Let's stay tuned! #4 story

A new episode of one of our ongoing explorations, which will give rise to a first public stroll on March 24th…

There are days when everything looks ordinary, and yet the extra-ordinary invites itself to the corner of the street. 

On January 10, 2019 was a day like this for a big bunch of neighbors who would live a little adventure, a kind of quiet slide out of our habits, going up from the stream of Aygalades to ForestA. The corner of the street that day is the 151 of the Avenue de
s aygalades. as usual it works in this small area of activity named Marseille industries, installed between Bing (red sludge) and Brook. Before, a long time ago, there was a large rural property with 3 farms, vineyards, a Bastide and pig lodges. The last owner Balthazar Rouvière sold in 1870 to the PLM (Paris Lyon Méditerranée) of Talabot to build the Gare de Saint-Louis Les Aygalades. The railwaymen adventure we will talk about later starts there. A little later in the century an oil mill (a company of refined oils of the MIDI) will be installed and then in the 1920s a purification plant and a gelatine factory that works until the war. It is the family owner, the Ramonnaxto, of this gelatine plant, which after a lot of time in waster will gradually transform in the warehouse area and then in the area of activity these plots. Today there 75 companies that are installed there, a bit of everything (freight, technical equipment wholesalers, computer scientists…).  
But all this little world that turns pretty well is not accustomed to seeing an increasingly important group gather next to what was the keeper's House, in front of a mysterious and discreet small post. B
ut where are the trees in all this? For it is always on the trail of the trees that we meet there…


The flip to another world that is still there will take a few minutes, time to get acquainted with Jeannot, former railwayman, but also pastry chef, who in the middle of this mini business area seems as unlikely as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland (except that Jeannot at all seems to find that he is late…).

Walkers are particularly numerous, and once again (OWL), we are full not to know us, not to come from the same neighborhood, the same "tribe", so encounters in prospects…

Flip through the small door, we move on the other side…


On the other side the plants are the Queens and each bears its history.


On the other side the little olive tree was planted there for Martha, because her mother was called Emilie Olivier, and that it was a nice way that she bears the name of her father and grows with the name of her mother. 
Beneath him is a bottle full of vows that will one day be dug up by the damsel, but hush, it's still a secret… On the other side everything seems a little magical, there are even faceted balls and ladies with long fur coats that carry baguettes of bread and cause with boys in Backpack…


On the other side, we learn that there are round leaves and elongated leaves on the olive tree, and that it is important to help them grow when you size them…


On the other side everything seems a little magical, there are even faceted balls and ladies with long fur coats that carry baguettes of bread and cause with boys in Backpack…


On the other side there are humans who seem to organize around the trees rather than the reverse…


On the other side it is a bazaar, a complex world of plant, animal and human uses that reassure us: we are alive!…

We continue in the plant maze of the railwaymen gardens. But where does this apparition come from? Appearance or on the contrary relic, mirage of a real living but evolving in a parallel temporality? Let's
listen to the clocks…


1855, the PLM rail line ends at this level. The axis of the train and the stream intersect, and is below the tax line of the grant, prompting the installation of industries that try to avoid tax burdens. On the slopes of the railroad to the Brook, the embankments lend themselves to the cultivation of radishes and the working culture… Jeannot tells us that it would be the Earl of Mirabeau who would have sold for the symbolic ECU the land destined for the workers for gardening. A condition to this sale tells us: that the Béal (these derivations that we built along which brook to capture the driving force of the water) is maintained for life by the gardeners… Toda
y it is no longer with the water of the Brook too polluted that the gardens are watered. What if one day it could be again? tight-fisted?

We arrive in Anne's garden. It is not cheminote, it testifies to the renewal that gradually diversifies the stories and practices. She develops her garden in Permaculture, and especially opens it to learning by proposing a school of gardening with a complete cycle of putting into practice around urban gardening.

Contact and info from Anna: apmarsdegun@yahoo.fr

Again the scenery is enchanting and informative narrative. We learn about the history of the Association Jardinot (contraction of Jardin and cheminot) which has recomposed around the multiple working gardens linked to the history of railwaymen and the SNCF.

We continue to join the plot of Jeannot. The horizon line reminds us that this territory is well industrial and that in these times of distaking it is the real estate that takes care of requalifier…

Jeannot has cultivated in these gardens for over 60 years, he has learned everything from the ancestors, the rain and the moon. He was a long time President of the railwaymen gardens, and today his great pleasure is to convey. It would be necessary to write a book from what is told at each meeting Jeannot. Christine who also walks with us today has begun, we hope that she will continue, it is important.

For the time being we discover the places. Jeannot his thing is citrus. So in the dozens of stories he tells us is that of the hand of Buddha, a lemon tree.

INTERLUDE BANQUET and lemon TART (crafted by Dalila in special dedication to our host)

The reunion is not easy, because the Brook has not to share its bed, but gradually to be forgotten in the industrial anthology that borders its shores. From the exit of the gardens is the waltz of waste that gives the rhythm, the there, the ground?

Waste, discards, deposed. Borderline…

The entire waste sector is crossed in a few hundred metres, with very old stories (the extraction of fatty bodies from animals by means of hydrocarbons) and the most recent ones (sorting centers, waste disposal or recycling of metals…).

And the trees in all of this, are they still coming to tell some
thing? First they tell us simply by their presence. The riverine is valiant, we feel paradoxically really explorers in this area there… 

Dalila points us to a forest of fig trees that asks the reproduction side, and points out the "battle" underway between the Fresnes accustomed to the edges of the water and the paper walls that adapt well to the reversals of the Earth. More than a battle between the "typical" and the "opportunists", it tells us the dynamics of an environment that invites us to question what could be the various modes of maintenance or accompaniment of these banks self-managed, it discusses…


We arrive at the star, the Etoile du Nord, the cascade!

The day is not dedicated (for once) to the State of the water but to look from the banks, one goes to the adventure of the alley of plane trees spotted in the old pictures.

On the way two young ladies are watching us…

Small exploration with Jean-François, artist-gardener of the places…

Coming back we see trees everywhere, in everything…

We leave the waterfall and the city of the street arts to take a little height…

It is well known that in the forests sometimes live goblins. We are not far from the sacred wood against whom Caesar fought (see the previous story), there is no forest but there is still a leprechaun, or a spirit, or… Who knows. What is on is that he is called Pierre-Louis, that we wonder what he is doing there, that he is not on him either, but tells us that we are on time (the return of the White Rabbit??)! To reward us he tells us the history of the Château Bovis, in response to the various castles that were hanging around. We remember a history of cows but at this stage of the ride nothing is on…

But the risky encounter leads us to talk about where we are, the ancient city of niches, destroyed in the years 2010. Small town-village, its painful trajectory leads us to talk about the attachment that we carry to the places, to the soils, whatever they are when they saw and knew how to grow there. We are trees… An
d a few minutes later…!!


The hands of the children in the leaves, the trunks-buildings or the buildings-trunks, all in the false Tuff and the real rockery. History of stories.
.. End of ride a little on the wire, one is no longer too much on the part of fiction and reality in what one meets and
tells… What is on is that we arrive at the Park Brégante, and that there, on the small rock bridge and in the beautiful garden very wooded of this former Bastide converted once is not custom in municipal public park, 3 of us played small in a transgressive way ( pass the palisade) and 3 of us got married (this is the spot for wedding photos). Beyond saying that marriage is transgressive, we will not say…

We are after this episode close to losing ourselves a bit and finding a hole in the fence. Strangely this disorientation (we got really lost) is signalized by the GR2013. Go and understand…


We return to the territory ForestA… We salute the edible forest and the fig tree cuddly (it is very soft to be carresse), we greet the great landscape and there we say that it is time to say goodbye.


Well no, the meeting still calls us since Ahmed and Hakim are waving at us. Gardeners "pioneers" not to say "clandos", "wild", ForestA terrains, but also "sentinels", guardians, "healers", they take care of places for years, cultivating in the ruins of the old Chateau Bel Air their fashionable gardens Kabyle.

And there, surprise, they attacked the slope! The stairs! We
dreamed about it, they did it!

Uh, no, they were dreaming, they're doing it… and they are so right, they open the horizon! 
Thank you all!!

Photos Dominique Poulain and Didier brevet.

Next exploration "stay tuned!" in April, "tree walk, episode 1" on March 24th.

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