Greetings from a very chilly south of France. We started the morning with a crisp 5°C (41°F) and I spent most of the day lamenting the layers I’d left at home. It’s definitely time to drag out the overcoats and woolen scarves and really get settled in for the winter to come. Top on my list: digging into a few of my favorite comfort foods and attacking my to-do baking list. And thankfully I can do like the French and blame all those few extra kilos on the season… Actually, a colder Provence is not so bad afterall.
All this cool weather also signals the start of the holiday season. Strolling around town I’ve been amazed at all the Christmas décor that’s sprung up… windows covered in tiny trees, hanging garland, and very elegant, oh-so-French, tree ornaments. My wishlist is growing…
And in keeping with the holiday spirit, our friends at Les Pastras organic farm have just started a very cool new program that might be just the trick for finding a very original gift for that special someone on your list. Just how cool would it be to have you very own olive tree or truffle oak in the heart of Provence?
Read on as owner Lisa Pepin shares with us their fun new project which is sure to get a lot of folks dreaming about having their own petit olivier in the south of France.
1. What is this program and how does it work?
Anyone can have roots in Provence! Just adopt an olive tree or truffle oak at Les Pastras. You’ll receive an annual shipment of olive oil and/or truffles, the perfect way to begin the new year, and timed to make a great gift for the holidays.
2. Where did this idea come from?
Johann is an easy man to shop for. All he wants are trees. No ties, new shirts, books, gadgets or tickets to sporting events. Just trees. So when my family came for a visit, we took them on the grand tour and they asked us to point out where “their” trees were. As we showed them where their birthday and Christmas gifts to Johann were planted, an idea took root.
Why not let people adopt a truffle or olive tree at Les Pastras and send them a yearly shipment of products from “their” tree? Some research revealed that a couple of Italian companies are doing this, but they charge a hefty yearly maintenance fee and only send the tree’s adoptive parents something if that particular tree produces. Given that a truffle tree can take 8 to 10 years to produce and sometimes doesn’t produce at all, it’s a gamble.
So we decided that our program would send truffles or olive oil no matter what the specific tree produces. Everybody gets a shipment for their annual fee, just like a wine of the month club. Visitors to the property could choose their own tree right on the spot and online customers could send the tree as a gift for a friend. Who wouldn’t like that? We hope to discover the answer to that question as we launch product on our site just in time for Christmas 2013.
3. What’s included?
-Shipment of black Perigord truffles and/or Les Pastras Cuvée Lisa extra-virgin olive oil.
-Photo of your tree with your nameplate on it.
-Google Earth view of the property showing your tree’s location.
-Certificate of ownership.
4. What do I get and what do I pay for adopting a truffle tree?
WHAT YOU GET:
Receive 100 GRAMS of black Perigord truffles for arrival in January, plus the ownership package listed above. This is a tremendous deal! This same amount of truffles purchased directly from a grower at a Provençal truffle market would be worth well over 100€ at this time of year. But not everybody can just stroll over to a truffle market. Foreigners end up buying from distributors in their home countries and paying their hefty markups. Not here!
5. What do I get and what do I pay for adopting an olive tree?
WHAT YOU GET:
Receive 4 liters of Les Pastras Cuvée Lisa natural, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil, plus the ownership package listed above. French olive oil is a real treat! Countries like Italy and Spain export a great deal of oil, but France produces less than its population consumes, so the French tend to keep this liquid gold for themselves!
Our olive trees have never been treated with chemicals of any kind and produce an oil that is smooth and rich, almost buttery, with hints of hazelnut and a golden color like afternoon sunshine.
*Interested in adopting an olive tree or truffle oak? Have a peek at the Les Pastras website for more details and pricing options.