At Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, we believe that doing things right is better than rushing through them. This is why we tend to our berries every step of the way. We personally plant them, care for them, harvest them and prepare them.
Why Slowly Grown?
On our quiet little patch of land, far removed from the events and turmoil of the world, we follow the cranberry’s natural cycle. Our water is pure, our air fresh, our soil rich, and Time itself slows down. We choose to only work with people who, like ourselves, follow the rhythm of nature.
Because we respect nature, we tend to her needs as much as we tend to our cranberries. We have always practiced organic farming, using no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We pull up weeds by hand. We don’t ask anything more of nature than what she naturally provides us with.
We use a unique process that is slower and takes longer. We gently dry our berries just enough for them to retain as much of their benefits as possible. This yields a bigger, softer, tastier, better berry, for a result you can savour.
Welcome to Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, a little patch of nature in Quebec, home to 700 people and millions of cranberries. These little berries thrive in the sand and acidic soil that make up much of Centre-du-Québec and the land surrounding the village – less rich land that is often overlooked by traditional agriculture, but on which both our berries and our people flourish.
Like many fruit shrubs, the cranberry is a hardy plant that has learned to adapt to its Northern soil. Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow underwater. Rather, cranberry fields are flooded when harvest season comes around, to make berry picking easier. This always makes for an impressive show.
How do we do it?
Patience is a virtue
We believe that doing things right is better than rushing through them. This is why we tend to our berries every step of the way. We personally plant them, care for them, harvest them and prepare them. We also have help from the six million hive bees that each visit up to 500 flowers in the spring and pollinate the plants. By showering our cranberry fields with care and attention, we can ensure that they will live practically forever.
An impressive show
Few of nature’s landscapes are as striking as a cranberry field during harvest. The fields are flooded with water that has accumulated in the farm’s drainage basin. Then we shake the plants so that the berries come loose and float up to the surface. Finally, we have them drift together in order to collect them.
Since the very beginning, we have been practicing organic farming and striving to reduce our ecological footprint. For example, we use “closed circuit” culture where rainwater and melted snow are collected in a drainage basin and used to irrigate the fields and flood them for harvesting.
Intensely healthy berries
Cranberries are packed with health benefits, making them the perfect fruit to snack on, savour, drink, or cook with every day.
Centuries of health benefits
Wild cranberries flourished long before the first settlers arrived, and were already used by Indian Americans to treat various ailments. They were also a part of their daily diet and were used to preserve meat and fish. During the colonization era, European settlers ate cranberries, which are a source of vitamin C and E, to ward off scurvy.
A recognized source of antioxydants
Cranberries are rich in polyphenols, antioxydants that are believed to prevent cellular aging and the onset of degenerative diseases such as certain forms of cancer.
Cranberries are also very rich in flavonoids, and are scientifically recognized for their very high concentration of phenolic compounds, including a unique form of a natural substance known as proanthocyanidins (PAC). PAC are part of the polyphenol family, renowned for its antioxydant properties.
Antioxydants can neutralize free radicals, which are partly responsible for accelerated cellular aging and the onset of many so-called “degenerative” diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, cerebral degeneration, inflammatory diseases, cataracts and many acute pathologies. Many people also drink cranberry juice to help prevent urinary tract infections.
For more information please visit the following link: