Moulin Scalagrand – B&B/Gîte and alternative retreat based on the principles of Permatourism

Since 2017 we have embarked on a journey of giving an old watermill and its adjoining buildings a new sustainable life.

Sustainability is fundamental to our philosophy of life!

Our growing food forest is a diverse plantation of edible plants, like fruit trees, berries bushes, and perennial herbs, organised in three dimensional designs, with life extending in all directions – up, down, and out. We distinguish seven layers of the food forest – the overstory, the understory, the shrub layer, the herbaceous layer, the root layer, the ground cover layer, and the vine layer. Making various use of these different layers, we can fit in more plants in a particular area without causing crop failure due to competition among plants crowding the same space.

We make our own eco-friendly house cleaning products, such as soap bars, laundry, and dish soaps, in order not to damage the delicate balance of bacteria in the septic tank.

Photo by Florencia Konekamp Kusch, IG @ohneberlin

Back then the water turbines, powered by the river Dropt flowing underneath the buildings, produced hydropower for the machines processing grain. Today the same turbines have been renovated and adapted for the production of electricity powering the whole compound.

Moulin Scalagrand is now a self-sustainable mill and an alternative retreat inspired by the principles of Permatourism. Our site has been repurposed to offer immersive experiences in permaculture farming, up-and recycling, farm-to-fork, and foraging culinary activities. We invite you to engage in a more ecological approach to tourism.

Our natural pool and its regeneration zone comprise a small ecosystem that changes over time, and it is not only a recreational pool to swim in during the hot summer weather but also a reservoir for watering the garden in periods of extreme drought.

Chickens roam, peck and lay eggs freely on the premises; pigs dig and scoop the soil, preparing it to receive the seasonal turnover of vegetables; bees from our own hives pollinate flowers to help produce fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and also provide us with honey.

Our dream is to share our techniques, self-sustainable practices, and new traditions through workshops and summer retreats; and to receive people interested in sharing their own knowledge and commitment towards an environmentally aware approach to daily life, both in work and in leisure.

Moulin Scalagrand was built as a watermill for milling wheat, and the flour obtained was then processed in the adjoining bakery. The previous owners of the mill were providing bread for Villereal, a picturesque medieval village located 2 km away.

Our orchard and vegetable garden are based on the principle of permaculture. No chemical fertilisers and pesticides are used and therefore many creative solutions have to be found to fertilise the soil or to prevent insects and wild animals from eating our plants or harvest, safeguarding our food in non-destructive ways based on coexistence with other beings.

Many wild animals like birds, butterflies and dragonflies populate the river banks, the woods and the garden, and in every season a different life cycle can be observed, learned from and respected.

Through personal experience, knowledge and ecological awareness, we learn every day how to live with our ecosystem that provides an abundant livelihood for our household, our friends, and guests.