Manufacture de Roanne

After planting cocoa and pepper trees in Madagascar, Maison François cultivates its garden in town, with its employees. Here, corporate culture also rhymes with ecology and permaculture.

This permaculture garden is an idea from Hugo, the eldest son of François Pralus. Obviously, the master chocolatier from Roanne immediately joined the project, he who shared a Praluline with Pierre Rabhi passing through Roanne. François Pralus has long been sensitive to the preservation of the environment, ecology and sustainable development. This is evidenced by the plantation in Madagascar: 17 hectares of cocoa trees planted under the large trees of a forest in Nosy Be.

An industrial wasteland returned to nature

Since spring 2017 in Roanne, the garden has flourished on land adjoining the Manufacture. Completely demolished and redeveloped, this former industrial wasteland formerly dedicated to supplying water to a textile factory, turns green with the seasons and salads, strawberries, beans and tomatoes sit alongside potatoes, squash and zucchini.

Hugo and François Pralus proposed an innovative idea to the Manufacture team. A vegetable garden allowing everyone to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, right at the doorstep of their workplace. The principle: each employee can benefit from the production, which they harvest according to their needs. The chosen model: permaculture. An ecological and sustainable way where plants contribute to each other.

Sharing of harvests

On one hectare next to the vegetable garden, 90 trees have been planted, the necessary humidity comes from the stream and the land even has a spring. The space has been divided into a vast landscaped park planted with fruit trees and ornamental trees. Around twenty colorful beehives have been placed in front of the large flower meadow. A henhouse houses the farmyard. The pond, a humid space essential to the permaculture garden, welcomes aquatic plants and fauna.

The vegetable garden, 2,500 m2 open to all employees, has been laid out in mounds and squares, cocoa bags have been recycled into bins. Salads, cabbage, peas, tomatoes, onions, garlic show their first green leaves in spring, alongside raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries covered with cocoa bean skins. The Manufacture produces hundreds of kilos of them, which are very useful in the garden where there is a sweet chocolate smell...

Vegetables and honey

At the beginning of May, we gather the first strawberries at break time... And the bees quickly took over the space to give nearly 400 kilos of honey per year. The production of fruits, vegetables, fruits and eggs is distributed among the employees each week, with each person choosing what they want. A friendly sharing around the large tables and benches provided for the traditional shared snack on Friday and Saturday. This garden is intended to be a space to live together, respectful of the environment, for all employees of the company. They can even come and relax with their family around the plancha or a game of pétanque on Sunday!


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