A calm and organic setting close to the tourist centres
Bernard Labbé has developed his organic farm in the charming village of Pianatolli-Cardella, where he has spent the past 30 years and cultivated his passion for arboriculture. After having run a nursery business for 10 years and replanted many areas and gardens on the Beauty Island, he has discovered a little corner of paradise tucked in the scrub. These three hectares of almost impenetrable land are secluded from the village and accessible by an 800-metre trail.
A little corner of paradise tucked in the scrub
An ideal spot for this nurseryman, who has been waiting all his life to create the garden of his dreams. Bordered by cork oak trees, palm trees and oleander trees, the ‘Domaine de BB’ – as the people in the village call it – has become, over the years, a beautiful place where the fragrances of eucalyptus delicately blend with the scents of Cistus in the scrub and where locust trees leap over olive trees and arbutus trees. A healthy and appeasing place ideal for stays in gîtes. Five-bed-and-breakfast rooms are available, each with separate entrance, terrace and toilets as well as a private bathroom. Two of these rooms are in the owners’ house and the three others are in outbuildings at close distance. ‘Our clients particularly enjoy the serene and friendly atmosphere of the place,’ says Bernard Labbé, who stresses on the strategic location of the gîte in a very calm and remote setting, though within 30 km of Bonifacio, Sartene and Porto Vecchio. Without forgetting that the gîte offers interesting value for money, better than the classical accommodation available in the tourist centres.
Ten years experience in organic farming
To see his endeavour through, Bernard Labbé has launched a wholly organic vegetable and fruit garden on a small-scale 10 years ago, as well as a nursery and turf plot. Agricultural tourism has been a logical choice for the family, which ‘does its best with the means at hand’, says the head of the household. The table d’hôte enables clients to gather around a table to taste home cooked organic fruits and vegetables from the garden as well as local produce such as bread or veal raised in the scrub, bought from neighbours.
A strong belief of organic farming but not a radical approach
’We have been strong believers of organic farming for years, if not generations, without however adopting a radical approach’ explains Bernard Labbé. ’There is good also in the conventional approach, particularly as practised by small-scale producers. It is not because they are not tagged as organic that they do not practise organic farming !’ Breakfast is a favourite for its homemade jams for all tastes, with flavours like fig, strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, lemon, clementine, arbutus and even green tomato! These jams are the only products available for sale, the rest of the yield being used at the ‘table d’hôte’. Garbage sorting and composting have been practised since the early days, while wood-burning stoves are used for heating purposes. Bernard Labbé also adopts an ecological approach in the renovation works required by the buildings, which are quite old. The wood is treated with boron salt, one of the most ecological treatment solutions, the inside walls have been whitewashed and two of the rooms have been insulated with cork plates, a locally collected wood. His concern for the environment even extends to the wastewater system. Grey and black waters are filtered by flowing through successive ponds planted with papyrus and reed. The filtered water comes out treated and can be used for spraying.
Sharing his love for nature and for food with a taste
Agricultural tourism provides visitors with a hands-on experience. They become familiar with ‘ecological’ initiatives and discover a comfortable, healthy and economical form of accommodation. The concept is ideal for Bernard Labbé, who enjoys sharing his love for nature and for food with a taste; a passion that he has passed on to his son. The latter holds a DUT (Technical University diploma) in environment management and is working with his father on a wholly ecological bed and bedroom project which would use adobe or wood as construction materials and would be equipped with dry toilets and solar panels.
For stays in summer, it is advised to book your rooms as from the month of January.