1001WWOOF Independents Africa | Profile

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Member ID: 8550


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Thierry and Olivier

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Main Description:

We mainly have our own family Permaculture farm and homestead project on a 27 acres property we just recently took ownership of. A farm site we have named "La Meule" meaning " The Grindstone" in french. A name we have chosen from the past history of the property related to the local villagers working since decades, in the sugarcane fields of the area. The Farm being completely off-grid will sustain ourselves with its vegetable gardens, main crop fields, food forests, animal husbandries, water harvesting systems, energy systems, and other appropriate technologies. The farm acts as a permaculture research center, in collaboration or partnership with compatible local businesses, wildlife foundations, and potentially, governmental units, working towards the same goals. We implement on site our positive results, sustaining us and feeding ourselves from our produce, selling all surplus to visitors, and the local markets. In line with its daily sustainable living activities, the farm will be an integrated ecological demonstration platform offering site visites, and short to longer term accommodations, open to local citizens, local and international WWOOFERS (Willing workers on organic farms), and other foreigners or tourists willing to discover any ecological systems they might be interested in, and see it there, in action, on the site. From there, the farm has an educational program in which we will, sooner or later, offer courses and workshops to anyone interested in developing those systems for themselves, or elsewhere. We have numerous projects on the stove, including setting up a PRI Mauritius at La Meule Permaculture Farm with the help of local NGO's, Permaculture friends around the world, like minded local people, and the support of PRI Australia.

Children: 0

Persons: 3

Area: 27 acres

Organic Food: Yes

Organic Principles: Permaculture


General Information:

The south-east coast of Mauritius, where we are located, consists of a lot of villages and beautiful spots that provide tourists or visitors scope for endless adventures and explorations. The villages, to begin with, though timid and shy at times, is their strength as well as their weakness in that at times tourist or visitors feel discouraged and despondent to explore them. While on the other hand the rugged and inhospitable nature of the coast arouses the avid desire to face them and explore the surroundings and at the end of the day the ego and adventurous spirit is fully satisfied. The cluster of villages on the way from the town of Mahébourg tempts the traveller by their very appellation: names like Riviere des Creoles, Ferney, Vieux Grand Port, well known for its historical importance. Providence, Le Bois des Amourettes, Anse Jonchée, Bambous Virieux, Petit sable, Grand Sable, Deux Freres, and Quatres Soeur, are all typical agricultural and fishing villages. Bambous Virieux, a name that sounds exotic, is a small village nestled along the coast between Anse Jonchée and Pointe du Diable. The villagers indulge in collecting sea shells and selling them, boat building, sugarcane plantations, and onion cultivation. Fishing no doubt takes some of the villagers’ time. Bambous Virieux is certainly a fishing village and many inhabitants derive a living from fishing. A regular sight is of many men waist deep in water waiting for hours and hours with rod and line to catch a fish that they take for dinner or supper. The lucky ones even sell the surplus to villagers or passers by.. These activities give a special attraction to the village. The women and men as well wearing boots and sometimes overcoats and broad rimmed straw hats are seen since early morning sunrise at low tide busy collecting shells. Sometimes they come across some very beautiful ones that bring them much money. They also paint the corals or the shells. They try their hands at making coral laces and other devices that really delight the passers-by. It is also very beneficial to ramble along the shoreline and among the mangroves and onion plantations. The onion leaves, their odour, coupled with the iodine smell of the seawater acts as a balm that restores health especially to asthmatic patients. It is a pleasant exercise too. The sandy soil of the area, conducive to the growth of onion has seen this plant stretching far and wide and is one of the highlights of the area. Bambous Virieux has got its name from the Virieux family whom we just discovered were related to our family by marriage. They owned land in the locality. The head of the family, Jean Marie Virieux [1766-1845] was Attorney General during both the French and British administration. Bambous Virieux by virtue of its strategic location, it is an ideal starting place for excursions inland and to islets in the vicinity. These islets though considered as little oases are yet rich in character. They have developed into real tourist sites and environmental sanctuaries. “Ilot Mariane”, “Ile aux Fouquets” and “Ile de la Passe”. “Ilot Vacoas” is sandwiched between “Ile de la Passe” and “ile aux Fouquets”. They belong to that group of islands that are impregnated with history. They bear testimony to the battle of Grand Port, the only naval victory the French scored against the British. They also witnessed major events during the first and the second world wars for the British made active use of them against the enemy that was looming in the Indian Ocean. They had played important roles because of their strategic position. These islets have the great power to conserve because of their uniqueness. Ile de la Passe will enable the historian to reconstruct the battle of Grand Port and determine the merits and demerits of the protagonists. These spots therefore lend themselves to useful intellectual and strategic exercises. The islands also house some very rare species of fauna and flora that wild life foundation is trying hard to save from extinction. From the islands, excellent views of the Grand Port Mountain Range with its undulating slopes and ridges present a picturesque landscape. Excursions inland, too, can be undertaken, with activities like mountain climbing, hiking, bicycle riding, and quad safari till the mountain foot. From the mountain views of Lion Mountain, Mountain Bambous, and the magic spectacle with woods, sugar plantations, onion plantations, little dinghies swaying from side to side are just sheer visual delights. On the way the kestrels, other birds and animals like the deer and the boar can be seen. Butterflies, exotic flowers, and the flamboyant trees that redden the road with red flowers at the approach of the New Year. The whole nature revels along with the villagers and the visitors. Bambous Virieux is reminiscent of some coastal Indian villages that have the double advantage of having a natural picturesque landscape and the beautiful panoramic view on the ocean that its surroundings unfold. Hence a visit is gratifying not from visual point of view but also the culinary art that is at its zenith with mouth watering of fresh fish like “vieille” and “cordonier” being fried. Nobody can stand the temptation of eating one or two slices with hot bread and ‘pickled chilies’. Visit the village and you’ll get value for trouble taken.




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Last updated December 31, 1969, 4:00 pm
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