Saturday 16th of December 2006


St Joseph, area of discovery

I. The medicinal plants route, Carosse

1. Presentation by Valmyr Turbot, medicinal plant producer

The main point raised by Valmyr Turbot, medicinal plant producer, was that of the respect of European standards: is it a constraint for medicinal plant producers ?

According to the plant producer :

- Producers must adapt to these standards, notably in respect of hygiene, all the more so as in Reunion the trade winds bring in all kinds of dust particles.
- The new standards laid down by Brussels are, it is true, strict and constraining, but they also allow producers to have a Quality label. They make it possible to differentiate between a true medicinal plant producer and a person simply selling plants, who often claims to be the producer of his or her product, even though certain regulations were not applied during production.

Valmyr Turbot is the only producer on the island to grow and sell his own products. There are others who do so, but more traditionally and they only sell their products in markets.

2. Presentation by François Saint Omer, medicinal plant producer

Since he was a child, he has been treated using plants. His aim is to share his knowledge and not to sell. A few ideas:
- Using plants in health care is not a gift from heaven, like some person selling plants seem to claim
- A true medicinal plants producer does not sell in markets. People come to see him to obtain plants. He does not need to advertise.
- He respects the principle of transmitting knowledge. This knowledge must remain independent, handed down from generation to generation and from person to person.

II. La Route du Feu and the Arts du Feu Arts Centre in St Joseph

Founded in 1993 by Michel Delprete and Claude Belie-Caillat, respectively painter and sculptor and ceramics artist, the centre is dedicated to the volcano of Reunion Island and more precisely to what lies at the heart of the latter: basalt rock. The Association Art Sud is central to the Arts du Feu Arts Centre.

There are four workshops that draw attention to the importance of basalt rock in our daily life : a workshop tracing the history, all the research and the possible development of basalt, an exhibition room, the retrospective of an international artist and a meeting room.

We must not forget the large workshop dedicated to creation and teaching, that is to say open to different schools in Reunion. The centre, which has been approved by the Regional Council, carries out projects in schools.

The aim of the Arts du Feu Arts Centre is to associate artistic creation, research, initiation and training, all around the use of basalt rock.

The centre is alive with ideas for using basalt, notably the EPAVE project, which consists in rehabilitating professions using stone and earth. It must be pointed out that in Reunion there are only two stonemasons still in activity.

Report of Thursday, 14 décember 2006
Report of Friday, 15 décember 2006



Three topics are proposed for the next European Rural University, which will take place on 7th, 8th and 9th September 2010 in Saint-Joseph :

- Europe at the service of the rural community and its inhabitants,
- Rural professions for women,
- Culture : between heritage and innovation.

16 November 2009