The orchard is a place of agronomic experimentation with the objective of preserving the vitality of the earth. Every year we learn countless lessons about the interplay of living things - and it is with great humility that we try to participate in their protection and stimulation - taking into account the specificities of a climate that tends to be more and more arid and a development policy that comes up against the hydric limits of the island. To us, the orchard symbolises the purpose, the overcoming that we must do nowadays in our relationship with the world: create to enrich it and to enrich life.
The orchard of La Chapelle is located in the heart of the green valley of Melanes - 8 km from Chora - between the villages of Kourounochori and Mili.
The orchard of La Chapelle covers an area of 1300 m2, divided into 5 terraces dominating the valley. It has nearly 200 fruit and citrus trees (orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, medlar, cherry, mulberry, apricot, plum, olive, quince and even a persimmon tree). The trees and plants are irrigated by the Kouros spring - located further upstream. The spring has always supplied a system of canals that run through the valley. One of them crosses our orchard and fills a water tank recently built to optimise the use of water through a drip system.
Three harvests take place each year. The first - from December to February - concerns citrus fruits (orange - mandarin and lemon trees). The second one - from May to July - concerns most of the fruit trees (medlar trees - apricot trees - cherry trees - mulberry trees - plum trees etc.). Finally - the third - at the end of October - concerns the olive season.
The harvests are the occasion of epicurean and convivial moments. Often accompanied by friends, chefs, locals and artists, we concoct all sorts of jams - conserves - oils - cosmetics or even alcohol that we enjoy over lunches in the shade of the trees or dinners under the stars.
At the entrance of the orchard stands a small stone house of about 45m2. A place to live, work and meditate welcoming the founding members of La Chapelle and all those who wish to participate in one way or another in the preservation of this rare and threatened ecosystem.
A place of striking beauty - ancient calm and suspended temporality - the orchard is an endless source of solace, inspiration and determination. The orchard feeds the soul of all those who walk through it.
55m3 water tank
45m2 stone house
100 kg Jam
100 kg food cans
60L oil and liquor