Domaine de la Bretesche

Bretesche vegetable garden : Permaculture and Ecology

Categories : Domaine's Life, published on : 6/5/24

Permaculture, a cultivation method inspired by nature, has become a fundamental pillar of sustainable agriculture. By prioritizing environmentally friendly practices and promoting biodiversity, permaculture offers a sustainable and productive solution for food cultivation. At Domaine de la Bretesche, we have integrated this philosophy into the heart of our vegetable garden, thus offering our guests fresh and flavorful products while honoring our commitment to nature.


What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is much more than just an agricultural method; it's a way of life. It is based on three ethical principles: caring for the earth, caring for people, and fair sharing of resources. Permaculture employs techniques that mimic natural ecosystems, thus creating sustainable, resilient, and self-sufficient agricultural systems. These practices include the use of companion planting, water resource management, and the integration of local wildlife to maintain ecological balance.



In 2019, Domaine de la Bretesche inaugurated an ornamental vegetable garden cultivated according to the principles of permaculture. On initially untouched land of nearly 2 hectares, we created a space where about sixty fruits, vegetables, and aromatic herbs are grown to supply our restaurants. These fresh and varied products enrich the menus of our two restaurants, inspiring our Chef daily throughout the seasons.

This ambitious project is part of a sustainable development approach, requiring careful consideration with specialists to ensure respect for the land, water, insects, and particularly bees. Production continues to grow, and this year, the vegetable garden will open its doors to hotel guests, offering them the opportunity to stroll through the aisles and discover the 10,000 ornamental plantings. This garden, embellished with numerous perennial plants and flowers, also allows visitors to find these beautiful flowers in bouquets at the hotel.


Permaculture: More Than Just Cultivation...


It is the art of cultivating the land while maintaining its natural fertility while considering the biodiversity of ecosystems. It is a sustainable agricultural production, energy-efficient (water, electricity...) and respectful of living beings (humans, animals). Permaculture is work done according to natural cycles, which have a significant influence on harvests. The water feature set up in the heart of the vegetable garden collects rainwater, and numerous basins scattered among the crops attract pollinating insects.

What comes from the earth returns to the earth: organic waste from the kitchen is reused in the garden to fertilize the soil. Fallen leaves from trees are used to nourish and retain soil moisture. All of this contributes to soil regeneration. We have also provided the restaurants in Missillac with a compost bin. This way, they can come and deposit their waste after their service. Our gardener, Gonzalo, only uses natural products (bicarbonate, ashes, manure...) because in the garden, everything is useful, nothing is wasted.


Gonzalo, a True Permaculture Globetrotter


Domaine de la Bretesche entrusted its vegetable garden to a permaculture enthusiast. At 54, Gonzalo, originally from Ecuador, brings his expertise in permaculture to the estate. With experience from around the world, Gonzalo has worked for many years in fruit farming, animal husbandry, and beekeeping. He also draws inspiration from the research and literature of permaculture pioneer Masanobu Fukuoka, originally from Japan.


The Garden's Hens


While strolling through the vegetable garden, you won't miss our free-ranging chickens. The 70 to 80 eggs they produce each week are used on the buffet for our breakfast. If you pay attention, you might notice a chicken that's a bit different from the others... It's the one that lays the blue eggs you see on the buffet. It is an Araucana breed chicken, whose eggs' whites are low in cholesterol


Vegetable Garden Tour

We would be delighted to welcome you to discover during the summer (not during the winter) this little corner where time seems to stand still. Reservation required 24 hours in advance.

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