The history of the Ferme de Gerbaud is the history of a valley almost without water, a valley in the heart of the Luberon.

Gerbaud is just outside  Lourmarin,  an hour’s drive from the hills where  Pagnol’s stories and the films Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources were set.

On these steep, stony, dry hillsides are fields of thyme, rosemary, sage, savory, origano and lavender, jewels set in the Luberon. All the heady scents of the “herbes de Provence” have their origins here, in this parched, poor, soil.

Here in this, the untouched heart of the Luberon, Paula will take you through fields where wild and cultivated herbs grow side by side, and introduce you to their mysteries.

During the course of an hour and a half’s tour, covering about 1 km, you will learn to recognise these little “herbs of Provence”, simple as they are, and yet so steeped in tradition.

It is an opportunity to discover the cooking of Provençal elders, and of contemporary master chefs. You can learn all about the traditional herbal infusions of Provence, and how to use them in your daily life, and  about Paula’s favourite myths and legends that have come down to us through history.

From Greek and Roman times up to the 18th century, stories about these plants and their symbolic nature have served to remind men of their precious virtues.

And also, having learnt all this, if you want to perpetuate the tradition once you get back home, you will also find out everything you need to know about planting and cultivating these plants.

Paula’s passion for these "tiny Provençal plants which ask for so little and give so much" shines through her work.

Paula was born in Marseille and for many years divided her time between that great city and Lourmarin. In 1991, after 15 years spent working as a manager in an international company, she moved on to her grandparents’ farm, which had lain fallow for many years. Since that time, she has been the guardian of the secrets of the plants of Gerbaud Valley.  She loves to share with others her Provençal traditions and heritage, and her respect for the environment.




What’s special about Gerbaud ?

The tranquil beauty of the place, far from the beaten track , in the middle of the Luberon

The song of the cicades, the scents of pine resin and wild  curry plant.

Organically grown plants in their natural environment

Sharing and exchanging knowledge about the different uses of these plants

Useful tips on the use of essential oils


Guided tours only.

April to October Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5.00 p.m.

November to March Sunday at 3.00 p.m.

Price: 5€ - children free.



La Ferme de Gerbaud - Plantes Aromatiques de Provence - 84160 Lourmarin
France - Tél. 33 (0)490 681 183


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