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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 8 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Visiting Blanchaud Champignons in Saumur, France

Well, on Friday, June 10 of 1983, just before immigrating to the USA, I did get to travel along with Pieter as he visited once more a mushroom grower that produced inside the marl caves.
This time it was the big company of Blanchaud Champignons in Saumur, France.
Founded in 1948 by Maurice Blanchaud.
We had arrived early in the morning together with Pieter and his friend Chris, HOPING to see their Saumur Château on the River Loire.
Saumur is more to the left on this map and their château is not on this card, neither do we have photos...
Well, Madame Blanchaud let us in through the impressive foyer and walked us straight THROUGH the Chateau and out on the terras, overlooking the River Loire.
Not quite the tour my friend and I had dreamed of...
While the men were gone, to work out the design of a mushroom plant, we had to manage on our own!
Well, it was beautiful on the River Loire but now I had to converse in FRENCH!
Madame Blanchaud knew how to help us become more 'fluent'... she started serving us wine in the morning!
Good grief, how would we LAST till lunch time, when our husbands would return...?!
This is their label: Blanchaud champignons de Paris or Whole Button as we know them.
Yes they did grow them in marl caves and they also had a large cannery!
Finally the husbands returned from the mushrooms in the marl caves.
But friend Chris made one mistake, picking up the bottle and studying its label... So we had to live through yet another round of wine!
Husband Pieter now seated next to me and enjoying the red wine from the bottle Chris just studied...
After all, they just returned from work and had not had any wine yet!
Chris is the person that built the Mushroom Plants for Campbell Soup, here in Dublin and in Hillsboro, Texas and the Blanchaud family wanted to build a modern plant as well...
From 8:00 on, Ad (next to Pieter) and I had to drink wine with Madame Blanchaud (in black)...
My French was getting better and better - haha!
FINALLY... lunch time!
But we ran out of luck AGAIN... no seating inside the restaurant, so we had to wait outside and enjoy an apéritif while waiting.
That's easy... just more drinking and BETTER FRENCH!
Madame Blanchaud used her hands while talking...
Suddenly I got a terrible HICK-UP!
Now Madame Blanchaud taught me how to stand, while drinking water from the opposite side of the glass in order to cure that nasty hick-up. It WORKED!
We had a delicious meal inside the restaurant, no photos as our photographers with their camera were not at their best...
Monsieur Blanchaud was fetching us a BOX of the red wine (the one that Chris liked), at a nearby vineyard and he would drop it off at our hotel.
So we had to WAIT
We all had collapsed in our room on the bed... we had adjacent rooms with connecting door.
Without turning the light on, I made this photo after I'd climbed on top of the armoir - an aerial view of some worn out Dutch people in France!
Finally the box with Saumur Champigny wine bottles got delivered and we all could finally retire...
We slept and got cured from our drinking daze!
That was at the Novotel, Blois in France...

Life in the Mushroom Business can be quite interesting!

Stay tuned for more!

Related posts:
Royal Champignon 1954 Inside Marl Caves in France | previous post
Pieter Visiting Marl Cave Mushroom Grower in Bordeaux France | previous post
1965 Pieter visiting French Mushroom Grower Sarrazin near Historic Compiègne | previous post
French Claron Antique Postcards of Marl Cave Mushroom Growing | previous post
1958 Tragedy for Pieter's Mushroom Friends in Zichen-Zussen-Bolder in Belgium | previous post
Husband Pieter visiting Mushrooms in the Cave - Bradford-on-Avon in England | previous post
Husband Pieter's Design for the Campbell Mushroom Plants in Dublin, GA and Hillsboro, TX | previous post

Friday, March 6, 2020

Royal Champignon 1954 Inside Marl Caves in France

A piece of history and a very rare video from that era when lots of people in France still grew mushrooms (champignons in French and in Dutch!) in the many caves.
From the Middle Ages to the late nineteenth century, the limestone was extracted for the construction of many buildings like castles, churches and mansions.
Yes, a mushroom doubles its size every 24 hours... You see the brown variety of Agaricus above.
Picture shows such Perfect quality mushrooms grown in a marl cave in France! Click link.
In the old quarries people started bringing in compost for growing mushrooms inside those caves where the climate is perfect for HIGH QUALITY mushrooms!
The only disadvantage is the high labor intensity and also the rather slow growing cycle due to the constant lower temperature.
Instead of making ridge beds on the floor inside those marl caves, Royal Champignon in 1954 used wooden trays to fill those with the compost.
Transporting those trays inside the caves...
Harvesting them off the tray beds by twisting them out of the casing layer on top of the compost. YES the French and also the Italians harvest their mushrooms with the roots left on!
Watch the interesting video about Royal Champignon 1954 by clicking link.
Royal Champignon got created in 1941 by Georges Guilbaud and was a powerful holding company, including cannery.
It used to be a very important employer in the French Saumur region.
They now seem to be under Bonduelle.
The above screenshot is in funny English, translated from French and not always perfect.
You can click through here for original: Saumur Royal Champignon is well and truly over... but at least they are still employing people!

Related posts:
modern mushroom growing 2020 harvesting | post about our newest publication

Monday, March 2, 2020

Pieter Visiting Marl Cave Mushroom Grower in Bordeaux France

Together with friend Harry Hollander and his wife Suzette, Pieter visited the Drouillard family in Bordeaux, France.
They too were Marl Cave mushroom growers and this photo is from 1978 or 1979.
Pieter still got his shoes and upturned pants stained by the marl covered ridge beds on the floor.
Friend Harry Hollander made this photo where they enjoy a glass of champagne with the Drouillard family, on their patio.
P.J.C. Vedder
culture moderne des champignons
This French version of Pieter's book got published in 1974

Related posts:
1965 Pieter visiting French Mushroom Grower Sarrazin near Historic Compiègne | previous post
French Claron Antique Postcards of Marl Cave Mushroom Growing | previous post
1958 Tragedy for Pieter's Mushroom Friends in Zichen-Zussen-Bolder in Belgium | previous post
Husband Pieter visiting Mushrooms in the Cave - Bradford-on-Avon in England | previous post
MARIETTE'S BACK TO BASICS © 2009. All rights reserved - Text and images may not be copied for distribution or sale.

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