The launch of the “Showcase Gardens of the vegetable heritage of the Hauts-de-France” network in 2017, allowed the involvement of about twenty volunteer owners of the Gites de France network in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais. The objective of the “Showcase Gardens” is to safeguard and promote the ancient vegetable varieties of Hauts-de-France to the tourist clientele of the Gites de France. The ENRx Regional Genetic Resources Center gave them a seed kit of 13 regional varieties (Tilques carrot, Lille lettuce, Princess bean, Leblond leek, Abbeville red onion, eel-head chicory…). In return, the owners have undertaken to present them, to let their customers taste them or to offer them, while explaining the purpose of this experiment.
Given the success of this experience, ENRx and Gites de France wanted to extend the network beyond the territories of Regional Nature Parks. The Gites de France Oise have thus joined the operation in 2019.
In 2021, 100 “Showcase Gardens” are present in the 5 departments of Hauts-de-France, 100 members who will grow and cook regional vegetables for tourists by advocating local and sustainable food. Panels are put up in front of each of the gites and guest rooms to raise awareness among our French and foreign tourists. Bi-annual meetings with Enrx/CRRG and the protagonists of this network are an opportunity to exchange on cultures, recipes, reactions of tourists seduced by these new flavors and this healthy eating.