Toulouse harvests its own wheat and produces its own organic bread

the essential
The city of Toulouse has 19 hectares of cornfields, on the hill of Pech David. This organic grain is used to make bread in the canteens of Toulouse. Harvest report.

Huge green and yellow John Deere combine sets off on Pech David Heights. This Monday, July 24, he mows and harvests organic soft wheat from the agricultural management of the city of Toulouse. Seen from the Chemin de Peyre-Escale, the cornfield extends at the foot of the hill. In the distance you can see the buildings of the Toulouse districts and a pylon of the Téléo cable car.

Organic soft wheat that will be ground

It is here, in the extreme south of Toulouse, that this 19-hectare field is located. This soft wheat, once harvested and ground into flour, will be used to make the bread distributed in the school canteens of Toulouse.
A total of 300,000 baguettes will be produced, representing a third of the annual bread consumption of the city’s central kitchen, which supplies the 200 schools and restaurants for the elderly in particular.

A direct supply chain to consume the products of the city’s agricultural management

“Under the impetus of the elected official in charge of eating well, Jean-Jacques Bolzan, we have created a direct channel, with local partners, for the residents of Toulouse,” explains Roxane Fages, director of agricultural management. This management has a total of 250 hectares of crops on five sites (Candie, Gramont, Sesquières, Marcaissonne, Ribaute).

Wheat stored in silos then processed in the Saverdun mills

After being cut and harvested, the soft wheat will be stored in the silos of the Unione Agribio cooperative, then transformed into flour, which will be used to make baguettes. “We have a service contract with the Toulouse town hall. The challenge is to mow the wheat in July, then store and process it so that it can be consumed all year round, from September to June, in the form of baguettes,” explains Antoine Bernabé, director of mills at the Mercier Capla mill (Arterris), in Saverdun (Ariège).

The 300,000 baguettes are made in a bakery on the Côte Pavée

The organic flour thus produced will be transported to the Côte Pavée district in Toulouse. It is the Ayral bakery, avenue de la Gloire, which will take care of the production throughout the year.
“The agricultural management of Toulouse must above all serve to feed the Toulouse people, this has been the direction given by Mr. Bolzan and the town hall of Toulouse for some years. For two years it is bread. But we produce many other crops: durum wheat (for pasta), malting barley used by a local brewer for beer, lentils, chickpeas, peas, flax, sunflower, alfalfa and broad beans,” explains Pierre Gadach, crop manager at the agricultural directorate. At the beginning of the next school year, in addition to organic bread, split peas from the Toulouse earth will be served in the canteens of Toulouse.

An agricultural management of 250 hectares and an estate of 30 hectares in Candie for wine

Is the agricultural authority of Toulouse set to expand? “Evolve, we lose some land when there are new neighborhood projects, but we also recover it in other places. We are stabilizing around 250 hectares,” explains Roxane Fages. There is no shortage of management projects, with aromatic plants, crayons for dyeing, and a wider opening to the public.

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