Epicurium : a project with strong values.
What is Epicurium ?
Epicurium is a discovery centre entirely dedicated to fruits and vegetables, from seed to plate. We wish to show the richness of fruit and vegetables, while making the connection with sustainable food and agriculture. We carry out this mission in an original and playful way, thanks to events, workshops, conferences so to raise awareness among the general public.
Epicurium opened its doors in 2010 on Pôle Terralia's initiative, a competitiveness cluster which coordinates an ecosystem of partnerships between enterprise, research centres, and training organisations to foster economic growth and the job creation.
Many local stakeholders took part in the creation of Epicurium: the University of Avignon, the INRA, the University of Ventoux, the agricultural college of Carpentras-Serres and the sector companies established in the area.
Epicurium is a non-profit organization, with a small, but skilful, staff:
- Pauline Grison, Head of the museum, replaced by Maud Fardel (Public relations manager from March to October 2016)
- Sylvie Fayard, Head of the educational and culinary workshops
- Clément Crochant, Gardener
- Manon Lachèvre, Receptionist
To keep up with the living beat of the high season, Epicuirum works with a temporary staff made of trainees, volunteers, free-lance activity leaders...
What are our sources of income?
Our discovery center works thanks to 3 sources of income: our own revenues coming from our activities and selling (1/3), public grants (1/3) and sponsorship (1/3).
Without these fundings, Epicurium could not have existed and would have trouble carrying on. You can find the list of our sponsors on our dedicated website page and at the entrance of our museum.
What is the role of our museum?
As a museum, Epicurium is a place of culture. To the general public, it has the role of educating to nutrition and environment by showing fruits and vegetables in every shape and colour: from seed to plate.
The products of our shop
We display playful, educational and vegetable-related products. We want to offer a range of products within a wide price-range, for everyone to be satisfied.
As for food products, we try to support local agriculture. That's why we mostly work with local suppliers.
Where do the seeds we plant come from?
The trees from the orchard were offered by nursery owners who chose the most adapted varieties for our gardens. In the vegetable garden, some seedling were offered by the Pépinières du Tilleul from Châteaurenard and we plant our own from seeds that we store or buy. In parallel, we own collections of varieties that are provided by the INRA-GEVES. Last, part of our seeds are offered by the company Gautier Semence.
What type of agriculture do we use in our gardens?
Our discovery center has no label of any kind but we do use the methods of organic farming in order to reproduce the most natural environment that is possible.
We have an educational role that gives us a certain responsibility towards the general public. That’s' why we chose these methods, in agreement with the respect of biodiversity, of water and of our health and in favour of a more sustainable agriculture. We don't use any kind of pesticides nor chemical fertilizer and we recycle our organic wastes thanks to our compost. It makes it possible for us to fertilize the grounds of our gardens.
The gardens upkeep
Sometimes, visitors point out that we could look after our gardens in a better way, that we could take care of wild grass and of the yellow grass burnt by the sun. However, it is very important not to forget that we do our best to protect and increase the value of biodiversity, as of the environment. This way, the gardens have no longer a simple aesthetic significance. Many animals and insects find shelter in those wilder places, wrongly taken as a lack of upkeep. As for the drought, we use growing methods that are water economical and it would be very self-contradictory to water our lawns! And our gardener, who's the only one to take care of our 9000 square meters of gardens, can't prevent Nature from reasserting its rights at some periods of the year.