Mirande: an inspiring Cittaslow model for Beaulieu High School pupils .
First, we would like to say thank you to Ms Beuste (director of the tourist information center of Mirande) and Mr Baudran (former mayor of Mirande) for having welcomed our pupils on 17th March 2022 in Mirande to learn more about their cittaslow and its principles .
Just a few words about our Agricultural high school :
Our Agricultural High school called Legta Beaulieu Lavacant (https://epl.auch.educagri.fr) is 20 kilometers away from Mirande in the south west of France. It welcomes pupils aged from 15 to 18 who prepare either a general A level or a technological or a vocational one in agriculture. The pupils are very interested in the environment, the community, food production, food consumption. They attend varied classes, from mathematics to English or Spanish , agronomy, animal production, farming, food processing and landscape planning. They can also choose several options: Rugby; Horse riding or the European Section. The pupils who chose the European section courses have worked on the Slow movement and its different branches for two years now.They have made some research, created posters.
They realised that the school conforms to some slow movement criteria .Indeed, it is situated in a beautiful area, at the top of a hill, with nice green pesticide free areas. The school restaurant serves local and organic food as often as possible The pupils have recycling boxes in each classroom. Each class elects one eco-class representative to promote green actions and suggest new ones. The bread which is left at the restaurant is collected to be brought to horse riding centers. What is more, the new buildings have solar panels to generate green electricity. They study in small groups and cooperate as much as possible. We also have an old orchard at school with ancient species of fruit trees. The fruit are harvested and turned into fruit juice by the food science pupils. Finally, we also have a green house used by the students who sow seeds and grow plants.
The next step was visiting Mirande, a Cittaslow close to our Agricultural high school:
Ms Beuste approved of the idea with enthusiasm and created a great program for us on 17th March 2022.
First with M Baudran , they sumed up the goals, principles , criteria to become a Cittaslow. They also underlined the social, economic,cultural and environmental benefits of such an approach.
Then, we visited 2 precise examples of these principles: first , the solar farm which provides most of Mirande's green energy and a farm that breeds two species of animals that were threatened of extinction : the Mirandaise (a traditional breed of cows) and the Porc noir Gascon (a traditional breed of pigs).
So, having a cleaner environment, eating wholesome food, participating in a rich social life has become a reality in Mirande. We should all adopt these principles! Our students will become Cittaslow ambassadors in their villages and cities. We are convinced that it is the role of school to make pupils sensitive to a different way of life, above all in a context where the digital world is developping faster and faster.
Thank you for sharing your convictions, your welcoming, your enthusiasm , that was very inspiring !!
The European section pupils and their teachers
S Odorico and F Carrere