'Art nature' activity and cuisine in rural retirement homes


A new programme has been launched in collaboration with the Marpas, “Maison d’accueil rurale pour personnes âgées” (“rural retirement homes”), to benefit its residents. It is designed to help the residents re-discover vegetables in different ways: by producing works of art using vegetables and by participating in culinary workshops.

Three homes have set up this programme in a test phase: the Arc-en-ciel Marpa near Cholet in the Vendée department, the Villa Nova Marpa near Arras in the Pas de Calais department, and the Cœur Lauragais Marpa near Toulouse in the Haute-Garonne department.

The first phase of this test was conducted during 2011 through the “Art nature” activity which was led by a gardener/artist. It involved using the forms of the vegetables and the surrounding areas for temporary art exhibits.

The culinary workshops will be held early 2012 at these three Marpas. Led by a chef, they will comprise collecting recipes and participating in cooking workshops in order to stimulate taste, expression, and transmission.

A dissemination kit will be made in April, 2012 in order to allow the other Marpas to also carry out these two types of workshops.

The rural retirement home are organisations offering a unique type of accommodation and support based on their residents’ well-being and the preservation of their autonomy. Each one offers its 20 or so residents private accommodations as well as communal living areas. The aim is for everyone to have their own personal space while maintaining their previous activities and social relationships. Created in the mid 1980s, Marpas now total 155 homes, housing 3500 residents throughout France with 1500 employees and 100 projects.