Celebrating all things organic in Correns

We blogged on a visit to Correns last November. It’s not only a charming village in a lovely setting, but a “village bio” (i.e. it tries to be organic as possible). So when we discovered they were holding an organic festival (Fête Bio) last month, we decided to visit. We should say that we were influenced by a couple of really excellent and cheap meals we’d had at the Auberge de Correns, and we made a point of calling the night before to reserve a table for lunchtime. (A good move: it was justifiably full.)

The festival took up large sections of the village, closing the main street to traffic. As you’d expect from a festival celebrating the organic, there were lots of stalls selling organic food and drink: cheese, sausages, wine, olive oil, fruit and vegetables. You could buy handmade woven baskets, clothes made from organic linen or cotton, leather shoes, belts or bags. A few stalls promoted nature associations. More esoteric offerings were bat guano and snails, plus bags made from cork or certain types of leaves. Then there were all the health products: powdered juniper wood, natural oils, herbal remedies.

Handbags made from cork

Bois de cade = juniper wood

What we found particularly interesting is the link there appears to be between ‘organic’ and ‘spiritual’ in the New Age sense. There were a number of stalls selling various kinds of polished stones and crystals and Chris was unsurprised to see that this was not geology or mineralogy. No, this was ‘lithotherapy’, the New Age use of certain kinds of stones and crystals to mysteriously bring ‘well-being’. And there was more superstition and mysticism elsewhere.  One such stall had a Feng Shui section for “Good luck” and “Prosperity”; another was selling tarot cards and books on ‘connecting to the power of the universe’. France may have got rid of the church but its departure has left a void which is being filled by everything and anything.

“Lithotherapy”

Interestingly enough, just a day before had been the announcement that George Lucas of Star Wars fame was buying up one of the chateau/vineyard complexes near Correns. He clearly feels that the Force is very strong here. Maybe!

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