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Winter at the Domaine des Etangs®

Winter at the Domaine des Etangs®

In Winter, Nature does not die: it rests and anchors its roots deep in the soil, in search of warmth and nutrients. Plants fight against the cold, regenerate and get ready to blossom during the following spring, thanks to the care they bestow upon themselves while resting.

The winter season encourages us to behave like Nature, to pamper ourselves, to regenerate in order to welcome spring endowed with all the strength necessary to accomplish our projects of Life.

"The bud cannot bloom without the harsh winter."


At the Domaine des Etangs®, the fruit trees scattered across the 2,500-acre nature reserve, once they have borne fruit in nourishing abundance in the autumn, halt their growth and brace themselves for the winter.

Their fruit, harvested by hand by the farmer, will give the human body the vitamins it needs. The tree will also feed itself thanks to the earth.

This seasonal period of the Lifecycle of the tree is called “dormancy”.

It all begins with a slowing-down phase in its internal activity, as a result of the arrest of cell division: there is no more thermal expansion, hence the wood and the leaves no longer grow. This slowdown is operated by the tree to preserve its sustenance comprised of nutrients and enzymes. This phenomenon is influenced by the air and ground temperatures and protects it from the harsh winter frost.

Then comes the repair phase.

In the cold, the tree will repair the pathways that transport the sap from its roots. It will focus on maintaining its trunk healthy. Which will then enable the sap to flow again come spring.

This will constitute the spring acceleration phase which consists in pushing cell division, therefore inducing new growth, blooming, the production of leaves, flowers, etc. This acceleration is rendered possible only if the tree registers long periods of cold.

Hence, winter is essential for this living being.

At the Domaine des Etangs®, the dormant, frozen or windswept trees are actually active. In the Earth, a slower pace of life takes hold. All said and done, the winter tree conveys a notion of balance, inviting us to take care of ourselves, our body and to observe what is happening within us.

Enjoying the observation of trees is a taste shared by those who plant them and watch them slowly but surely grow and winter. It is in fact the topic of a short story written in 1953 by Jean Giono. In “The Man Who Planted Trees”, the author discusses the relationship humans develop with Nature and how they comprehend it.

With a gentle poetry of reality, this book takes us on a journey through the natural universe.