Growing Herbs in South West France
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Colin Page
Posted on: October 11, 2007

I am an accountant living in England with a holiday farmhouse and barns in the Gers, South West France. We are considering the possibility of moving to the farmhouse in perhaps four to five years or so and would like to spend some of the intervening time researching and perhaps trialing the suitability of growing herbs there and the consideration of producing value added products in the barn areas.

Initially, I have first refusal on ten acres of clay based soil to buy or rent with opportunity for further acreage if required. This land adjoins our property, is rolling and about 280 metres above sea level at its highest point.

I was interested to read the response to a question from Renee Grandell dated May 24th 1998 entitled "What herbs to grow for commercial profit?..." featured in your web sites question and answer section. Do you have any up to date advice regarding the topic of this question which relates to this area of France?

The markets change daily and ebb with trends and style, of course. Basics are always basic. You need to do both, to stabilize your total cash flow. While I have taken early retirement, no one in the world knows what I know,. Why? Because I wrote the books, and am a physicist (by training and work experience).

I really need to look at your soil maps (aerials), local resources, and overall direction and scope. Setting up a cottage industry is obviously the best way to go. Being vertically integrated is also the best way to go. Designing it as a way to sell land is ALSO the best way to go. This will allow the concept of "back to the country" to grow.

You have some choices to consider. You need to understand those values in yourself, and then that is when you should contact me as an outside consultant.

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