What do you call yourself and what is your job?
My name is Stéphane Mille and I have been a market gardener for almost ten years. It was not always my job.
Is it a retraining?
Absolutely ! Before I was a seller, I was also a pastry chef for ten years. And it’s my taste for nature that brought me to that. I work alone. I have about one hundred and fifty to two hundred varieties of different vegetables, of all colors and almost all year round. I rest for a fortnight in winter, no more. This is a period when we clean and empty the greenhouse to restart a season at zero at the start of the year.
Why settle in Madelaine-sous-Montreuil?
I fell in love with the area and bought a house here. I am fortunate to be next to a small town where there are a lot of restaurants, about forty intramuros in Montreuil. I work with the Grenouillère and in particular Alexandre Gauthier, doubly starred, for two years now. I work with a dozen very good restaurants and organize a live sale here on Friday with individuals.
What do you find at home and not elsewhere?
I do a little exotic vegetables. Of all kinds, like young shoots that are quite trendy. My favorite vegetable is above all the tomato. Tomatoes ! There are twenty thousand varieties, I cultivate about thirty. It’s little but it’s already a lot. I thus offer customers of different colors and tastes.
If you had to give 3 words to characterize your greenhouse, your products?
Priority is really quality. The freshness of course. And finally, the taste to please others. Sharing what! Moreover, many customers have become friends, premises mainly on a radius of twenty kilometers.
What do you do to recharge your batteries? What is your method?
My children. When I have a little time for myself, I spend it with them. I take care of course, family walks are also a good way to recharge my batteries. They are educated here, but in summer I don't see them much: I can go from morning to evening. We sometimes meet. I take advantage of a few weeks of vacation anyway to take full advantage of them.
A good plan in Montreuil-sur-Mer?
No several! The essential is the round of the ramparts of course, or visit the abbey. And then visit my restaurateur friends.
So you recommend the Grenoullière?
Yes the Grenouillère, the Montreuil castle, the Froggy’s, the anecdote, a very good restaurant too. There is also the Clos des Capucins on the square. General de Gaulle is a very good restaurant, you will see, there is something to do, what to see and what to eat!
Montreuil in a word?
It’s complicated when you live there like that. It’s a historic city.
If you were to eat a vegetable for a month, what would it be?
There is a product that we consume a lot here in the north of France, it is the potato. So potato diet!
What is the vegetable that makes you the happiest?
In vegetables, I would say everything that is pumpkin, pumpkin, pastisson, all coloquintes. There are so many colors, different shapes, it's always interesting.
Is there a vegetable that you find really very beautiful?
I find them all beautiful! For example, a thousand -year -old cabbage with morning rosé is super beautiful. We are going to arrive in a fairly cold period when we will have Brussels cabbage, a little beaded or frosty is super beautiful too!
Do you have an ever more responsible approach on a daily basis?
We pay very attention to the family and teach our children to do the same. Selective sorting of course, compost of course. We pay attention to what we also buy, not to buy but rather repair the objects.