If you live within the long oval that has Mirepoix at the top, and Tarascon at the bottom, you might be lucky enough to get your fruit and veg. from Le P’tit Marché d’Is@ – Isabelle’s Little Market.
Isabelle, a young woman from Montferrier, has recently started a vegbox and grocery business, and it really is ‘the business’. My memories of veg.boxes a few years ago in England are of worthy offerings that always included rather more soil-encrusted swedes than anybody could reasonably want.
This isn’t like that. Her fruit and vegetables are organic or Agriculture Raisonnée, (limited use of drugs, fertilisers etc. permitted, within strict guidelines) all locally sourced: this week’s panier included potatoes, carrots, radish, celeriac, cabbage, spinach, chicory, lettuce, kiwi fruit, oranges and apples, all organic, and squeaky fresh. Last week’s, apart from the basics of potatoes, carrots and apples, was quite different.
Besides this, she’ll sell individual quantities of various fruit and veg , and she also has other lines. Poultry, pork, dairy products including various Ariégeois cheeses and yoghourts, all from farms no more than a few miles away. Groceries include wonderful organic flour from a mill near here, pasta, beers, and from slightly farther afield in the Pyrénées Orientales, oils, dried fruits, nuts,tapenades etc.
It’s very simple: you order by Monday midday for delivery later in the week.
Now I really look forward to 11 o’clock on Thursday mornings when her little white van swings into the parking space outside our house, and she cheerily hands over her bulging panier of shopping for us to unpack and plan the menus for the next few days (she even has a recipe idea or two tucked in the bottom of the basket). It even beats market shopping. AND it’s made me feel not quite so unhappy about deciding not to grow my own vegetables this year.