Meeting with Yveline Luchesi

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Hello, can you introduce yourself ?
I am an actress since I was 18, I did fine arts, I worked in Marseille until I came to Grateloup St Gayrand at the end of 2006 where I became a farmer. I am also the president of the association ArtGriculture Grower who makes the link with what I am. The association revolves around 3 poles : Personal development, the artistic and the protection of the environment. It’s my engine.
My childhood dream was to become a shepherdess and I was able to concretize it with my husband when we arrived in Val de Garonne. I trained in agriculture. We acquired land and a flock of sheep. I am not a farmer but I call myself this beautiful peasant name.
My daily life is raising ewes from November to May. I am in organic agriculture, my ewes are raised for their meat. I also rent a furnished apartment that I renovated myself following the death of my husband. I kept the artistic side with the exhibitions and regular meetings that I organize.
This project has been important to me for over 30 years ; to animate a place where we can receive artists in creation, because I know that it can be expensive to find places to work when one is an artist, worked in rural environment at the artistic level. Being a farmer with an artist’s past allowed me to facilitate the link between the rural environment and the artists. I know that borders are sometimes difficult to cross, hence my investment. My ambition is to ensure that there is no longer a gap between these two worlds, to facilitate meetings between artists and farmers and to drain people from the city to our campaigns to discover the life of a farmer.
Me, I have my feet on Earth and my head in the stars !

Why did you choose Val de Garonne ?
I arrived here with a certain saturation of the city and a big desire of greenery. I already knew the Lot et Garonne since, when I was 18, I did an internship in a stud farm in Sérignac Péboudou. For our project, we were looking for farmland to build our home, and in the Southeast real estate was unaffordable and, in addition, there was little farmland. That’s why we ended up here and I’m very happy. This atmosphere is very peaceful. The presence of animals is very important.

What location would you recommend in Val de Garonne ?

All the slopes around Grateloup St Gayrand are magnificent with mills and all points of view.

What was your best meeting in Val de Garonne ?

My neighbors have become my friends. I met very beautiful people. They welcomed us very well and supported me during the difficult times. These are people who matter. Here people have a beautiful curiosity of the other. I find fantasy among farmers, a poet side !
If I had to name a person it would be Anne Ragel who is currently exhibiting in my office. We have great artistic complicity and she is very familiar with farming.

And if the Val de Garonne was a season ?

Spring, with shades of green and the particular light of the sun.

And if the Val de Garonne was a dish, a gastronomic specialty ?

The prune ! With lamb and vegetables it’s very good !

And if Val de Garonne was an animal ?

The deer.

And if the Val de Garonne was a country ?

I am thinking of Italy, it is my origins and here there is something of Tuscany with the climate (besides we planted olive trees) the landscapes and the nature of the soil. Moreover, after the many waves of immigration that the territory has known, there are quite a few people with Italian origins here.

And if the Val de Garonne was a color ?

The shades of green but also the yellow and red of the autumns.

And if the Val de Garonne was a tree ?

The black poplar, the old poplar.
What I love about this tree is its wriggling when it’s windy. The flicker of his leaves with the sunlight.
 
And if the Val de Garonne was a party ?
Country producing markets. It is very convivial and festive. This kind of animation did not exist in the South East when I left it.

If Val de Garonne was a utopia ?

May this garden of France be respectful of nature and the human. That all people can live downhill, that everyone has a roof and can feed in a preserved environment in AB.

What is your best holiday memory ?

I have plenty of them !
The first in Algeria in the early 80s. I was a student, we went to join a friend who was cooperating and so we could meet the people of the country easily. We were welcomed with open arms ! It is a beautiful country with changing landscapes. I was 25 years old and this trip has raised real awareness. I understood in particular the wealth of having running water because, at the time, there were hours to be able to have water ...
The second holiday memory is a trip to Ireland that was poor at the time. Tourism was not yet very developed. The welcome and curiosity of the other in the Irish I liked but also the green and wild landscapes of the country.

And if there was a picture to be made, it would be ...?

The sunsets behind St Gayrand !