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Wheat miller from Apt
Elements of the history and ethnology of common wheat in the
around the Luberon
Study report
Departmental ethnological museum of Haute-Provence,
Priory of Salagon, 04300 Mane
Elise Bain
January 2007

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Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………… ... p.1
Theoretical approach and methodology of the field survey ………………………… ..p. 3
1. The ethnobotany approach…. …………………………………………………… p. 3
2. Sources: survey methodology ………………………………………………. p. 4
A. Written sources ………………………………………………………………… ..p. 4
B. Oral sources ………………………………………………………………… ... p. 7
C. Collection of naturalistic data ………………………………………………… p. 9
D. Observations …………………………………………………………………… ..p. 9
I. The wheat miller of Apt: presentation ……………………………………………… ..p. 11
1. Determination of Apt milling wheat ………………………………………………… .p. 11
A. Popular classification and description ………………………………………… ..p. 11
B. Scholarly classification and description …………………………………………… .p. 13
2. Synonymy and homonymy …………………………………………………………… ..p. 15
A. Wheat miller from Apt and Touzelle blanche from Pertuis ……………………………… ... p. 16
B. Wheat miller from Apt and white Touzelle from Provence …………………………… ... p. 20
3. Geographical area of ​​milling wheat cultivation ……………………………………… p. 21
4. Elements of the history of denominations ……………………………………………… ..p. 23
A. Elements on the origin of the touzelle ……………………………………………… p. 23
at. Age of the touzelle ……………………………………………………… p. 23
b. About the Touzelle custard apple ………………………………………………… p. 24
B. Wheat meunier from Apt and Touzelle blanche from Pertuis: some time references
relating to their name ……………………………………………………… ... p. 25
at. About the arrival period of wheat miller from Apt
in the region ………………………………………………………………… ..p. 25
b. Temporal benchmarks relating to the names 'Blé meunier d'Apt' and
'Touzelle blanche de Pertuis' ………………………………………………… ..p. 26

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Contemporary local varieties of milling wheat ……………………………… p. 28
1. In the Vaucluse part …………………………………………………………… .p. 28
A. Touzelle …………………………………………………………………………… .p. 28
B. Saissette …………………………………………………………………………… .p. 29
C. Wheat rice …………………………………………………………………………… ... p. 31
D. Wheat shrub ……………………………………………………………………… ... p. 32
2. Plateau d'Albion and arrondissement of Forcalquier …………………………………… p. 33
A. Les Touzelles in the canton of Banon and in the country of Forcalquier ………… .... p. 33
B. Red wheat and Touzelles Rouges in the canton of Banon and the country of Albion …… .p. 35
C. Saissette …………………………………………………………………………… .p. 36
III. Characteristics, practices and agricultural know-how of milling wheat and others
local heirloom varieties ……………………………………………………………… ..p. 38
1. The land ……………………………………………………………………………… .p. 38
A. Pedo-climatic conditions and choice of land ………………………………… ..p. 38
B. Tillage ………………………………………………………………… ..p. 40
C. Soil enrichment …………………………………………………………… ... p. 41
2. The seeds ………………………………………………………………………… ..p. 42
A. Choice of seeds ……………………………………………………………… ..p. 42
B. Diseases and seed treatments …………………………………………… ... p. 44
3. The harvest ……………………………………………………………………………… .p. 46
A. The harvests ……………………………………………………………………… .p. 46
B. Grain stripping and cleaning ………………………………………………… ... p. 49
C. The yield ……………………………………………………………………… .p. 50
IV. Uses and fame of Touzelles and Blé meunier …………………………… .... p. 52
1. Uses related to domestic animals ………………………………………………… p. 52
A. Straw …………………………………………………………………………… .p. 52
B. Grain and flour ……………………………………………………………… ... p. 54
2. Milling, baking and pastry-making practices ……………………………………… ..p. 55
3. Wheat transactions in the area of ​​old milling wheat cultivation ………………… ..p. 57
A. Escaping the monetary system …………………………………………………… p. 57

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B. Sell your wheat ………………………………………………………………….…. P. 59
C. Trade and fame of wheat in Apt and Pertuis according to ancient texts ……… ..p. 60
4. Appreciations of milling wheat in milling and baking and their
consequences on its name …………………………………………………… .p. 62
A. From the fame of the Touzelle to that of the wheat miller ………………………… ... p. 62
B. When fame participates in the construction of the denomination ……………… p. 65
From abandoning old varieties to relaunching wheat miller from Apt …… ..p. 67
1. The arrival of new soft wheats ………………………………………………… ... p. 67
A. Decline of wheat trade at Apt and Pertuis …………………………………… ..p. 67
B. Towards the standardization of varieties ………………………………………………… p. 68
at. Some varieties cited in isolation …………………………………… .p. 69
b. Florence Aurore ……………………………………………………………… ..p. 70
vs. Red, Reversible and Bordeaux Red wheat ………………………………… .p. 71
d. Saissette 54 …………………………………………………………………… ..p. 72
e. Doctor Mazet ………………………………………………………………… .p. 73
f. Preparator Etienne …………………………………………………………… .p. 73
g. Capitol ……………………………………………………………………… ... p. 74
h. Darius ………………………………………………………………………… ..p. 75
2. The major transformations of the post-war period: reasons and consequences of
the appearance of new selections ………………………………………………… ... p. 76
A. At the agricultural level ………………………………………………………………… p. 76
B. At the bakery level ……………………………………………………… ..p. 77
C. At the milling level ………………………………………………………… ..p. 78
D. More and more compartmentalised professions …………………………………………… .p. 80
E. The hegemony of durum wheat …………………………………………………………… p. 81
3. The revival of wheat milling from Apt …………………………………………………… ... p. 82
A. The rediscovery of milling wheat ………………………………………………… ... p. 82
B. The relaunch ………………………………………………………………………… ..p. 84
Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………… .... p. 88

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I thank all the people who contributed by their support and collaboration to
this study:
- Members of the Agribio 04 association and particularly Bruno Bidon and Gérard
- Our partners: Jean-Louis Bianco, president of the General Council of the Alpes de Haute
Provence, Michel Vauzelle, president of the PACA Regional Council, Claude Haut, president
of the General Council of Vaucluse, Christophe Castaner, president of the LAG Luberon Lure,
Laure Olivier, technician from LAG Luberon Lure, David Sève, director of the Foundation
Nature et Découvertes, François Lemarchand, President of the Nature and
Discoveries, Henri Ferté, president of the Syndicat de la Touselle, Nicolat Supiot, president
of the Semences Paysannes network;
- All those who agreed to receive me and answer my questions: Max
Gallardo and Georges Guende from the Luberon Regional Natural Park, Messrs Chatel,
Maurice Margaillan, Maxime Grégoire, Mr. Guende, Mr. Barthaley, Lucien
Aubert, Clair Larmet, Aimé Faucou, Aimé Clément, Paul Messeyard, Monsieur Bouchart,
Mr. Bremond, André Blanc, Mr. Old, Mr. Estrayer, Mr. Viton,
Yvon Raspaille, Mr. Mégy, Philippe Monteau, Olivier Pignarre, Mr. Roussier,
Stephan Levy, farmers of Longo Maï (Limans) specializing in varieties
old, Jean-Pierre Bolognini, Mr. Latil d'Arvalis, Mr. Martin, Claude
Pascal, The Bonnieux Bakery Museum, Françoise Chauzat from the archives
departments of Vaucluse, Dominique Deschamps, Dorothy Dore and François Tessari;
Finally, I would like to particularly thank Danielle Musset and Pierre Lieutaghi who have
followed and carefully reread this work.

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At the beginning of 2006, the Agribio 04 association offered to the Departmental Museum
ethnology of Haute Provence (Priory of Salagon, Mane) to conduct an ethno-historical study
on an old variety of soft wheat from the Luberon region: Blé meunier d'Apt. Is the
the middle of July of the same year that Danielle Musset, director of the Museum, told me
officially hand over the charge.
During my first meeting with Bruno Bidon, technician of the association, and Gérard
Guillot, wheat farmer, they explain to me that it is a variety of touzelle 1 , formerly
cultivated locally and also called towards Pertuis the 'Touzelle blanche de Pertuis'. It's in
the 1980s, when its production seemed to have been completely abandoned, that the
naturalists of the Luberon Park had discovered the seed in a retired farmer from
Buoux. They had collected it and then distributed it to a few farmers interested in its recovery.
culture. This was how it came into the hands of members of Agribio 04.
Today, the reactivation of agricultural, milling and baking production of wheat
meunier d'Apt is on the agenda of the association's concerns; this is what explains the
commissioned for this study. Several aspects seem to motivate this project. The first of
them is one of the consequences of current thinking on health and food safety. Tea
development of allergies and intolerances likely to be caused by the gluten content
in products such as bread or pasta 2 , leads more and more people to wonder
on the origin and composition of wheat. However, certain professionals concerned by the production or
the transformation of this cereal 3 come to think that the old varieties would contain
gluten molecules that are more digestible and therefore better supported by subjects with certain
of these intolerances. And then turning to old varieties is an activist approach,
dear to many "organic" farmers, aiming to defend and promote farm seeds.
1 Touzelle is an old variety from the South-East of France.
2 This speech explains the proliferation in the trade of gluten-free products.
3 It can be as much farmers, millers as bakers, or even peasant bakers who manage
even the cultivation of wheat until the making of bread.

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Valuing the wheat miller from Apt was therefore for the people of Agribio 04 both "to think about the
consumer health and revive old tastes as well as biodiversity ”.
Why were we particularly interested in this variety? As it was to me
initially presented, it was renowned for its ability to adapt to the drought climate
from the region, which explained in particular that many farmers had to use it. And
then, it was said, the wheat miller from Apt formerly produced a flour particularly appreciated by
bakers for breadmaking; there was even talk of its use in pastry making, in particular for
the manufacture of the locally renowned oil pump. But what was it really?
Did he represent an important variety for the inhabitants of the "country"? And where did this
reputation ?
To answer these questions, we had agreed that I would try to trace his
history, that I rediscover the ancient uses, practices and know-how, but also that I
interested in other local varieties of soft wheat. All this should allow me to
understand the place that Apt miller wheat occupied and now occupies in the lives of
inhabitants of the Luberon. In short, I was asked to highlight the socio-historical anchoring
of this wheat in this region and its possible baking and pastry qualities; he would become
thus all the more legitimate to relaunch it.
We agreed on the geographical area of ​​the study: it should concern the
around the Luberon Massif, in other words, the area concerned by the Natural Park
Luberon regional. But to determine the exact area of ​​ancient culture of this famous
variety, it was also important to spill over into the Alpes de Haute Provence towards the region of
Manosque and the country of Forcalquier where, I was told, the wheat miller was also used.
It is therefore at the end of all this information and questions that I undertook
a survey of a month and a half in the field, of which I immediately propose to explain the approach
theoretical and methodological.

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Theoretical approach and methodology of the field survey
1. The ethnobotany approach
My objective in this study was to highlight the relationships that
and that the inhabitants of the periphery of the Grand Luberon maintain with tender wheat, and more
particularly wheat miller from Apt, to understand its impact on the local culture. For
to do this, I was inspired by the theoretical approach developed at the Salagon Museum since
several years 4 . It relates to ethnology and more particularly applied to
ethnobotany in the European domain. “(…) Ethnobotany as a discipline, (…) is a
ethnology with global tendencies which chooses to consider societies in the broadest scope
possible of their relationship with plants and plant environments, taking into account the
methods of the human sciences as well as naturalistic data5 , specifies Pierre
Lieutaghi in the first volume of the Acts of the seminars of Salagon. It therefore involves
grasp what Jacques Barrau called the “ perception of the environment6 which accounts for
relationships between the ecosystem and society, that is to say to understand " how men
perceive and interpret their environment and its resources and (...) how and why they
arrived at this perception and this interpretation7 . For that, I had to cross at the same time
ethnological data by granting an important place to the discourse of men and
women, data relating to plant ecology - namely botany,
agronomy, geography, geology, etc. - as well as the historical elements that
was possible for me to find.
4 The launch of seminars since 2000 has made it possible to accelerate the reflections already underway at the Museum and
to formalize the approach it recommends. For more information on this subject, see the book Plants, Societies,
knowledge, symbols. Materials for a European ethnobotany (Lieutaghi, Musset, 2003).
5 Lieutaghi, 2003, p. 42.
6 Barrau, 1974, p. 32.
7 Idem.

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Here, the ethnobotany approach was used as part of a research
monographic which involves focusing on the relationship to a particular plant, Wheat
miller from Apt. But it would have been limiting to focus only on this one variety. Setting
in relation to other plants, mainly other varieties of wheat, has been shown to
essential. On the one hand, it would have been inconceivable for me to consider the ethnobotanical analysis of
this wheat without thinking it within the system (ecosystem) in which it grows, alongside,
for, or in place of, other plants, animals or humans. On the other hand, the study of relations
social seeing implies these as forming a system beyond the unique relationship
favored by monographic study. Understand the latter - here the social relation to wheat -
it is to replace it in a larger system (s).
The field work therefore consisted in identifying the interrelationships, knowledge, practices, uses
and ancient and contemporary representations that derive from the man / wheat relationship 8 . In addition,
historical data allowed me to bring to light the phenomena of transformations
social policies that may have influenced this relationship, with a view to considering it over time, since
the period when I could find the first elements on the wheat miller of Apt until
2. Sources: survey methodology
A. Written sources
I started by gathering a maximum of bibliographical references,
monographs, ethnological, historical, naturalistic studies, both on the region and on wheat
as well as first-hand documents. To do this, I had to carry out a certain
8 By “man / wheat relationship” I mean the overall relationship that men and women maintain with the wheat.

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number of investigations in the Vaucluse Departmental Archives in Avignon, in those of
Alpes de Haute-Provence in Digne-les-Bains, as well as in the municipal archives of Apt and
Pertuis. These studies have focused primarily on XVIII e XIX th and XX th centuries.
At the Departmental Archives, I was interested in the M series (agriculture, statistics) and
more particularly to sub-series 6M and 7M concerning agriculture, water and forests. AT
Avignon, Françoise Chauzat, in charge of documentary studies of the Departmental Archives of
Vaucluse kindly peeled for me the bundles 6M334 to 336, the Mercuriales of wheat of the year
IX to 1926 in which one is satisfied with generic terms concerning wheat or wheat 9
as well as package 7M112 entitled Agricultural Productions from 1923 to 1940 in which it is
question of certain varieties. In the Departmental Archives of the Alpes de Haute Provence of
Digne, more provided than the previous ones, the 6M278, Application of the law of July 10, 1933 on
the organization of the wheat market (1933 to 1938) , provided me with information on the controls
carried out on the storage of wheat and the circulation of flour. The 7M15 , Agriculture, surveys and
studies (1819-1937) , contains an Agricultural Survey of 1929 . Agricultural monograph of
Department of Basses-Alpes carried out by Mr. Niquet, Director of agricultural services
Basses-Alpes which gave me valuable information. The 6M277, Control of trade in
wheat from 1922 to 1932: instructions and correspondence , contains an interesting document where it is
question of certain names of imported varieties, a sheet attached to a letter from the Minister of
Agriculture to the Prefect of Basses-Alpes where it is a question of different types of tuzelles, a
dossier entitled Propaganda against the waste of bread circa 1929-1930, where the flour millers
account for the provenance of their wheat, as well as another sheet attached to a
letter from a member of the Basses-Alpes Chamber of Commerce in which reference is made
to native wheats and to those of foreign origin. The 6M281, Correspondences and
price instructions for wheat and flour (1924-1939) , also refers to
native and foreign wheats. The examination of many other bundles was
particularly tedious and often without much result 10 .
9 A word formerly used to designate common wheat. " The term" wheat "or" bled "was during
long used in France to designate all grains or all cereals. (…). However, at
from the XIX
century, the term wheat was quickly applied to wheat alone ”(Jean-Paul Charvet, 1996).
10 They were of little interest to the subject of variety names, but they nevertheless allowed me to
understand certain phenomena concerning the transformations of agriculture and wheat. This is the 6M231,
Price and consumption tables. Meat (1860, 1871 to 1883); bread (from 1840 to 1849 and from 1867 to 1883) ,
which contains tables by municipality of the price of bread; of 6M279, Correspondence and instruction on
the organization of the wheat trade from 1934 to 1939 ; of 6M265, Reports and conditions of grain crops and others

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The municipal archives usually only contain agricultural statistics or
mercurial registers. I started by peeling those of Apt and Pertuis to
realize that it was useless to consult others 11 . These documents present
systematically tables in which one finds only generic terms such as
wheat or wheat ; in some inventories, wheat is classified according to characteristics
such as wheat winter or spring or durum wheat or 12 . So there it is
question of cereals but no details are given on the varieties. It is much more in
regional agricultural books or magazines that I was able to find relevant information. Thesis
journals may be consulted in municipal libraries, provided that they
have kept. The most successful research has been carried out at Apt. I was able to consult there
the Annales Provençales of practical agriculture and rural economy 13 from 1827 to 1854, the
Bulletins of the Society of Agriculture and Horticulture of Vaucluse 14 from 1852 to 1874, the Bulletins
monthly from the Union of Agricultural Syndicates of the Alpes de Provence and the Agricultural Union
Vauclusien 15 from August 1852 to October 1899, the Agricultural Messenger. Review of associations and
floury from 1834 to 1849 , in which there are tables listing the different types of crops
but where only the terms "wheat" or "wheat wheat" are used to designate common wheat; of the 6M263,
Reports and states of the grain and other flour crops from the year VIII to 1815 , in which we still find the
same type of classification without precision on varieties; 6M24, Reports and conditions of grain crops and others
floury from 1817 to 1833 and 6M176, Reports and conditions of grain and other flour crops from 1897 to 1900 ,
in which the same type of classification is also mentioned; the 6M280 , Declaration of crops and
wheat crops (1934 to 1938) , in which it is only a question of a distinction between spring wheat and wheat
autumn; 6M337, Statistics of bakers (1847) and mills (1851-1843) which contains
statistical information on grain mills as well as tables in which the
bakery production, but where one distinguishes in cereals only wheat and rye; the 6M256, Tables
indicating the legal grain weight from 1829 to 1899 ; the 804 450, General Regulations of the Agricultural Show of
the Arrondissement of Forcalquier ; 802 613, Comice Agricole of the Arrondissement of Forcalquier ; the 7M7,
Cooperative societies (1896-1940) , in which it is mostly about requests for files
respecting the construction of grain elevators; the 7M8 Comices Agricoles of the Forcalquier arrondissements (1942-39),
Castellane (1838-55), Digne (1939-51) and Sisteron (1839-34) , mainly composed of annual reports
of the situation of the Comice.
11 The Municipal Archives of Forcalquier and Manosque only contain agricultural statistics - which do not
are sometimes not even classified - and therefore have not been consulted for this reason.
12 At the Apt municipal archives, I went through bundle 3F6, Agricultural statistics , 3F2, Crops and plantations ,
and 3F5, Agricultural claims . To those of Pertuis, in the HH series entitled Agriculture, industrie, commerce , I
consulted the packages concerning agriculture; in agricultural statistics, 5F2, Cantonal Commission.
Agricultural and industrial statistics, 5F1, Cantonal Statistical Commission (1852-1940) , 5F3, Inventory
communal from 1979 , the 3F3, Dominant crops: wheat, madder, olive tree, cocoons, vines from 1840 to 1941 in which
there is a Wheat and cereals file , 3F14, Agricultural statistics of Pertuis 1890-1941 , 3F15, Agricultural statistics
de Pertuis 1967-1982 , the 4H12, Agriculture - Statistics (1917-1919) and the 4F2, Mercurial register 1857-
1917 .
13 Published in Marseille by Monsieur Toulouzan.
14 Printed and published in Avignon by Jacquet.
15 Printed in Avignon by François Seguin.

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agricultural interests of Midi 16 , also monthly, from 1861 to 1876, as well as an agricultural survey
from 1868. In Pertuis, I found a review entitled Pertuis - Municipal Bulletin n ° 11. Activities
agricultural. Livestock end XVI th and early XVII th century , which accounts for Research in
the city's municipal archival documents. In addition, I was able to collect a number
old works of great interest for study in different libraries or centers of
documentation whose references are listed in bibliography 17 . I will exhibit well
heard during the study the information revealed by these various documents about the
B. Oral sources
The reference to ethnology should allow me to grasp, through their discourse, the
representations of men on the wheat, but also to carry out a form of inventory (no
exhaustive) of the vernacular names of local varieties. In parallel with the research work of
written documents, it was therefore important for me to collect a set of oral testimonies. For that
I met or spoke by phone with about thirty people, often
professionals who have been or are still concerned with wheat today, namely
farmers, millers, bakers or even presidents and storekeepers of
wheat cooperatives. Interviews were conducted in a semi-structured manner 18 . Most of
they have been registered; other conversations were carefully noted. My
interlocutors answered questions prepared in advance using an interview grid
precise. During these interviews, my questions mainly focused on the
16 Published in Montpellier under the supervision of Frédéric Cazalis, Imprimerie Gras.
17 These are the Documentation Center of the Museum of Salagon, the Municipal Library of Apt, the
Cécanot d'Avignon media library and the INAPG documentation center in Paris. I also wished
carry out research at the Martel Fund in Forcalquier, but the librarian informed me that it does not contain any
item about wheat varieties.
18 This interview technique consists of asking open-ended questions likely to let the person speak
questioned by itself, as long as possible, avoiding eliciting responses that we would like
absolutely hear.

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practices and representations related to milling wheat, but it was also important to question my
interlocutors on the varieties they were able to know as well as their characteristics.
I started by making contact with those involved in the revival of Blé meunier d'Apt as well as
than with the naturalists of the Parc du Luberon. It is from these first interlocutors that I
then, one thing leading to another, came into contact with people who had previously experienced this
famous wheat. These are almost exclusively men aged between 40 and 97 19 . Sample
of respondents consists of a majority of active or retired farmers. Hey
It was very difficult for me to be able to discuss with millers or bakers having
formerly known and / or used wheat miller from Apt, most of them are today
unfortunately deceased or unable to answer my questions. In addition,
I still encountered great difficulties in finding people likely to enlighten me
at the botanical level; scientists specializing in Southeastern wheat varieties are very
rare, even non-existent. Only one person, I will come back to this, worked on this subject, but this one
unfortunately no longer alive. So I somehow referred to some
INRA researchers, to the work of Philippe Marchenay, to the botanists of the Salagon Museum
as well as to the naturalists of the Luberon Park.
The search for connoisseurs of wheat miller from Apt led me to go to areas
geographic areas that were not necessarily planned initially. I first started with
meet people from the country of Apt, and the country of Aigues; I even went to question
stakeholders in the recovery towards Grans and Mallemort; then I was asked to do interviews on the
Plateau d'Albion and towards Vachères. I then tried to find the trace of our famous wheat
in the region of Manosque, then towards the Pays de Forcalquier. I will have the opportunity later
explain the reasons for such a geographical distribution of the people questioned.
19 The women hardly participated, because if they are very involved in the kitchen, they are not very involved in the
activities related to wheat cultivation, management of cooperatives, milling and baking.

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C. Collection of naturalistic data
The field work also consisted of collecting a set of botanical data
concerning local soft wheats. The complexity of the classification of wheat varieties, due to
their diversity as well as their great resemblance, was one of the major difficulties of this
study. First of all, I had a lot of trouble finding a herbarium listing the varieties
old local. To compensate for this lack, I put together a collection of ears and grains
including several touzelles, saissettes and other local wheats 20 . I used these
samples during certain interviews in order to allow respondents to identify the
wheats to which they referred; this operation remained very uncertain. The search for
scientific equivalents to the vernacular names that I was told during the interviews
was no less delicate, as the botanists themselves find it difficult to navigate.
D. Observations
Observations of agricultural practices related to wheat have remained very marginal due to
the date the study began, as the harvest has just ended. On the other hand,
several farmers wanted to show me around their land, to show me their machines
agricultural or their place of grain storage; I also visited a mill. Finally I could
attend the work of some bakers. The observations were therefore not, in the strict sense,
participants, even if I thought it was important to compare for myself flour made from wheat
old people by using them, and to taste certain breads made from them, in order to refine the
understanding of the elements gathered about the discourse on milling practices and
20 These samples come from the ITCF of Gréoux-les-Bains, from Jean-François Bolognini from the community
farmer of Longo Maï in Forcalquier, of Henri Ferté, president of the Syndicat Touzelle de Nîmes, as well as of Gérard
Guillot from GAEC Les Granges in Montfuron.

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At the end of the fieldwork, I had to cross all the materials collected to
report on their content in writing. There is therefore no question of making a presentation
exhaustive of all the phenomena linked to the history of milling wheat and other varieties
old wheat from the Luberon region. My intention is much more to share the elements
that I was able to discover about the practices, representations and dynamics at play in
this story of men and wheat. For this, I will begin by reporting on the speeches
relating to the general presentation of wheat miller from Apt. I will then talk about the other varieties
old local. Then I will devote a chapter to the characteristics, practices and know-how
agricultural and another with the uses and the old fame of touzelles and wheat miller.
Finally, I will end by abandoning and relaunching this variety.

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Chap. I. The wheat miller of Apt: presentation
1. Determination of Apt milling wheat
The great diversity of wheat encountered throughout the fieldwork quickly gave me
brought to me to realize that their determination, and here that of Blé meunier d'Apt - Lou
Bla Móunié 1 in local paler -, goes on the one hand by understanding the categories in play
in the different discourses, and depends on the other hand on the classificatory point of view
decides to leave. And here the collection of oral testimonies allowed me to locate the existence
a popular classification and description 2 quite distinct from those of scientists.
A. Popular classification and description
In the interviews, I very regularly find similar classification criteria.
They are most often binary oppositions; the most common of these is the one that is
made between soft wheat and durum wheat. In popular representations, soft wheats are
almost systematically not bearded and used in bread making; hard wheat,
always "bearded" 3 , are intended for semolina, pastry, biscuits or manufacturing
pasta. Some of these oppositions relate to the aspect of the wheat: "wheat bearded / not
bearded "," white wheat / red wheat "(implies the color of the ear)," short wheat / long wheat "(makes
account of the size of the straw). Still others are linked to uses and practices
agricultural, millers and bakers; this is the case when the inhabitants of Lubéron make
1 Spelled according to the Provencal-French dictionary of F. Mistral, Lou Trésor dou Félibrige (Mistral, 1979, p.
2 Here the use of the term "popular" does not in any way imply a pejorative connotation. It is used for
designate the elements contained in oral testimony, as opposed to the term "scholar" resulting from the work
and scientific language.
3 The qualifier "bearded" indicates the presence of more or less long edges, finishing the "balls", and which
ruffle the ear.

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the difference between winter wheat and spring wheat, for example, or use the expression
"Hard wheat" or "improving wheat" for a variety "which makes the dough swell", for
opposition to wheat which does not have this quality. Finally, a distinction is often made in the
popular language between "old varieties" and "modern varieties"; but here the meaning varies
depending on the position of the people questioned. For some farmers, the yield
and bread-making character are the criteria for this opposition; for others, it will be more
food quality, taste, or adaptation to the terrain. On the other hand,
descriptive criteria are the same for both dialects; so when it comes to
agricultural characteristics, "old varieties" are systematically synonymous with
wheat with long, fine straw, "which are easily afraid of lodging", unlike "varieties
modern ”short, coarse and not lying down.
About the wheat miller of Apt, the inhabitants of the periphery of the Luberon always classify it
in the category of "old varieties" and that of "tender wheats". For description,
popular language is attached to the immediate appearance of the ear or grain. So it is me
depicted as a white wheat, devoid of beards, of which "the straw was high, fine and flexible".
The kernel is seen by some as white, by others rather red, and oval. " It's a
small elongated wheat, stocky, with a slit, a stripe in the middle 4 ”, says this retired farmer
from Apt. Several elders say of him that he is a "pretty wheat", but they do not attribute to him any
specific descriptive characters which could more particularly distinguish it from other
old varieties. We will see later that its differentiation seems to have been built on
criteria much less linked to its appearance than to its agricultural qualities as well as to uses for
which it was intended for.
Finally, for a large number of people questioned, and particularly the youngest
invested in the relaunch of old varieties, it would be "a variety of touzelle",
touzelle itself considered to be an “old variety” and a “soft wheat”. Stay at
know what popular language means by the term "variety". It would seem that he designates
a sub-category of "soft wheats" or "hard wheats", but also of certain wheats
considered to be varieties; this is the case with the touzelle or the saissette 5 .
Thus, wheat miller is considered a "variety" of touzelle itself considered
as a "variety" of common wheat.
4 Note that this last precision is valid for all wheat.
5 In popular parlance, saissettes are often perceived as “bearded touzelles”.

Page 19
B. Scholarly classification and description
For botanists, wheat belongs to the grasses family - today
Poaceae -, (monocotyledonous class) and the genus Triticum . In the latter, they distinguish
the group of hulless wheats, whose lemmas fall off when the grain ripens, which
includes four main species: common wheat or wheat ( Triticum sativum Lam. or
Triticum vulgare Vill.) 6 , Wheat Poulards ( Triticum turgidum L.) 7 , Durum Wheats 8 ( Triticum
durum Desf.) and Polish Wheats ( Triticum polonicum L.). The group of dressed wheat,
particularly hardy and which grow where hulless wheats hold only
hardly, involves Spelled ( Triticum spelta L.), Starch ( Triticum
dicoccum Schrank) and Engrains or Small Spelled 9 ( Triticum monococcum L.). They are
differentiated by a certain number of criteria relating to the characteristics of the ear, glumes 10 ,
lemmas 11 , rachis 12 , grains, like straw, etc. 13 . There are a large number
of varieties from these seven species. From these, the men made selections, then
hybridizations to which we owe today a multitude of cultivars 14 .
In the botanical classification, the wheat miller of Apt is also considered as
being part of the tender wheats, Triticum sativum Lam., which the botanist H. Coste describes from the
as follows: “ Triticum sativum Lamk. (T. vulgare Vill.). Common wheat, touzelle . -
Annual plant with tall, erect, hollow, glabrescent stem; flat leaves, broad, a little
rough; spike large, subtetragon, dense, at the end tilted, with non-fragile axis; spikelets as wide
or nearly as wide as long, oval, muticous or awned; glumes less than 1 cm.,
6 The flora of Abbé H. Coste (1937, p. 660) and P. Fournier (1990, p. 89) both add that Triticum
vulgare Vill. can still be called 'touzelle' in popular parlance.
7 For H. Coste, this is also what is known as wheat bearded or Pétanielle (Coste, 1937, p. 661).
8 Still after H. Coste, they are also called Blé d'Afrique (Coste, 1937, p. 661).
9 Coste also cites the term wheat rice (Coste, 1937, p. 662).
10 The Etymological Dictionary of Botany defines glume as follows: “Glume: each of the
two scaly pieces that protect the spikelet in the inflorescence of a Grass; from Latin "gluma", film
grains ”(Couplan, 2006, p. 96).
11 The lemma is the envelope of the flower of grasses.
12 This is the central axis of the ear.
13 Linnaeus, the first botanist to attempt a classification of wheat, also took into account
the winter wheat / spring wheat opposition to determine certain species. It seems that this aspect is not
more valid for modern botany.
14 Note that botanists differentiate varieties from cultivars. The variety is a subdivision of the species,
delimited by the variation of some individual characters. Le Bon Jardinier defines the term cultivar of the
as follows: "Cultivar, nm Refers to lower order taxa (obtained by selection) in plants
cultivated. Ex: the pubescent wild form of Foxglove is a variety: Digitalis lutea var. pubescens.

Page 20
almost equal, ovate, keeled only at the top, truncate-mucronate , shorter
than flowers; lemmas nearly equal, the inferior oval, mucronate or more rarely
aristée; karyopsis free, ovoid-swollen , tender, with mealy fracture. Grown everywhere under a
large number of varieties. - Homeland uncertain. = June-August ”, (Coste, 1937, p. 660). 15
But if the specialized works list many kinds of Tr. Vulgare Vill. (gold
Tr. Sativum Lam.), Rare are those who lingered on the exact determination of Wheat
miller from Apt. To my knowledge, only one botanist was really interested in this one. Hey
it is about C.-C. Mathon 16 who has listed with great precision the soft wheats of the South
East of France. In one of his articles dating from 1985, he explains that “almost all
all the traditional forms [of soft wheat] of the South-East relate to the varieties
botanicals: Tr. v. muticum Al. (Touzelles) and Tr. v. aristatum (Saissettes) ”. For
his work, C.-C. Mathon is based on the key of determination developed by J. Percival and NI
Vavilov can be consulted in the works of P. Jonard 17 .
And it is in his chapter on the touzelles that we find our Wheat miller, determined
by C.-C. Mathon as belonging to Tr. C. muticum alborubrum Körn 18 . It would therefore be
for him a touzelle with glabrous glumes and lumes, red glumes and white grain 19 .
The 'Belle de Fontenay' form of the potato is a cultivar ”. (Burte, 1992, p. 44). This term does not exist
in popular, at least local, language.
15 Note that agronomists who have taken a particular interest in wheat varieties provide descriptions
different from those of naturalists. As an example, I noted that which V. Vermorel gives us: “Les blés
tender are extremely numerous and variable in appearance. However, all of them have the following characteristics which
are common: their grain is tender; the interior is filled with flour easily separable from the bark, hence a
white break; the straw is hollow from the root to the ear. Found in soft wheats grains and
ears of all colors, bearded varieties and others - these are the most numerous - without beards; tea
some are of autumn, others of spring, etc. », (Vermorel, 1897, p. 442).
16 This naturalist was a professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Poitiers and attached to the ethnobotany department
and ethnozoology from the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Sadly he passed away.
17 For the two varieties mentioned, the classification is as follows:
"at. muticum Al. (Touzelles)
aa glumes and hairlines
aaa white glumes
aaaa white grain ……… .. ………………. albidum Körn. or Al.
aaaa colored grain ……………………… ... lutescens Körn. or Al.
aab red glumes
aaba white grain …………………………. alborubrum Körn.
aabb colored grain ………………………… milturum Körn. or Al.
b. aristatum (Saissettes)
glumes and hairlines balms
baa white glumes
baaa white grain …………………………. graecum Körn.
baab colored grain, white edges ………. erythrospermum Körn.
bab red glumes
baba colored grain, red edges …………. ferrugineum Körn. »(Jonard, 1936, p. 9-10).
Pierre Jonard is an agronomist attached to the National Institute of Agronomic Research who, during the
first half of the last century, largely contributed to the determination and classification of soft wheats.
18 Körnicke is the German botanist who, 1873, divided T. vulgare Host into 22 varieties, each comprising
many cultivars including the one listed here (Jonard, 1951, p. 11).

Page 21
I would add that a local botanist questioned about the classification of wheat miller
Apt also gave me the following information: "if we stick to the rules of
botanical classification, the wheat miller of Apt must be considered as a cultivars; in
this prospect, it should then also be noted Triticum vulgare cv. 'Wheat Miller
from Apt '”. Thus, for botanists, wheat such as Touzelle ( Tr. V. Muticum Al.) Or
Saissette ( Tr. V. Aristatum Körn.) Would be varieties, and the Wheat meunier d'Apt a
cultivar 20 .
2. Synonymy and homonymy
Throughout the fieldwork, I was led to collect an abundance of
wheat variety names. Their determination is extremely complex, as it is
uncertain of determining wheats which have sometimes not been cultivated for 50 years. Moreover, I have
very quickly understood that in this field synonymy and homonymy are going well. In the
interviews, elders rarely mention this phenomenon. I noted despite everything a
allusion to this subject from my oldest interlocutor (97 years old), from Castelet:
“Everyone has their own name for the wheat. (…). Everyone put names on it, but maybe it was
always the same wheat ”. Here my objective will be to report the problems encountered
relating to the synonymy and homonymy of wheat miller; I will stick for that to
the analysis of names of wheat encountered during the collection of oral testimonies 21 .
19 Mathon, 1985, p. 15.
20 I would already like to point out that throughout the study, I will use the term used by the
popular language and that used by learned language ("variety" or "cultivar").
21 The object and the duration of this study forced me to restrict myself to the analysis of wheat only mentioned

Page 22
A. Wheat miller from Apt and Touzelle blanche from Pertuis
Insofar as, during my first meeting with the actors of the recovery, they
had told me that Blé meunier d'Apt and Touzelle Blanche de Pertuis were the same wheat,
my goal from the start was to research the two names indiscriminately. All along
investigation, the existence of this synonymy has continued to be pointed out by the most
young people involved in the relaunch of old varieties. But to my surprise, in the
speech of the ancients, if the name of Blé meunier came back very frequently, the Touzelle
Blanche de Pertuis, it turned out to be almost non-existent, even in the vicinity of the
geographic area that corresponds to its name. Only two farmers left me
hear that they had heard that name before. "The white Touzelle of Pertuis, that tells you
Something? »I asked this resident of Caseneuve. "Yes, but in the surroundings
he did not cultivate so much. These are names we learned by going to
cooperatives, ”he replied. "La Tuzelle de Pertuis, I've heard it said here before, but I
do not believe that we have cultivated it, or else we did not know it, ”says this cultivator again.
retired from Bonnieux. Note that the elders speak more readily of "Tuzelle", while
those of the generation below pronounce it “Touzelle” 22 .
Of all the interviews, only one allusion to a possible synonymy, but this time
between Blé meunier and Touzelle, was told to me. It comes to me from my oldest
interlocutor: "I believe it is the same wheat, Tuzelle and Wheat meunier. Because at
some places they say La Tuzelle and others say Blé meunier. His real name in wheat
Miller, I think it's La Tuzelle ”. I have already said elsewhere that there are many, especially
among the youngest, to consider Wheat meunier as a Touzelle variety. It emerges
of all this a rather confused assimilation between these two terms. And besides, no trace,
therefore, a possible synonymy between our famous wheat and the Pertuis white Touzelle
among the oldest who cultivated Wheat meunier d'Apt at the time when they "made the
peasant ” 23 and where it, according to them, was a common grain. I noticed that some
inhabitant of the Apt or Grambois sector had never even heard of the name of
Touzelle (very short), while, as we shall see, this term seems particularly widespread
among wheat connoisseurs from all over the South-East of France.
22 So I would write Tuzelle or Touzelle depending on the pronunciation of the people whose words will be quoted.
23 This formulation comes up very often in the interviews.

Page 23
So if I was able to realize that the oral tradition did not carry much until
today the idea according to which the wheat miller of Apt and the white Touzelle of Pertuis are
the same wheat, one of my goals was to understand where it came from. It's here that
the specialized books have been of great help to me. I found in The Best Wheats of
Vilmorin-Andrieux et Cie 24 , which dates from 1880, the first written record of Blé meunier. In
in this book are listed a large quantity of soft wheats. Among them are the synonyms of wheat
d'Odessa sans barbes 25 particularly caught my attention: “Richelle de Grignon;
Richelle of March; Wheat miller; White wheat from Apt; White Touzelle from Pertuis; Wheat Touzelle
(ex parte); Wheat from Algiers ” 26 . And the Methodical and synonymic Catalog of F ROMENTS by H.
L. de Vilmorin adds new synonyms to the previous list: “Wheat from Odessa without
barbe ( Bon Jardinier , 1850, p. 521. The Best Blés , p. 66. M. Bonfils, 1833), Blé d'Alger
( Bon Jardinier , 1850, p. 522. MC Beauvais, 1834), Blé blanc d'Apt (M. Delacour, 1874),
Blé meunier (Vaucluse) ( Bon Jardinier , 1850, p. 522. M. Reynier, 1839), Blé Pontès (M.
Dupuy-Montbrun, 1887), Richelle de Bari (M. Cambon, 1881), Richelle de Mars and Richelle
de Grignon (Grignon, 1836), Richelle de Provence (M. Reynier, 1839), Touzelle Blanche
24 These agronomists are especially known to have method, in the second half of XIX th century to a
large number of crosses of wheat varieties. Their work accurately identifies a large quantity
of their time; insofar as these have not been reissued for a long time, it is particularly
difficult to consult them. We find the best known of them, The best wheat , online on the website
of Agropolis-Museum. I thought it was interesting to report here a passage from the presentation
Michel Chauvet, in fact: "The merchant family Vilmorin-Andrieux seedsmen dates back to the XVIII th century,
has played a pioneering role in plant breeding. Regarding wheat, Louis de Vilmorin publishes
from 1850 a descriptive and comparative catalog of wheat; he also made crosses between wheat and
Aegilops. It was his son Henry de Vilmorin (1843-1899) who systematized from 1873 the improvement of wheat by
reasoned crossings. He mainly uses hardy English wheat of the Squarehead type and early wheat.
Aquitaine produced in part, like Bleu de Noé, from wheat from Odessa. One of his accessions
famous is the cultivar 'Dattel' (1883). It was also Henry de Vilmorin who published in 1880 the book that
we present here, The Best Wheats . This book compiles the careful descriptions carried out in the company
Vilmorin on the wheat existing at the time in Europe. The interest of these descriptions is not only
academic. To choose the parents that the breeder will retain in his crossbreeding programs, he
It is indeed necessary to know precisely its characteristics and behavior over the years ”.
25 This wheat is described there as follows: "Winter and spring wheat, better from February in the climate of
Paris. Thin straw, of medium height, half-full and a little thin. Medium spike fairly enlarged, pinkish or tawny;
the ridges are fairly developed, especially towards the top of the ear where they take the dimensions of small
beards. Grain white, very full, quite elongated, remarkably beautiful and large.
The origin of this wheat is not well known, whatever its name may say; it can come from the Black Sea, but there
would have just as many reasons to believe it originates from Algeria or Spain. It is a suitable breed
perfectly in southern climates and which can only with difficulty give good results elsewhere. She is
sensitive to cold, so that around Paris it cannot be sown without danger in the fall, and as,
on the other hand, it is not very hasty like spring wheat, it is hardly until the February sowing that
can get some product. In the South, on the contrary, where wheat adapts very well to light soils and
limestones, it can be sown in the fall and obtained higher yields. In the South also it has
seldom to dread lodging, an accident to which it is perhaps more prone than any other wheat in the North. AT
rather remarkable peculiarity of this wheat, it is the irregular arrangement of the spikelets which, instead of being arranged
exactly one above the other on each side of the ear, frequently have the tip tilted to the right or
to the left and are placed at an angle to the axis. The maturity of this wheat is quite early when it has been made at
autumn ”(Vilmorin-Andrieux, 1880, p. 66).

Page 24
from Africa (M. Cambon, 1881), Touzelle Blanche de Pertuis (M. Delacour, 1874), Touzelle de
Provence (Reynier, 1839) ” 27 . In the 1895 reissue of the same work, we also find
from this list the “Blé blanc des Alpes (M. Jacquier, 1888) and Red Tuscan (MW Farrer,
1893) ”. Here not only wheat miller and white Touzelle from Pertuis turn out to be the
same wheat, but a number of other names are synonymous with them, and all
with a “generic” name, Odessa Wheat without beard 28 .
After having found these informants, I re-interviewed some of the carriers of the revival
wheat miller from Apt, and realized that few of them had had the opportunity
to have Vilmorin's works in their hands, and among them, no one remembered
have even read the name 'Wheat Miller'. It is by cross-checking the testimonies that
I ended up understanding where the idea came from according to which Blé meunier d'Apt et Touzelle
Blanche de Pertuis were synonymous.
In 1983, when Max Gallardo and George Guende from the Parc du Luberon rediscovered the
wheat seed from a retired farmer from Buoux, the news was immediately
communicated to their friend C.-C. Mathon 29 , particularly interested in the subject. Gold his
article on the varieties of wheat from the South-East of France which I have already mentioned appears two years old
later. In this document, a century after the work of HL De Vilmorin, the botanist
direangles the story of the determination of milling wheat initiated by the agronomist, and thus reduces
considerably the list of its synonyms. Those he keeps are the following: “ Touzelle-
Blanche-de-Pertuis (attested in 1874) = Blé-blanc-d'Apt (attested in 1874) = Blé-meunier
(attested in 1839) = Touzelle-de-Provence (attested in 1839) = Richelle-de-Provence (attested in
1839) , it is Richelle-de-Grignon (attested in 1836) = Wheat-d'Odessa-sans- barbes (attested in
1833), (…) (V ILMORIN -A NDRIEUX , p. 66; HL D E V ILMORIN , p. 26) ”. And C.-C. Mathon
to add: "I find a population probably coming from this variety at 86-
Buoux, in the Lubéron (Informants George G UENDE and Max G ALLARDO , from the Parc du
Lubéron, whom I would like to thank here). But the analysis of this population is not yet
performed. Note that this wheat is very similar to the Vendée Blanc-de-Mareuil, that it would be
26 Vilmorin-Andrieux, 1880, p. 66.
27 HL de Vilmorin, 1889, p. 48. It is specified at the end of this list: “Too fine straw to carry very
large harvests, Odessa Wheat without barbs is one of those which gives the best grain for milling.
More resistant to drought than to cold, it finds its domain above all on the shores of the Mediterranean ”.
Note that the elements in parentheses are the names of people or works that attest to the existence
of these wheats on the date indicated.
28 Let us note that the description given by HL De Vilmorin of this Odessa wheat without beard, and therefore of the wheat miller,
remains very general.
29 C.-C. Mathon stayed regularly in the region, precisely in Redortiers where he owned a house of
campaign; this is how he had developed a passion for local varieties and cultivars.

Page 25
interesting to find! Frédéric M ISTRAL (1, p. 295) 30 note in the Basses-Alpes a Blad-
de-Pontis , -de-Pontus , -de Pouente which could be the Touzelle-Blanche-de-Pertuis = Wheat-
Bridged (attested in 1887 in HL D E V ILMORIN , p. 26) ... if this author Did not give it
like durum wheat, specifying: African wheatTriticum durum ”; it is true that he quotes
also a Blad-blanc-de-Pouente , Winter wheat without bone = Blad-blanc , Common wheat with ear
white and hairless, in Provence (1, p. 294) ”(Mathon, 1985, p. 15-16). Thus the actors of the
stimulus indirectly get their information about the synonymy between Blé meunier
d'Apt and Touzelle blanche de Pertuis from the works of C.-C. Mathon who himself held it from
HL de Vilmorin.
I would add that we have noticed from reading these scientists how much, in addition to the
Touzelle blanche de Pertuis, the synonyms of wheat miller seem numerous. In the
popular language of the geographical area in which I investigated, I never heard
similar names of wheat: neither Richelle, nor Blé d'Alger, nor Blanc de Mareuil de Vendée, nor
the names of Wheat from Pontus or Pontès, or even of Blad-blanc-de-Pouente, of which it is
question for Frédéric Mistral. It could be interesting in a later work and
purely botanical to investigate whether samples of wheat bearing these names have been
kept somewhere in order to compare them with those of the wheat miller of Apt. This
would broaden the field of knowledge relating to its synonyms.
30 This is the work of Frédéric Mistral Lou Trésor dou Félibrige or Dictionary Provençal-French
embracing the various dialects of the modern language of Oc from 1968, reissue of the 1908 edition.

Page 26
B. Meunier wheat from Apt and white Touzelle from Provence
A second problem of synonymy arose during the fieldwork. This is a
doubt that persisted for a long time as to the synonymy claimed by one of my interlocutors
between the wheat miller of Apt and the white Touzelle of Provence listed in the works of
Pierre Jonard. In his Trial of classification of tender wheats cultivated in France 31 as well as
in Les Blés tendres ( Triticum vulgare Vill.) cultivated in France 32 , the agronomist identified a
White Tuzelle and a white Tuzelle without beard as being synonyms of the Touzelle
Blanche de Provence 33 , wheat with a white ear, a glabrous outer surface glume and white grain. It is
certain that the names of Touzelle blanche de Pertuis, Touzelle de Provence and Blé blanc d'Apt
which are considered by Vilmorin and Mathon to be synonyms of Wheat meunier
could, by their name and their botanical determination, be confused with the
previous ones.
Thus, having spotted a white Touzelle in the canton of Banon and towards the
Pays de Forcalquier 34 , I was led to wonder if it was not wheat
miller from Apt. In the prospect of clarification, I attempted a determination
botanical. Personal and careful observation of the wheat samples collected
led to think that, despite their great resemblance, the white Touzelle de Provence which
was given to me by H. Ferté, president of the Syndicat Touzelle , and which, by cross-checking
be certainly the same wheat as a white Touzelle which had never ceased to be cultivated in
Vachères 35 , and Blé meunier d'Apt by G. Guillot de Montfuron 36 were indeed wheat
different. The article by C.-C. Mathon is the only document that could have helped me decide. In
his famous chapter on Les Touzelles from which the extract on Wheat Miller is transcribed more
above, the botanist clearly distinguishes between these two wheats 37 .
31 Jonard, 1936.
32 Jonard, 1951.
33 Jonard, 1936, p. 167 and Jonard, 1951, p. 360
34 I will have an opportunity to come back to locating this wheat later.
35 Here again, I will come back to the history of this touzelle later.
36 By cross-checking, I was able to show that the wheat miller from Apt that G. Guillot possesses is the same as
it is found among the farmers who cultivate it today. It itself came from seeds found at
Buoux around 1983.
37 He lists the Touzelle blanche de Provence as follows: “ Touzelle-blanche-de-Provence = Touzelle-
blanche-sans-barbes (sic!) = Touzelle-blanche (P. J ONARD , pp. 54, 55, 167), Triticum vulgare muticum albidum
Al. Or Körn. = Triticum vulgare aureum (Link.) Manf. (in ZGKG, p. 51) (but a Touzelle-blanche (attested
in 1887) = Noah (attested in 1850), Triticum vulgare muticum lutescens Körn. Or Al., Cf V ILMORIN -A NDRIEUX , p.
54; HL D E V ILMORIN , p. 22; J. P ERCIVAL , p. 437; P. J ONARD , pp. 48, 145) ”, Mathon, 1985, p. XV.

Page 27
Thus the cross-checking of oral testimonies, the confrontation with the written sources
evoked and the botanical determination allowed me to unravel and clarify the history of
synonymy between Blé meunier and Touzelle blanche de Pertuis and to account for their
possible confusion in popular knowledge with the Touzelle blanche de Provence which remains
a distinct cultivar for agronomists and botanists. And since this chapter was
supposed to also deal with disambiguation, I must add that in the region, I do not have
so far encountered different wheats of Tr. vm alborubrum Körn. bearing the name of Wheat
miller. But in popular language the problems of synonymy and homonymy remain
very difficult to spot, especially when it comes to household plants that have stopped growing
for several decades, that the samples are sometimes impossible to find and that the
The memory of those questioned is no longer always very fresh. Also it is fine
not to exclude that some wheat or local names may have escaped my
3. Geographical area of ​​milling wheat cultivation
Thanks to the interviews, I was able to identify the geographical areas concerned by the culture
wheat miller from Apt before it was abandoned. It was attested to me in the city
Apt, and the villages of Goult, Bonnieux, Buoux, Castellet, Caseneuve, Cucuron, Grambois,
Saint-Trinit, Revest-du-Bion, Banon and Vachères, and certainly concerns other
localities 38 . In addition the name Touzelle blanche de Pertuis, synonymous, we come from
seeing it, wheat miller, induces in itself that it was also cultivated towards Pertuis. His
area of ​​ancient culture would therefore have for center the canton of Apt, would extend to the west as far as
towards the town of Goult 39 . It would involve the entire southern part of the Luberon up to the limit
de la Durance, and would stop at the border between Vaucluse and Haute Provence (we do not
38 We also know the name of Blé meunier in Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt, even if it was not cultivated there.
39 It is not impossible that it even goes beyond, on the edge of the arrondissement of Cavaillon, even if I have
been able to gather testimony in this sector.

Page 28
Already more familiar with milling wheat in Corbières) 40 . In the northeast, it was cultivated on the plateau
d'Albion, towards the municipalities of Saint-Trinit, Revest-du-Bion, and even involves some
municipalities of the canton of Banon (very specific identification of our cultivar in Banon and
Cowgirls). Finally, I must specify that an informant from Vaucluse who lived a year in
Mane when he was young, told me that his father had planted wheat miller there. Apart from this
testimony, no one seems to have heard of him in the country of Forcalquier 41 .
Today, the revival seems to interest farmers beyond this area.
geographical. Thanks to documents given to me by the Agribio 04 association, I was able to
realize that the wheat miller of Apt is cultivated by local producers
villages of Saint-Martin (04), La Brillanne (04), Reillanne (04), Montfuron (04), Gréoux-les-
Bains (04), Villelaure (84), Puget-sur-Durance (84), Valdrome (26) and Roman (26). During the
fieldwork, I also met producers who sow wheat miller from Apt
in the municipalities of Cucuron (84), Vachères (04) and Limans (04 - Longo Maï). It seems
therefore that, according to this information, its cultivation area has expanded geographically,
a phenomenon which in no way gives the quantitative dimension of its production.
40 The former president of the Manosque wheat agricultural cooperative says he has never heard the name of Blé
miller in his sector.
41 The former miller of the Moulin de Pangon in Limans, who knew all the local wheat, says for example that he does not
have had knowledge of the milling wheat in this sector.

Page 29
4. Elements of the history of denominations
A. Elements on the origin of the touzelle
at. Age of the touzelle
The term touzelle seems very old. It is present in many documents
written firsthand, historical studies that deal with agriculture in Southeastern
France 42 , as well as in specialized dictionaries; according to the sources, we can find it
spelled "touzelle", "tozelle", "tuzelle", or even "touselle", "toselle",
"Guardianship". If we are to believe Henri Ferté, who carried out research on the origin and history
of this wheat, its first reference in a written text dates back to 1042, in the Cartulaire de
ND de Nîmes, known as “de Rediciano”, found in the Archives du Gard 43 .
Different authors agree on the origin of the name 'touzelle'. It would come from latin
tonsus , cropped, hairless, which means he is not bearded. Then, in the XVII th century,
term would have passed from Provençal "tousèlo" to touzelle in the French language.
We find it a century later in Villars, in his Histoire des Plantes du
Dauphiné 44 , when it comes to improving the botanical classification of wheat. With
Triticum aestivum (bearded spring wheats), Triticum hybernum (wheats without winter beards) and
Triticum turgidum, instituted by Linnaeus in 1753 45 , Lamark, in 1786, is only one
species: Triticum sativum . It was then that Villars intervened: “Villars, in 1787 (Histoire des
Plantes du Dauphiné), dismembered T. sativum from Lamark and made it two new species:
T. vulgare (bearded) and T. touzelle (not bearded). (…). It is therefore Villars who first gives the
name of T. vulgare to a group of tender wheats ”, Jonard tells us. And the latter to add: "In
1805, Host includes under the name T. vulgare the groups T. touzelle and T. vulgare of
42 Many agree that this is a variety of wheat grown only in the eastern regions.
43 Ego Guiraldus, quum placuit animus meus valde et placet,… Ad canonicos, in illorum alimonia, donare
volo aliquid de alodem meum… And ubi vocant Tosellos,… ”, which means:“ Me Guiraldus, I want to give
to the canons some of my goods ... Including a cultivated land in this place called Touselle
[today: Mas du Sacré Coeur north of Marguerites] ", notes André Compan in an article published in" La
Provence ”in November 1992 (“ Céréales ”documentary file, Salagon).
44 Villars, Dominique, 1786-1789, History of the plants of Dauphiné , vol. III, Grenoble, 1091 p., (Jonard, 1951,
p. 10).

Page 30
Villars, but he separates from it the very compact wheat which he calls T. compactum . He gives
also to the species T. vulgare the more defined, broader meaning that is accorded to it today ” 46 .
Later the T. vulgare subspecies of Host will be divided into 22 varieties by Körnicke. T.
touzelle then disappears; we will now speak of T. vulgare albidum which includes all the
kinds of soft wheat without beards, with a white non-hairy ear and white grain.
b. About the Touzelle custard apple
This allusion to the history of the botanical classification of soft wheats in which
the term touzelle played a role allows me to take a detour through the popular classification. In
my interviews, people involved in the recultivation of old varieties of
wheat had told me that the touzelle known as custard apple was the ancestor of the touzelles that we
know today 47 . In this regard, Louis Stouff states that in Provence, at the XIV th and XV th
century, “wheat is normally called“ annona ”; “Frumentum” is rarely used;
the expression "frumentum seu annona" leaves no doubt as to the equivalence of the two
terms. The variety of wheat is sometimes indicated and the "toella" or "tozella" is the
more often cited. It even happens that we distinguish the "tozella" from the "annona": in 1341,
at the Archbishop of Arles in Salon are 173 sestaria and 63 sestaria tozella; in 1446, a
angry contract signed in Avignon provides for a seed of "frumento tosella uel annona";
a similar act of 1459 called “bono blado scilicet tozella uel annona”. In these
examples, annona corresponds to a grain different from the touzelle, probably to the
"Saisseta". It's the only other word we can find. In 1418, on the Tour du
Vallat in the Camargue, we harvest 31 setiers of touzelle, 45 of saissette ” 48 .
If we believe the work of C.-C. Mathon, the Touzelle custard apple would be quite distinct from
saissettes. The best wheats , which describe several varieties of touzelle, mention
also the existence of this Touzelle custard apple 49 as being an old wheat from the South-East: "The
Touzelle custard apple is very anciently cultivated in the south of France, especially in Provence,
and its name would seem to indicate that it dates from the Roman domination; however she is
45 Linnaeus proposed to subdivide the genus Triticum into six species. We must add to those cited here Triticum spelta ,
Triticum monococcum and Triticum polonicum .
46 Jonard, 1951, p. 10.
47 Some of them even found the semen of Touzelle annone at INRA and started to
48 Stouff, 1970, p. 39
49 Note in passing that “anone” is spelled correctly here with a single n.

Page 31
become quite rare today. It is quite a southern breed, of no interest to the
the center or the north of France where it suffers from the cold ” 50 .
But the authors do not in any way specify whether it is indeed the ancestor of the varieties of
Touzelle. Even C.-C. Mathon, who lists the Touzelle custard apple in his list of touzelles du
Southeast, said nothing about it; it is content to recall its seniority 51 .
B. Wheat meunier from Apt and Touzelle blanche from Pertuis: some time references
relating to their name
at. About the period of emergence of wheat miller from Apt in the region
I must admit that it was very difficult for me to find information relating to
the emergence of Wheat meunier d'Apt or Touzelle Blanche de Pertuis in the region. This wheat is-
is it the result of crossbreeding and local selection? Has it been introduced elsewhere? There are strong to
think that the first hypothesis is the right one, since, to date, no one has
identified a similar cultivar in other geographic areas. If so, there is
has a good chance that the use of this wheat preceded the popular denomination that we
know him.
Oral tradition has not peddled any stories as to the origin of milling wheat. Tea
people I met in the course of this investigation, however, attribute a
certain seniority. I note in the interviews sentences of the type: "Oh the wheat miller,
I think it must have been called this for a long time ” 52 , or again:“ Formerly, a variety
like wheat miller, it was cultivated for centuries! " 53 . Finally, farmers
specialists in old varieties questioned about the origin of this wheat replied
that according to the specialized works, varieties of this type must have been 150 to 200 years old. I do not
50 Vilmorin-Andrieux, 1880, p. 58.
51 Touzelle-anone (attested in 1832 but probably very old), Tr. Vm lutescens Körn. or Al.
(V ILMORIN -A NDRIEUX , p. 56; HL D E V ILMORIN , p. 20). "This wheat, which has become very rare, is one of our old
southern races. It was apparently already cultivated in Provence at the start of Roman domination ”(F. and P.
B ERTHAULT , 1912, p. 39). Perhaps we consider this wheat, or a wheat bearing this name, as being of origin
Roman at the rate of a probable shift of the Latin word annona (relating to the harvest of / for a year)
or from the name of the food goddess Annona ? »(Mathon, 1985, p. 15).
52 From the interview with my oldest interlocutor.
53 Quote from a former farmer from Bonnieux.

Page 32
no precise indications as to the origin of old cultivars in the works
specialties that I have explored. This does not of course exclude the validity of the words of my
b. Temporal benchmarks relating to the names 'Blé meunier d'Apt' and
'Touzelle blanche de Pertuis'
Archives, agricultural statistics, as well as most of the first
hand on the corn and from before the XIX th century show that the term wheat
to designate common wheat; there is no precision on the cultivated varieties. On the other hand
I was able to gather much more precise indications in specialized books,
magazines or agricultural surveys concerning the Vaucluse department. They give a
idea and temporal benchmarks on the constitution of the names Blé meunier d'Apt and
Touzelle blanche de Pertuis as well as the transformations they have undergone over time.
In the earliest documents I have listed about wheat in the
arrondissements of Apt and Pertuis appears the name of touzelle . In Pertuis - Bulletin
Municipal , which reports on the results of investigations carried out in the documents of
firsthand the end of the XVI th and beginning of the XVII th century, we read: "Other
varieties of wheat, there is one that frequently comes up when reading the minutes, it is wheat
"Touzelle" " 54 . In addition, I find la même denomination in connection with Carpentras
Isle, Apt and Pertuis in a Statistical memory of the department of Vaucluse dating from
1808 55 . At that time, was it already the sought-after variety? Of course, it seems very
uncertain of being able to answer this question.
Only later in the XIX th century that the name 'Milling wheat'
and 'Touzelle blanche de Pertuis' in writings. They are both first attested
times in The best wheats 56 among the synonyms of Odessa wheat without barbs; the first
in 1839 and the second in 1874. This is the only text in which these
denominations. Regarding the last one, I note all the same in the Bulletin of the Union of
54 Pertuis - Municipal Bulletin n ° 11, 1981, p. 34.
55 Pazzis, 1808, p. 319.
56 Vilmorin-Andrieux, 1880, p. 66.

Page 33
Agricultural unions of the Alpes de Provence and Vaucluse from July 1896, the appellation
'Touzelle de Pertuis' 57 .
On reading the ancient texts collected within the framework of this study, it is notable
that during the XIX E century, in the districts of Apt and Pertuis - where "the wheat is of
more and more white ”, says A. Bouverot in La cuisine dans le Pays d'Apt 58 -, the work of
selection which are certainly at the origin of the appearance of the milling wheat, the spotting of a
local touzelle, the importance of wheat in this region as well as the construction of a
fame, the reasons for which I will explain later, engender transformations at the level of
its popular denomination. Thus, in an agricultural survey of the department of Vaucluse
dating from 1868, it is a question of “White wheat from the district of Apt” 59 ; however, we are
remembers that Vilmorin-Andrieux listed among the synonyms of Wheat meunier, a "Wheat
blanc d'Apt ”attested in 1874. These two documents suggest that this name was
used in popular language in the Apt in the second half of the XIX th century. This
The latter, however, did not eliminate the name of Blé meunier which, if we are to believe
the work of famous agronomists, has endured locally for at least one hundred and sixty-eight years.
This concludes the presentation of Wheat meunier d'Apt; it's time to realize
information gathered about other heirloom varieties grown locally.
57 Union of Agricultural Syndicates of the Alpes de Provence and of the Vauclusien Agricultural Union, July 1896, August
1896, August 1897, August 1998, p. 5-6.
58 Bouverot, 1981, p. 87.
59 Combes, 1868, p. 5.

Page 34
Chap. II. Contemporary local varieties of wheat miller
This chapter will be devoted to the varieties of soft wheat which have been mentioned to me as being
contemporaries of wheat miller, that is to say cultivated until the day after the second
world war 1 . I have chosen to present them by geographic sector.
1. In the Vaucluse part
According to most of the interviews carried out in Vaucluse, the miller of Apt
seems to have been the main wheat cultivated in the periphery of the Grand Luberon and this at least
until Goult where a retired farmer told me: “It was almost only this wheat,
in ancient times. (…). We all cultivated the same ”. In Bonnieux, it was for example to me
revealed that “in the past we used to wear a lot of wheat miller”. In Caseneuve, one of my
interlocutors told me that “all the peasants around were doing it. (...) There was none
no other (...), or there was the spelled, but it is no longer wheat, it was not used for
make the flour ”. At Castelet, my oldest interlocutor still remembers: "I know that
it was the main grain, (…) it was the only one ”. Few other heirloom varieties are therefore
mentioned in this sector. We will retain the following.
1 Durum wheat is said to be non-existent locally before the 1980s.

Page 35
A. Touzelle
I note that some people sometimes speak of a touzelle with white grains and ear, well
differentiated from wheat miller from Apt; I had difficulty identifying it, as the
people did not keep a sample. "There was one called la tuzelle or touzelle
that we also cultivated, ”I was told in Bonnieux. Some believe that this would be the
Touzelle blanche de Provence, but a large proportion of those questioned did not
never having heard of touzelle; others know the name, but attest
that it never did in their family. Finally, I have already mentioned the fact that we find this
term in old departmental texts, but nothing has allowed me to
understand if it was about the wheat miller or another touzelle. I explained the
problems of synonymy, homonymy and possible confusion around this name; I myself
I will therefore refrain from formulating other interpretations than those already mentioned so far.
B. Saissette
Were other varieties of wheat still in use? Several monographs make
allusion, in addition to the touzelle, to the saissette. This is the case in Vaucluse Agricole , a work by
1898, in which the author mentions a wheat that he calls “country wheat or Saissette” 2 . I note
that it is not particularly question of the region of Apt or Pertuis about it. This is
also the case in the History of Vaucluse 3 in which it is said of cereals that in the 19th century.
century "they dominate and among them the wheat which is then from Touzelle and Saissette
is the most frequent ”. Anita Bourverot's thesis on Cooking in the land of Apt attests
more particularly a local presence of saissette: "The wheat of the Saissette variety and
Tuselle de Provence is grown on all farms although yields are
mediocre ” 4 . So what about the saissette mentioned in these texts?
2 Zacharewicz, 1898, p. 49-50.
3 Galas, Locci, Grosso and Clap, 1993, p. 21-22.
4 Bourverot, 1981, p. 17. Note here the use of a name considered to be a synonym of Wheat miller by
Vilmorin-Andrieux, the Allelle of Provence.

Page 36
Georges Guende, botanist at the Parc du Luberon, explained to me that when the seed of
Blé meunier was found in Buoux around 1983, it was mixed with Saissette d'Arles 5 .
“The Saissette d'Arles is a bearded wheat (…). So both were cultivated at the same time.
But the wheat miller was cultivated rather on the slopes, on the dry environments because it pours
easily. And the Saissette was cultivated rather in the valleys, the plain areas. Here,
this was explained to me by a farmer from Bonnieux whom I knew well, but who is
unfortunately passed away ”. In addition, in the same years, C.-C. Mathon notes that he has
identified a “ Saissette known as Apt in Buoux” 6 ; it is more or less the same provenance.
It therefore seems very difficult to know if this variety really corresponds to the Saissette.
d'Arles, Tr. v. aristatum ferrugineum Körn 7 . A.-M. Topalov also spotted a Saissette
of Arles in Haute Provence which it determines under the botanical name of Tr. v. aristatum
erythrospermum Körn. 8 .
However, the elders of the Apt region interviewed here did not tell me about the Saissette
known as of Arles. In the interviews, it is about a contemporary saissette of wheat
sucker, but often in a very confused way. The appearance of a variety in the 1950s,
called Saissette 54, particularly widespread in the region, seems to be at the origin of
the uncertainty expressed about the existence of the old variety. "[About the Saissette]
I don't remember that well, but there was one, it was a variety that was a bit apart.
There were several varieties, but there was one that was called 54, Saissette 54 (…);
it was wheat from Provence ”, one mentions for example in Bonnieux.
Also, if in the country of Apt an old saissette is remembered in a very
evasive, it is possible to deduce that its production did not mark the local agriculture
like the wheat miller. A text published in one of the monthly Bulletins of the Union des
Agricultural unions of the Alpes de Provence and the Vauclusien agricultural union 9 specifies
5 In a chapter devoted to Bouches-du-Rhône, of the Statistics of Villeneuve , we can note in passing
that in this region, it is considered that: "the lack of beard of all women is the cause that we prefer in Arles
the seisettes, which are provided with them; by means of these ridges, the strong gusts of wind do not beat the
against each other and do not shake the grain. At least that's what some farmers told us ”(T. IV, p
371). Would the people of the Luberon have grown saissette for the same reasons?
6 Mathon, 1985, p. 13.
7 In the chapter on Saissettes ( aristatum group ), we can find the following information on Saissette
Arles: "Group Saissette-d'Arles , Siaisse-d'Arles , Siaisse-white , Siaisse red , Saissette-de-
Tarascon , Biaisse-d'Agde or -de-Bézier (HL DE V ILMORIN ), Saissette-de-Provence , “ Touzelle ” (!) - red-
barbue , Bladette-barbue , Rouge-barbu-de-Provence , etc…, which would be a Blé-du-Rousillon , etc… (in V.
D UCOMET , p. 20) other than Blé-du-Rousillon , Tr. Va ferrineum Körn. (HL DE V ILMORIN ) and quite different
du Blé-du-Rousillon = Blé-de-Bordeaux , Tr. vm milturum Körn., without barbs, already cited. From "the" Saissette-
d'Arles is from Saissette-de-Maninet , Tr. va erythrospermum (Körn.) Mansf. (P. J ONARD , pp. 65, 244;
ZGKG, p. 59) ”, (Mathon, 1985, p. 16).
8 It also lists a Saissette d'Orange under the name Tr. V. ferrugineum All. (Topalov, 1985, p. 6).
9 Agricultural unions of the Alpes de Provence and Vauclusien agricultural union, August 1897 and August 1898, p. 5-6.

Page 37
besides that the town of Pertuis was " a center for the Touzelles ", and that of
Castelnaudary, "a center for" Saissette "wheat".
C. Wheat rice
In Grambois, a former farmer remembers the presence of a rice wheat - "Le Blé
meunier and Blé Riz are the oldest wheat that I have known ”- which he says is a non-wheat.
bearded man who shed a lot, but which we could not however determine. I have
tried to know a little more about this variety that nobody quotes among my others
interlocutors. I concluded that three hypotheses were possible. The first would be that he
is small spelled ( Triticum monococcum L.) often called wheat rice in the language
popular. Goal C.-C. Mathon, who has carried out research on this variety, does not list it
not in the Pays d'Aigues 10 . The second track is contained in an interview with Anne-Marie
Topalov interviewed by Pierre Coste, found in the sound library of the Salagon Museum, which
relates in particular to varieties of the Basses-Alpes: “The rieto, I have several
interpretations and we discussed it with Bromberger the other day; it was really the rieto
variety because there were people who misunderstood it and who
called it wheat rice. And this wheat rice, it has an important breadmaking value because
that it was a wheat that had a small round white grain like rice, and we passed it
five times through the sieve. It was therefore the flower of flour that we made with it. There were 30 kilos per
family and per year to make either small pasta called "brisettes",
either the donut dough, to make acacia donuts or squash flower donuts, salted
or sweet. (...) The rieto is the people who misunderstood it because they called it wheat rice,
but in fact it is rieto. (...) It is a true Italian variety that we have found in
old agricultural reports of the time ” 11 . In The life of the Lower Alpine farmers through
their cuisine, from 1850 to the present day , Anne-Marie Topalov identifies two types of wheat called
10 “In this edition, currently and / or in the last, or even the penultimate decade, the culture of Le Petit
Spelled is practiced on about sixty hectares in more than a dozen locations explored -
there are still at least as many "tracks" to be exploited and the list is not closed - (26-La Rochette-du-Buis,
26-Séderon, 84-Brantes, 84-Sault, 84-Viens, 84-Villemus, 84-Reillanne, 84-Montfuron, 04-Revest-du-Bion, 04-
Forcalquier, 04-Lincel, 04-Saint-Maine, 04-Lurs, 04-Entrevennes, 04-Vachères-Opedette), or north of the axis
Ventoux-Lure and to the south of it, and on the left bank of the Durance between Bléone and Asse ”. (Mathon, 1985,
p. 25).

Page 38
"Rieti": Triticum vulgare erythrospernum (Körn.) Mans. (without beards) and Tr. v. ferrugineum
(Körn.) Mans. (with beards) 12 . For F. and P. Berthault, whose work dates from 1912, wheat, rice,
a tender bearded variety “introduced about 25 years ago is a wheat from central Italy” 13 .
Finally, I leave it to C.-C. Mathon for the third possibility. The botanist classifies the
wheat rice with wheat poults 14 .
D. Wheat bush
Finally, the Vaucluse Agricole still stipulates the existence in the department of a "wheat
bush or bearded wheat, which is put in land where country wheat cannot be grown at
cause of lodging ” 15 . It is likely that this wheat concerns the areas where the land is said
"Better" in popular discourse and therefore clayey-silty, like those of the surroundings
de la Durance, insofar as I do not find bush wheat in the interviews. Tea
Monthly bulletin of the Union of Agricultural Unions of the Alpes de Provence and of the Syndicate
agricultural Vauclusien 16 indicates that Cavaillon would be "the center for wheat
"Bush" " 17 . Its presence Would therefore not Involve the territory delimited by the culture.
old wheat miller from Apt.
11 1982, C20.
12 Topalov, 1986, p. 19.
13 Berthault, 1912, p. 63.
14 In his chapter devoted to Poulards ( Triticum turgidum L.), Mathon writes: “(…) Wheat Rice - (but this
name) is also given to Engrain… as well as to a soft white grain wheat… -, cultivated in Auvergne,
in Drôme, Ardèche, Aveyron and even in the Basses-Alpes ”, (Mathon, 1985, p. 10-11).
15 Zacharewicz, 1898, p. 49-50.
16 Agricultural unions of the Alpes de Provence and Vauclusien agricultural union, August 1897 and August 1898, p. 5-6.
17 The name Bearded Wheat is here considered to be a synonym of Wheat Bush, but it is also "the
denomination given to a wheat whose name we did not know and which had a beard ”(
retired farmer from Caseneuve). Note that when it comes to a more recent period, the language
popular speaks of "bearded wheat" to designate hard wheat.

Page 39
2. Plateau d'Albion and Forcalquier district
I have already said that I have met peasants who cultivated milling wheat in certain
municipalities in the canton of Banon such as Vachères, Banon or Revest-du-Bion, and up to
the department of Drôme, in Saint-Trinit. But it seems that in this area, others
varieties of wheat held an important place in the agriculture of the XIX th century and
first half of the XX th century. The agricultural survey of the Basses-Alpes department of
1929 18 , for example reports, in the sector "Banon - Revest-du-Bion", the presence of
tuzelle and saissette 19 . “The types of wheat cultivated in our towns throughout the 19th century
s. and early twentieth e s. are essentially tuzelles (tousello) and saissettes (seisseto),
(…). The Tuzelles provided "the finest soft wheats"; the saissette, less famous,
adapted to less fertile soils ” 20 , writes A. de Reparaz about the villages of the
de Lure and d'Albion. I myself found traces of these two varieties on the set
d'Albion as well as in the Arrondissement of Forcalquier.
A. Les Touzelles in the canton of Banon and towards Forcalquier
The interviews carried out in this geographical area also reflect the
crop of wheat bearing these names. "We had the wheat miller and then we had the Touzelle which
was a slightly improved wheat. (…). It was made into bread. (...) Compared to Meunier, for the
Tuzelle already needed a richer ground, it was made longer in straw. The Miller
had a shorter ear, ”recalls a farmer from Vachères. In the same village, another
farmer reported to me that he had continued to cultivate several touzelles, until one
ten years, tuzelles whose seed came to him from his father 21 . Which tuzelles are
it exactly? “The majority of wheat was tuzelles at the time; there was la Tuzelle
Blanche, la Tuzelle Rouge, (...) there was the Monnier ... There were two or three varieties that
18 Niquet, 1933, p. 35.
19 "As wheat, Tuzelle and Saissette are commonly cultivated", specifies the survey (Niquet, 1933, p. 35).
20 Barruol, De Reparaz, Royer, 2004, p. 109.
21 This farmer explained to me that he lost the crop due to a weevil problem.

Page 40
were all part of the touzelles, ”he explained to me. The farmers of Longo Maï
specializing in the cultivation of old varieties of wheat had the opportunity to
recover these seeds before the farmer Vachèrois loses it. These describe a
touzelle which they name 'Touzelle de Vachères' as being a "population" rather
that a variety: "There is brill, there is white and red;
it is mixed, they are populations ”. He also said of them that they could
“Degenerate” between them. I found this same name, 'Touzelle de Vachères', in
two tables dating from 1924 and 1925 which list the specific weights of the wheat produced
regionally 22 . The denominations of the different touzelles and other wheats that are there
listed suggest that they are more likely to be names attributed to
"Populations" of wheat originating in a locality or district rather than varieties
very specific, as it seems to be the case for the recovered Tuzelle de Vachère
by members of Longo Maï 23 .
In addition, it seems that a particularly famous white touzelle has been cultivated
in the canton of Banon. The former miller of the Moulin de Pangon, in Limans, told me about her
with a lot of nostalgia: "What made the happiness of my mill, at the time of my
parents, my grandparents, it was this famous Tuzelle Blanche that we found
locally, within a radius of thirty kilometers. They were grown in Simiane, Banon, throughout
the region there. It made an extraordinary flour, without any contribution whatsoever. (…). And that
gave good old-fashioned bread, bread with holes, as it should be. (…). My father, my grand-
father used only that, without additives. (…). It was the bakers' favorite. (…). Me
This Tuzelle marked me because I heard about it all my life from my father and all
the millers of the region ”. A farmer from Dauphin also told me about a touzelle: “The
Tuzelle there was; we did it on the hillsides, (...) as in Saint-Michel, but not too much
here in the area. (...) On the hillsides, because I have the impression that these wheat feared
wetter at the bottom ”.
In the writings, it is question of a touzelle particularly appreciated in the basin of
Forcalquier; one can for example read about this sector in the agricultural survey of
22 These tables are attached to letters from the Minister of Agriculture addressed to the Prefect of Basses-Alpes at
subject of the specific weights of local varieties. In addition to the Touzelle de Vachères, there is also: “Tuzelle
de Malijai, Bon Fermier, Tuzelle de Barrême, Red wheat from Marcoux, Tuzelle de Thoard, Reversible hybrid of
Villemus, Tuzelle blanche de Valensole, reversible and good farmer from Manosque, Tuzelle de Revest-des-
Brousses, Red Tuzelle d'Entrevaux, White Tuzelle d'Entrevaux, Tuzelle d'Oraison, Reversible hybrid of
Sea bass, Sisteron red wheat, Montfort white Tuzelle, Vaumeilh white Tuzelle ”.
23 As the harvests had already taken place at the time of the study, I was unable to obtain a sample of the various
varieties which make up, according to the words of the farmers of Longo Maï, this Touzelle de Vachères and therefore
could not determine them.

Page 41
Basses-Alpes of 1929: “As on the Valensole plateau, we cultivate the Tuzelle, very
sought after by the millers of Marseille; it is in Forcalquier that the main
transactions ” 24 . I even found a document dating from 1930 attesting to the existence of a
flour mill in Forcalquier called Minoterie de Touzelle 25 ; this is to say the importance of this
variety in the sector. It remains to be seen which touzelles it is precisely here. In his
article on the wheats of south-eastern France, C.-C. Mathon counts several white ones and
red 26 .
B. Red wheat and Touzelles Rouges in the canton of Banon and Pays d'Albion
On the Albion plateau, A. De Reparaz has identified a wheat that the inhabitants call 'Blé
red 'which I also find in oral testimony. “Lou Bla Rougé was a great
wheat which made a lot of straw compared to Wheat meunier and Saissette. He gave two
and a half tonnes per hectare, ”recalls a former farmer from the country of Albion. AT
Montsalier, I was told that “the Red Wheat had a defect, the grains fell with the
wind ”. “This rustic seed, which has the disadvantage of being quite prone to losing its seeds, has
variable returns, never very high: she "does ten", in general, sometimes, but
rarely "the twelve", but often also the "seven and the eight" " 27 , further specifies the
geographer. For this one, it would be red touzelles. "The red tuzelles, or" wheat
reds ”, which do not fear winter and early spring frosts, will still be cultivated
until the years 1940-1950 ”(Barruol, De Reparaz and Royer, 2004, p. 110) 28 . CC.
24 We can also note that, in the same study, it is mentioned with regard to the Valensole plateau that
mainly cultivates the Tuzelle de Provence, an old local variety adapted to the climate and the land of the region
not afraid of scalding and whose grain is highly esteemed by the flour mill because of its flour yield,
the whiteness, the finesse of the latter and its baking qualities ”. About the denomination
mentioned here, Tuzelle de Provence, cited, let us remember, by Vilmorin-Andrieux as being a synonym of
Wheat sucker, it might possibly be interesting to know whether it is Tr. Vm alborubrum Körn.
25 Departmental Archives of Digne, 6M277, Control of the wheat trade from 1922 to 1932: instruction and
correspondence . It also indicates the name of the owner of this flour mill: Elie Tourniaire.
26 Mathon, 1985, p. 15 and 16.
27 This is the quintals / hectare. (De Reparaz, 1966, p. 345).
28 In the document cited above about saissettes in the Bouches-du-Rhône, we can read that the
Touzelle rousse corresponds to the Bla Rougé in Marseille. “Looks like the saissette, except the beard. (…). The sub-
white variety gives very white flour and excellent bread; but she is delicate, fears the dew, the blows
sun and inclement weather. Those who prefer quantity to quality, choose the red-haired touselle, whose
report is more certain and more abundant ”( Statistics of Villeneuve , T. IV, p. 371). It would be interesting to know
if this variety is the same as our Red Wheat.

Page 42
Mathon has identified several red wheat - red wheat from Omergues or red wheat
of Séderon which are closest to the ground that interests us - which he determines as
being mixtures of different Touzelles - including the Touzelle rouge de la Drôme 29 or the Wheat
rouge de Provence 30 , listed in its famous list of touzelles - even saissettes for
some of them 31 . But none of these populations seem to have been recorded around
Revest-du-Bion by the botanist specializing in wheat from the South-East.
In addition, a former resident of Saint-Trinit also alluded to a white touzelle
cultivated by her father: “She did not have a big difference with the Miller. (…) My
father made flour and my uncle made bread from this pure touzelle ”.
C. Saissette
As in ancient texts, the presence of an old saissette is detectable in
popular language. It is attested to Dauphin, Vachères, Revest-du-Bion and Saint-Trinit by
different farmers. “The Saissette brought in more than the wheat miller. The rod was more
big, it made more grains; it is a wheat which was a little more elongated ”, this explains to me.
former inhabitant of Revest-du-Bion. But here again, confusion can sometimes be possible
with Saissette 54 also widely cultivated locally in the 1950s.
nobody kept ears of saissettes cultivated before the Second World War, which made
complex all my attempts at determination. By presenting a sample of Saissette
29 Touzelle-rouge-de-la-Drôme , Tr. Vm milturum (Al.) Mansf. or Körn. (...) that I think I will find,
dominant, in Les Blés-Rouges which I analyze (…) and which seems to me to be a winter form ”(Mathon, 1985, p.
30 Blé-rouge-de-Provence (attested in 1869), Tr. Vm milturum Al. Or Körn. (HL D E V ILMORIN , p. 27) ",
(Mathon, 1985, p. 16).
31 “Le Blé-rouge-des-Omergues or -de-Mévouillon : Cultivated population at 04-Les Omergues, from 26-
Mévouillon, (…), with a glabrous non-bearded spike with dominant red grain (…), with hollow straw, mixed quite frequently
bearded yellow ear with red grain, with hollow straw, as well as a reddish ear more or less sharp, with red grain, straw
dig. So it seems to be essentially Tr. V. muticum milturum Al., Ie a Touzelle
rouge (which does not appear, morphologically, to be "the" Rouge-de-Bordeaux?) mixed with Tr. v. aristatum
erythrospermum Körn., that is to say of a white Saissette with red grain ( Saissette-d'Arles type ?) and more
rarely from a Tr. v. muticum lutescens Körn. or Al., and a Tr. v. muticum Al. fa semiaristatum (mid
Touzelle / mi-Saissette). (…). Le Blé-rouge-de-Séderon or - de-la-Rochette-du-Buis : Cultivated population at 26-
Séderon, originally from 26-La-Rochette-du-Buis, with bearded, semi-bearded and non-bearded spikes, red and yellow, with grain
dominant red color mixed with more or less yellow grain (with little oats but various other impurities, crucifers
especially). Apparently a neighboring population of Blé-rouge-des-Omergues ”, Mathon, 1985, p. 17-18.

Page 43
Provence, probably Tr. Va graecum Körn. 32 , to the farmer Vachèrois who spoke to me
of the existence, among others of bearded touzelle, he noted that it was in fact
"What we called the Red". I add that just like that of Touzelle, the name of
saissette remains present in a large number of ancient texts relating to Provence.
All of the old local varieties cited by my interlocutors thus presented,
I will now describe the characteristics, practices and agricultural know-how that
attributes particularly to Meunier d'Apt and more generally to old wheat from the
32 I am specifying here “probably” because C.-C. Mathon himself identifies three saissettes from Provence
different: Tr. va graecum Körn. and two others which would belong to Tr. va ferrugineum Körn., that he is
very difficult to distinguish.

Page 44
Chap. III. Wheat characteristics, practices and agricultural know-how
meunier and other local heirloom varieties
On re-reading the interviews carried out, I was struck by the abundance
information on techniques and tools used in cultivation practices
old. I chose to name here only those who seemed relevant to
understand the agricultural characteristics and know-how that are related to wheat
meunier, touzelles and saissettes.
1. The field
A. Pedo-climatic conditions and choice of land
Spread throughout the South-East of France, the touzelles have been selected and
multiplied over the centuries for their accommodation to pedo-climatic conditions
specific to this geographical area. Their adaptation to these is one of the characteristics
agricultural products most often explained by my interlocutors. "Tuzelles are varieties
typically southern, they are really adapted to Luberon and Provence, to
dry land, rather poor ”, tells me a farmer where they cultivate Wheat miller and
the touzelle for several generations. "These are wheat which did not fear too much
drought, that is, they have long enough straws, and who says long straws says
long roots, therefore well anchored and therefore less sensitive to years of drought such as
this year for example, ”I am further told. Wheat miller also has the reputation

Page 45
not to withstand humidity. "The slightest rain, when they [the ears of wheat miller]
would ripen and we quickly had rust ”, we still remember in Grambois.
I have noticed that the vocabulary used reflects a dichotomy between
drought / poverty and humidity / richness of the land. In the periphery of the Grand Luberon and
especially towards Haute Provence, the soil is described as "poor since clay-limestone and very
dry ”. It is often opposed to that of the Durance sector where the land is said "more
rich "and" clayey-silty ". But" richness of the land "does not imply a good
production of Wheat milling since it is said to be “less well to come”. It is notable that in
interviews we almost always find the information that it is developing
particularly better in the poorest lands, even compared to
close varieties. On this subject, comparisons have been made to me in several
localities: It was cultivated in bad land, (…). This is the difference that there was
with saissettes and touzelles for which better land was given ”.
In reality, for milling wheat, the choice of land depends on a tendency to lodging.
"So if you put it in good soil, it made a very long rod and presto, it
was falling. Once it was poured, that it was on the ground, it had to be picked up with the scythe or the
sickle. It was cultivated in bad land because it remained there very small ” 1 . And another
farmer to add: "They all have [touzelles and wheat miller] tall, fine straws,
why they must be stumbled in a rather dry, rather clean ground, than in the lands of the
Durance which are rather fresh, clayey, there is a problem of lodging ”. This phenomenon
is systematically presented to me about the tuzelles and the meunier d'Apt as one of the
most restrictive agricultural characteristics, even if its defenders like to specify that
the second “does not lie down on the ground, it bends like a reed” 2 .
1 A retired farmer from Bonnieux.
2 We can note the remark of G. Guillot, about the lodging of wheat miller: “Its straw bends at the height of the
knot, 15-20 cm from the ground. It's pretty funny because when it pours, instead of all lying in the
same sense, as if we had brushed the field, it is lying in circles. It makes you a bit like hair
which have ears. "

Page 46
B. Working the land
It goes without saying that the wheat miller of Apt was cultivated at a time when agriculture did not
still underwent the technical transformations that it will experience after the 1950s.
first half of the XX th century, the work of the land was done with one or two coulter and harrow
drawn by horses. My 97-year-old interlocutor even reports more
elders: “To plow, we had a plowshare and two animals. But I've known some who didn't
than with a beast. I have known some who did everything "by hand" too: they cultivated the land with
the pickax, with the spade and they sowed on it ” 3 .
Plowing was done after the harvest: "You had to plow the land in summer, when
was dry. (…). Because if you plow when the soil is too cool, quackgrass grows
develops easily ”I am told. And "we did not spend thirty-six times in the fields
because we worked with horses. We plowed, we used a harrow and then we
sowed wheat (…) ”. Today, at GAEC Les Granges in Montfuron, to prepare the ground for
the cultivation of wheat miller, "after the harvest we systematically go through a discus,
hoping for regrowth after summer thunderstorms. Then September / October, we compost, we
replay the record and in the process, we plow ”.
Finally, if we are to believe the cultivation methods of a farmer in Vachères, transmitted
by his father, the depth of the plowing seems to have its importance: “For the tuzelles, it is
a traditional cultivation method, ie shallow plowing at the level of the
depth ”. It seems that the technical constraints imposed this type of depth
since in Bonnieux, I was told that with four horses harnessed to a plow, we were digging
15 cm.
3 Towards Grambois, the pickaxe that was used for hard earth was called an “eissade”.

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C. Soil enrichment
The enrichment of the land - animal manure being before the second war the only
fertilizer - is consistently seen among older farmers as well as among
the youngest as a factor particularly favoring lodging of wheat miller
from Apt. And reflections on this subject are well underway: "If you put a good manure in the
earth, you had everything that fell ”; or again: "The wheat miller, it is a wheat which is not
very greedy, if we put too many nutrients, he risks going to bed ”.
Against the impoverishment of the soil, one practiced the rotation. Oral testimony is
overlap with the fact that alfalfa and sainfoin were mainly sown for nitrogen supply
useful for the development of wheat, all varieties combined. But other cultures could
also be carried out as I was told in the Pays d'Aigues: "We did that on
melons, alfalfa, sainfoins, vetch too, it grows very well. And then we
did what is called a "mesclage"; it was oats and vetches to give to
horses ”.
The agricultural survey the Vaucluse department in 1868 accounts for the XIX th century
a practice of biennial rotation with a fallow year: “There are about forty
years, so-called first and second-grade tillage land was generally
cultivated by biennial rotation, fallow and wheat. (…) But [in recent years] the fallows
have largely disappeared to make way for madder, potatoes, millet
broom and artificial fodder, particularly alfalfa and sainfoin ” 4 . Investigation
agriculture of the Basses-Alpes department of 1929 also mentions a system
biennial rotation with fallow for the Banon / Revest-du-bion zone 5 . We find here
still alternating with sainfoin and legumes 6 . I add here that a witness assured me
than on the plateau d'Albion: “We let the earth rest for at least four or five years. We
made sainfoin, we left it for three or four years and then we sowed wheat on it ”. And
in several places I am still told that "before the 1939-45 war, it was forbidden to
make wheat twice in the same place ”.
4 Combes, 1868, p. 80.
5 Niquet, 1929, p. 13.
6 On the Albion plateau and as far as Caseneuve, the land for growing wheat was also used, according to
altitude, lavender or lavandin. “We hurried to harvest the wheat to start the lavandins. And
on these lands, with the lavandin, we had left for ten years during which we no longer made any wheat there.
we remember in Caseneuve.

Page 48
Today, Gérard Guillot recommends the following practice for Blé meunier:
puts at the head of rotation. That is to say after making alfalfa or resting the field
for three years, there we put compost and we sow a cereal which is very hungry, which is
very greedy like the Polonicum, even the Florence Aurore. In the second year, we do not put
no more compost and that's where we'll put a wheat miller from Apt; and in the third year, we
will put in a barley, oats or something. (…). We have already done third
years at Meunier d'Apt and he also loves. There you are, he mustn't have too much to eat ”. So
as summed up by this new farmer of old variety, "we must learn to sow wheat
miller from Apt in rather poor lands; there's no point in bringing him tons of
manure or sowing it on soil with previous crops that were too rich ”.
2. The seeds
A. Choice of seeds
I wanted here to take into account a dimension which does not directly concern
touzelles but more widely the choice of seed wheat in the area of ​​old cultivation of
Meunier d'Apt. This is a process that has been practiced for a very long time and has been described in books
farm of the XIX th century. We can read, for example, in the Bulletin du Comice Agricole de
the arrondissement of Apt in 1872: "General rule: the seed must be taken in a
country that is north of that in which it is cultivated, and ensure that the wheat has been harvested in
perfect maturity. (...) That he [the farmer] not lose sight only that he deserves equal
the hardiest varieties, the most likely to withstand sudden changes in
freezing temperatures during thaws, are those that offer the most security for the future of
harvests ” 7 . I found what this review recommends in an interview with a baker
retiree having worked as a farmer in the Digne region, there are about forty
of years: "The ancients, my father, always said that for wheat you had to go get it

Page 49
up to sow it down and especially not the other way around ”. This interlocutor did not know
explain to me what (s) were the reason (s), but confirmed to me that it was a
know-how well known throughout the region. A farmer from Grambois told me
that it was the opposite: "My father told me that you should never look for your
seeds in the regions above. You had to take them down to ride them, but not the
go down. I still remember when he told me that ” 8 .
Still, the first version seems to have been practiced rather around the edge
Luberon, at least that is what several monthly Union Bulletins suggest
of the Agricultural Syndicates of the Alpes de Provence and of the Vauclusien Agricultural Syndicate 9 , in a
part devoted to "seed wheat" from which I have already quoted an extract: "Everyone knows that
seeds must always be taken outside the localities where they will be grown, and from
preferably in areas where only one variety of wheat is grown, and where conditions
climatic conditions and the soil will be worse, so that the wheat of robust origin benefits from the
better conditions in which it will be placed. This is a point of acquired physiology
since a long time. This is why the plain goes to look for its wheat seeds in the
mountain, etc., which gave the high plateaus of Vaucluse, and especially those leaning against the
Luberon, almost the monopoly of these supplies. There, in fact, a climate
rough and variable and a poor soil which gives the plant all the desired robustness. The city of
Pertuis is the wheat shipping center of this region (Tuzelle de Pertuis) ”.
Moreover, in the interviews, I systematically note that the elders had
the habit, whatever the variety, of multiplying their own seed from year to year
the other. "When we had a piece where the grain was fine, we kept it for the seed
according to ". This is how some farmers have kept old varieties such as
tuzelles that came to them from their father 10 . One of them asserts, moreover, and that
also concerning the wheat miller, that "are seeds which do not degenerate
hardly any ”.
Finally, I must add that today, a grower specializing in varieties
old advocates mixing varieties with a view to obtaining a
harvest all ready to make compound flours. It would appear that this practice has been
7 Comice Agricole de l'Apt arrondissement, 1872, p. 251.
8 Marie-France Lagarde and Philippe Marchenay report observations of this kind in their work on the PNR
des Ecrins (Lagarde, Marchenay, 1985). For example Saint Paul sur Ubaye went to look for his seeds in Ceillac
in the Queyras.
9 Union of the Agricultural Syndicates of the Alpes de Provence and the Vauclusien Agricultural Syndicate, July 1896, August
1896, August 1897, p. 4.
10 These peasants are still very rare in the region.

Page 50
valued by agronomists, but not for the same reasons 11 . I do not however find
elements on this subject in old local practices.
B. Diseases and seed treatments
Three fungal diseases have been mentioned to me concerning the wheat miller of Apt. I have already
talked about rust which is favored by excess humidity (rain or watering). "When the
Wheats caught rust, it made rust-colored dust on the leaves. And when
you were harvesting, it looked like you were working in ocher. It dried the wheat and the
harvest was worth nothing ”, I was told in Pays d'Aigues.
I am also told about coal. “For charcoal, we treated the seed with
copper that was mixed with water. And then we wet the wheat well with this
mixture, we rotated them so that there was plenty everywhere; we let them dry and we
was sowing ”. “The copper must be prepared at least a day before so that it dries a bit. (…).
But we don't put a lot of it. We did that with a little broom; we feel him to earth and
we would then turn with a wooden shovel to mix it well ”.
The third disease was mentioned to me by farmers today specializing in
cultivation of old varieties and not by the old ones who never allude to them; it's about the
cavities. "Decay is a fungus that makes grains black, which makes a lot of dust
at the time of threshing and which has a slightly spoiled fishy odor ”. Because among these peasants,
many are those whose production of milling wheat has been affected by this fungus;
many believe that the contamination would come from the semen of their supplier, others
explain it by unfavorable climatic conditions, others still by a bad
choice of land. To fight against him, many say they have proceeded in the following way:
11 C.-C. Mathon has compiled a few extracts on this subject (Mathon, 1985, p. 13): “It is a fact well established by
numerous trials, that the mixture of two distinct varieties of wheat almost constantly gives a yield in
grain greater than that which would have been obtained from either of these varieties grown alone ...
practices recommended by many experienced farmers and that we believe in fact very
recommendable ”(Vilmorin-Andrieux, 1880, p. 167). "This practice (making mixtures) is most happy
and always ensures an increased yield when combining varieties well adapted to the locality ”(Berthault,
1912, p. 109). "We have found that by mixing two or more varieties we obtain an average yield
higher than the average yield of each of the varieties cultivated separately ”(Ratineau, J., 1945, Les
cereals , Paris, Flamarion, p. 103).

Page 51
"You have to clean the seed with water, dry it and before sowing it, treat it with porridge.
bordelaise or copper sulphate ”.
But if modern growers of old varieties recently interested in wheat
miller say of him that he is easily subject to diseases, and particularly to decay, these
words are very little present in the discourse of the ancients. Some of them tell
even that the wheat miller had no problem of disease. One of the few young people
farmers who have perpetuated know-how and kept old varieties inherited from their
father does not think that these are more sensitive than modern varieties.
Finally, I noted a case of weevil turrets in Vachères ten years ago.
years. It would be about "a small butterfly which makes eggs and which develops especially in summer.
with heat ” 12 . Its owner who works in organic farming had subjected to
its seeds a treatment with sulfur and essential oils before getting rid of it.
C. Seeding
Wheat meunier d'Apt, like the other touzelles and saissettes attested in the region, are
sows in the fall (it is said to be “autumn wheat”). "Le Meunier is a
long-cycle variety; it is sown early and harvested quite late, well, quite late, this
is not exactly that, heading 13 is done a little later than the rest ”. In reality the
cropping period depends on the geographical area in which one is working. AT
Cucuron, I was told that the sowing must be finished around November 8 or 10. "And
there, as that has changed the climate a little, we can sow later. (…). But finally the wheat they
don't mind the cold here too much. Even in the Basses-Alpes, I don't think there is any
problems. In the Hautes-Alpes, a little higher, it may be that at the limit of wheat cultivation,
that's a bit fairer, ”we added. Towards Goult, it is said that "we sowed it for two weeks
before All Saints' Day and two weeks after. We had a month to sow ”. In Caseneuve, "the
elders said the week before All Saints' Day and the week after were the best
to sow ”. Finally, on the Albion plateau, it seems that the sowing of wheat has started
12 According to Pierre Lieutaghi, the weevil is not a disease of growing wheat, but of grains in storage.
13 “Heading corresponds to the time it takes for each ear to hatch out of its sheath. Shortly after, stamens
appear outside the spikelets. This is the flowering stage, the growth of the stems is complete ”(Musée de
Salagon, 1983, p. 2).

Page 52
earlier: "We were sowing early at the time, at the end of September", recalls a former
farmer from Saint-Trinit.
Wheat miller was one of those cereals that were still sown by hand 14 , then
buried the seedlings with a horse-drawn harrow. Today, we sow with
seed drills. I find approximately the same indication as to the quantity of milling wheat that
needed to sow one hectare of land: between 160 and 180 kilos. Its seedlings come out, as
many other varieties, before winter, early December, and the ears are visible in the month
of May.
3. The harvest
A. The harvests
The wheat harvest started and still apparently begins around July 14 on the
plateau d'Albion, while at this period it is coming to an end in the periphery of the Grand Luberon
Vaucluse. At the time of the ancient cultivation of wheat miller from Apt, the practices of
harvesting are of course different from those of today; the peasant world does not have
still undergone the influence of machinery that he will know in the 1950s. My interlocutor
97-year-old remembers that when he was in his twenties our wheat - the only one sown
then in the surroundings of Le Castellet - cut himself with a scythe, and that before him his grandfather
used sickle 15 . After that, "we collected the wheat that was cut, we made
sheaves, (...) which were tied with a handful of straw which made perhaps fifteen
14 Some have described their hand-seeding technique to me; none is of course specific to
Meunier d'Apt. I noted the explanation given to me by a farmer from Caseneuve: “Six pas et on
put a milestone, the same on the other side. And we would hit the milestone and send the seeds. (…). In the village,
everyone knew who sowed the best, because when the wheat came out, it was a few centimeters, it
could see well with the naked eye. (…). My goal was to lengthen, to send far to exceed six meters, that
borrows from the one next door; because if you only go five meters while swinging the grain, there is a meter where it
there are a lot less. There it is not beautiful, it can be seen from afar. So the peasants next door say: "A sen va
sela ”, this means that we put everything within the three meters which were in front of the stake and that there was still a
meter or a little more where there was nothing ”.
15 Pierre Martel attests that in Haute Provence the sickle was used even late, until the war of 1914
(Martel, 1983, p. 24).

Page 53
corn ". Between the two wars, that is to say on the end of the cultivation of Meunier d'Apt,
successively appear the mower, the bleach harvester, the binder 16 - drawn
first by horses, then later by a tractor - and finally the thresher 17 . I will not enter
not in the many technical details involved in the use of these machines
agricultural crops and here refers the reader to volume II of Blés from the summer of 18 in which Pierre Martel
very good descriptions of the harvesters and other tools used in Haute Provence for this
effect (one can also find there references on the country of Apt).
In any case, the work of the binder, a device to which the people questioned in the
part of this study often refer, was combined with the use of scythe. "Around
field, to pass with the binder, we made a first passage with the scythe so that the
horses do not trample the wheat ”. The cutting of wheat by hand is therefore still practiced,
several of them remember the quality of the straws according to the varieties
harvested. This is the case, for example, of this farmer from Vachères: “[about Les Touzelles
and Blé meunier], as the scythe was used a lot, the straws of these wheat were
easy to cut. The saissettes 19 , they had a hard straw; to cut them to the scythe,
it was harder. But the wheat miller had the most flexible straw ”.
In addition, the tendency to lodging is a characteristic of Suckling Wheat which sometimes makes it
incompatible in the eyes of some with more and more sophisticated agricultural machinery.
“When the Wheat miller was going to bed, the machines weren't going convenient in there. So he
there were indeed the beaters [of the harvester] to bring in the ears, but when they were
lying like that, the beaters could not take them. So someone had to
goes with a pitchfork and lifts them up. It was complicated! ", Says for example this former
Grambois. Yet some of the young farmers who today cultivate wheat miller
consider that, even when poured, it can be harvested without problem with a harvester.
Finally, I gathered in the interviews a set of divergent assessments as to the
resistance of the wheat grain of Apt to shaking and wind. "We collected it from
preferably not quite ripe. Because if it was very ripe, while harvesting, it was shaken and
the grains were already falling. And then we made sheaves of it, what we called gerberons,
it was little millstones, and we let it ripen, we let it dry. The grain, like the
straw, was still green and it kept getting bigger in there. As long as all that was in the
16 In Vachères, I am told that I used the binder until 1964.
17 I noted that on this subject, some people told me about an advance in the Basses-Alpes compared to Vaucluse:
“In the Basses-Alpes, on that side, in Forcalquier, they were much further ahead than here. They had
always the more advanced material compared to us ”, told me a peasant from Vaucluse.
18 Martel, 1983

Page 54
stalk was not exhausted, the grain was growing, it was ripening quietly. And then we brought him on
a threshing floor, we took him to a stacker and the threshing machine threshed the grain ”. And the same
farmer to add later: “You cannot harvest it with the harvester. For the
harvest that, the grain must be very ripe; and the wheat we had at the time, when they
were ripe, if there was a gust of wind, the grain would fall ”. I find this type of
remark about the wheat miller in the speech of several old people. Yet the
younger people do not seem to be of the same opinion. This is the case of this Vachérois farmer who
had kept for a long time the seeds of his father's touzelles about which he indicates
that: “These are wheat which did not fear shaking too much. On the other hand, the Saissette 54,
I know that my father had abandoned it because the squalls fell a lot with the mistral,
or during the harvest, when it was carried on the shoulder ”. For Mr
Guillot also: “If we leave [Meunier wheat] standing for a long time when it is ripe, it will not
hardly lose its grains; you really have to wait three weeks after ripening
so that it begins to lose its grains spontaneously ”.
Finally, a remark concerning bearded wheat such as saissettes. These were
considered unsuitable for the new machines for the following reason: "Bearded wheat
still hung, there were still ten-fifteen ears of corn that hung in the divider
and the binder did not bind them. So you had to take them in your hand and push them into it. And then
at all the sheaves it was necessary to do that. It didn't take long because it was
annoying ”. Today it seems that the harvesters have adapted to the beards of
19 This is surely the Saissette 54.

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B. Shelling and cleaning of grain
For grain crushing, I did not find any practice specifically related to wheat
Miller of Apt or other touzelles. Many remember that the roller pulled by
a horse, the last tool to be picked up by Elie-Marcel Gaillard in Haute Provence 20
before the motorization arrives. "We did it on what we call the area, it's a surface
flat where the soil has been prepared, hardened, watered and then well leveled; it has to be very hard. At
in the middle there was a post with what we called a turnstile, with a rope. And the horse
circled around, tied to the rope, dragging the stone roll behind him. As and
as the horse spun, the rope wound around the pole and the roller tended to
get closer to the center. When it was in the middle, if the grain was not shelled enough, we
was still making a revolution. (…). After they removed the straw with the fork, everything else was
amassed and they passed what is called the "fan". This fan removed the fat
straws and grain were cleaned like that 21 ”, remembers this young farmer from Cucuron.
This last step of cleaning the grain on the threshing floor disappears with creation, just before the
Second World War, agricultural grain cooperatives which will take charge of the operation.
And then the arrival of combine harvesters will replace the use of roller 22 .
Finally, I must also specify that I have not noted an assessment either.
peculiar to the grain of Meunier d'Apt in terms of its removal, except that of Gérard
Guillot who believes that "it fights well, the grain does not break or hardly breaks when threshing".
20 Gaillard, 1997, p. 50.
21 In Goult I was told that we spoke of "ponsier" in patois to mean dust and waste due to
22 “I still knew the threshing machine which turned with a wood-burning locomotive; I must have been six or seven. (…)
It was the locomotive that spun the threshing machine with the belts. Then they put tractors there. (…). At
at first there was only the threshing machine and then afterwards they put the press on. So on one side he came out the grain, and on the other
The balls. (…). There were about fifteen people around the thresher. There were two who wore the
balls, two which divided them and tied them with the wires. Then there were four on the stackers for
send the sheaves, there was one who received them and another who, we called that "engrainait", that is to say that he
received them on the arm. Then there was the one who weighed the grain, the one who took care of the equipment ... we were
a few there! », Remembers my main interlocutor from Grambois.

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C. Yield
In the interviews, I was able to identify that the performance could be expressed in different
manners; but none of these expressions are really specific to milling wheat. In country
Aigues, and particularly in Grambois and Pertuis, I have been told that we used to speak by
example of the yield at the "emine" 23 . Among other peasants, we said rather than wheat
"Did the 2 or 3" in the bad lands and "the 12" in the best lands when he
did not shed, which means that for a kilo of wheat sown, 12 kilos were harvested. Some
still speak of "specific weight" which expresses "the yield of the grain in flour".
Today, we speak more readily in quintals / hectares; in this case, many
agree approximately on an average of 20 quintals / hectare, (between 15 and 25) for
touzelles and wheat miller. "At 30 quintals, the wheat miller is that it is lying down, even
before! »Says a farmer from Cucuron. In Montfuron, for a year of drought
like that of 2006, I was told that it would succeed in yielding 30 quintals / hectare. Finally
many are also expressed in tonnes per hectare; I find the figure of 2.5 tons at
per hectare on the Albion plateau, before soil enrichment by sludge 24 and 3 to 4
tonnes per hectare lower towards Apt and Goult.
The assessments on the yield of milling wheat differ according to the criteria of
comparison employed by respondents. If we stick to the one that is often
made between old variety and modern variety, our cultivar can be seen there ranged in the bench of
less productive, say “poor performance”. But if the comparison is made against
to the other old varieties prevalent in its time, the milling wheat is known to give
good harvests. In the canton of Banon I was assured that the wheat miller had a very
good specific weight compared to other varieties.
If we are to believe the comparison made between the interviews, it appears that the
Wheat sucker from Apt does not vary specifically according to localities; this phenomenon can
to be explained by the fact that similar lands are devoted to him: the poorest. It seems
yet that in their speech, some believe that villages were more famous than
23 “The“ éminée ”is a surface; today we would rather speak in ares or hectares. And according to the villages,
you need nine "emines" per hectare, there is another place, you need twelve. You understand, this is not a
regular measurement ”, explained to me a grower of Grambois. Pierre Lieutaghi told me about this that in
Antiquity the "hemina" was a Greek measure of capacity, employed by Latin agronomists like Cato
the Elder, for example, in the third century BC (De Agri Cultura, 57).
24 The recent spreading of sludge towards Revest-du-Bion would have greatly increased the yield of the various

Page 57
others for their wheat yield; for example, it is said to be better in Grambois and Pertuis
than at the Tour d'Aigues or the Bastide-des-Jourdans.
To conclude, it seemed interesting to me to share with the reader a piece of information
by C. Mesliand who notices an increase in the yield of Vaucluse wheat in the second
half of the XIX th century: "The information is not (...), but it is possible that the
increase in yield is partly explained by a more generous seed at the same
time than selected ” 25 . On the other hand, it seems very difficult to know if the wheat miller
is concerned by this observation.
After having exposed the discourses on agricultural characteristics and practices, I
proposes to make an inventory of those which interest the uses of wheat miller.
25 Mesliand, 1989, p. 165.

Page 58

Page 59
Chap. IV. Uses and fame of touzelles and wheat miller from Apt
In view of the reputation of Meunier d'Apt in terms of baking among
members of Agribio 04, and insofar as its name is not found in the
regional monographs that I had the opportunity to consult, I devoted a part
important of my investigations to look for elements likely to inform me about
the uses that wheat may have known locally, as well as the practices that these may have
involve. It is these results that I propose to present now.
1. Uses related to domestic animals
A. Straw
Until the mid XX th century, the cultivation of wheat in the Apt, Pertuis and Albion
constitute part of an autonomous functioning of the peasantry who practice the system
mixed farming / breeding. “It was a different kind of farming. It was just a
practically subsistence agriculture, they only sold the surplus. (…). It was not
big productions, it was very diverse. There was some fodder for the animals,
to make them eat, there was a little wheat, then there was a little vine, the asparagus,
a little garlic, fruit, vegetables, melons ”, they explain to me in the south of the Luberon. In
almost all the farms there were horses, sheep, a few pigs, chickens,
rabbits, even pigeons (for meat). On the plateau d'Albion, "we had wheat,
flock of sheep and lavender, ”says a former farmer from Saint-Trinit. If we
believes A. De Reparaz, sheep had occupied an important place in this sector for about
1850 next to a pig farm, which from the beginning of the XX th century, has considerably

Page 60
diminished. C. Mesliand indicates, for his part, that the mountain cantons that are Apt,
Bonnieux, Pertuis or Sault, “where pastures and rangelands constitute a good
part of the agricultural territory ” 1 , are among those where the largest
concentration of sheep from the Vaucluse department. And in these, "[sheep farming is there]
closely associated with cereal growing through the use it ensures of straw and small grains,
(…) ” 2 .
It is therefore understood that the storage of straws was of great interest. "Straw, winter,
it was given to the animals to eat. (...) we mixed it with alfalfa, because it lengthened
a little food ”. "And then we made it rot, we turned it into manure which we mulched
horses and sheep in the evening ”. Later, it will even be sold: "The straw was
interesting in time; now we don't do anything anymore, but before it paid for the fertilizer and
the thresher ”. Thus at harvest, the straw was cut to the ground in order to harvest the most
In this context, the straws of wheat meunier d'Apt and other touzelles and saissettes, of which we
remembers that they are particularly long, seem to fit well for
train farmers to the needs of the time. This explains in particular, for some of
them, that we favored this type of cultivar: "we made wheat that had a lot of
straw for the animals ”, they explain to me; and another to add: "I tell you, the Wheat miller,
we kept the straw to give to the animals: there were no thorns ”.
In addition, the size of the stems is not the only interest that the touzelles present for the
animals. The speech is accompanied by a depreciation of the straw of durum and bearded wheat
qualified as "coarse", "coarse" and therefore "bad" both for food and for
litter. "We did not sow these bearded wheat, because the straw was fed to the
sheep, and beards, to feed the sheep, it's bad: it remains between them.
gums, everywhere ”. I also note the following remark: "As long as there were beasts,
bearded wheats were not too highly rated here ”. In several places, I even find
farmers who, with the intention of dissuading the wild boars - more and more numerous these ten
in the last fifteen years in the canton of Banon - to tackle the crops, plant
bearded wheat.
1 Mesliand, 1989, p. 31.
2 Idem.

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B. Grain and flour
Insofar as breeding seems to occupy an important place in the various
geographical sectors concerned by the ancient cultivation of wheat miller from Apt, I had to
heart to find out if he had played a particular role in animal nutrition
domestic workers. However, at the end of the various interviews, it quickly became apparent to me that the wheat of
in general, barley - from which they made flour
- or oats entering much more in their food. “During the war, it was forbidden to
give wheat to animals, but we never gave them too much anyway; of
barley, oats, corn, chickpeas, yes, but wheat, no ”they explain to me in Country
from Aigues. And to my question: "And the animals, they liked the wheat miller?" ", an old
Revestois to answer for example: "It was the same. But the beasts, what they preferred,
it was oats ”. It does not therefore appear that wheat was particularly important in
the feeding of sheep, pigs or horses, and even less that the Meunier d'Apt kept
a special place in this area. However, several former farmers say they have
given grain of this wheat to their poultry and to their rabbits. When the milling wheat has
moreover was found in Buoux around 1983, the farmer who cultivated it fed his
hens, who were very fond of it. They are also some today to testify
in the same sense: "you take wheat miller, you mix it with other varieties
[modern], you give it to the hens: they will eat the milling wheat first and they
will leave the others! ".
Finally, it emerges from the interviews that many improved the food of their animals with
flour 3 . Barley still appears to be the most widely used cereal for this purpose, and
especially for pig food. But some also speak of the use of flour
wheat; this is the case of this former inhabitant of Revest-du-Bion: "chestnuts, they
fattening the sheep too much 4 . That's what we made wheat flour for. We were boiling
potatoes, beets, cabbage and then we put a little flour in it ”.
This is how the bran and the so-called "low flour" were devoted to animals: "There is the sound.
3 Some farms had a “crusher” intended for this preparation.
4 I showed, in a study carried out in 2005 on the chestnut tree in the canton of Banon, that these trees were
planted in the middle of the XIX th century to provide for feeding pigs whose breeding was particularly
important at this time.

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all alone that we gave to the horses to cool them 5 . And then after there was the "flour
bass ”in which we mixed a bit of everything. (...) We would go get that and give it away
to chickens, rabbits, after having soaked it in water ”. As far as he was
one of the only wheat cultivated until the end of the Second World War, it is likely that the grain
de Blé meunier d'Apt must have been part of the preparation of these bran and "low flours". But he
It goes without saying that for them, wheat was not chosen on the basis of its quality. So I don't
mark in no case of specific use of milling wheat for animal feed.
2. Milling, baking and pastry-making practices
"To eat is to consume bread, more bread or porridge at length
existence ”, notes an informant from Anita Bouverot in Cooking in the country of Apt 6 .
In a region where it is known that wheat has long served as a staple food in the form of
bread 7 , it is likely that the wheat miller was intended to feed men. It is
less what most of the people interviewed for this survey say. "AT
in my opinion, these varieties [the touzelles], they cultivated them for human consumption ”,
specifies for example this farmer of the south Luberon.
While it was very difficult for me to meet local millers or bakers who had
exercised before the second war, several testimonies from former farmers report that
they made wheat flour miller from Apt and that this was used in the manufacture of bread.
Some of them even say that the baker from Murs, particularly famous in the
region and unfortunately died today, said to have used it extensively. Others
still suppose that that of Rustrel, who made his bread with bundles of wood until
ten years, must also have used it. At Apt, I was certified that we were doing
5 Regarding horse food, I notice an opposition between that which "refreshes" and that which
"Ignites". So while the bran is said to soothe their stomachs, “the oats were the treat;
when they had finished eating, before leaving for work, they were given oats. It was like a glass
of wine, but it didn't get them drunk, it set them on fire ”.
6 Bouverot, 1981, p. 86.
7 Anita Bouverot reveals that the Aptesian staple diet is based on a trilogy: cereals most of the
time in the form of bread, fruits and vegetables and meats (Bouverot, 1981, p. 87-89).

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Saissette and Wheat Meunier bread. The retired miller of the Moulin de Pangon says about
to have produced him pure flour of touzelle with which one made bread locally.
An inhabitant of Montsalier told me that the wheat miller he harvested in Banon was
intended for making bread. In Vachères, I was again told that the local Touzelle - Touzelle
de Vachères -, transformed into flour, was used by the village baker.
Due to the almost total disappearance of local millers and bakers over the age of
70 years old, I have very little information on the uses and know-how properly related to
flour and breadmaking from Meunier d'Apt. It appears that, like the touzelles and
unlike wheat such as Florence Aurore which I will talk about later, it did not have the
reputation of being a so-called “hard” wheat 8 . Its use therefore involved
kneading or shaping by hand that today's bakers no longer know. Tea
Most of the testimonies collected during the investigation indicate that these flours were
pure employees. “At the time, they were already very happy to have flour. They don't
weren't looking for mixtures too much. The mixtures came after the war ”. And "when the
flour millers said that they had made a blued flour 9 to 80, it could be to 95 ”,
remembers the oldest of my interlocutors. It was therefore very difficult for me to know in which type
flour the miller wheat was transformed. C. Mesliand writes about bread in Vaucluse
at the end of the XIX E century: “It is brown bread, that is to say obtained from a coarse flour,
much closer to wholemeal bread than to the white bread that we consume ”. Finally,
before being used, “bakers in the past left the flour to rest (…). There was one
at the Bastide-des-Jourdans which left it six months before working it ”, then they
baked two kilo loaves of bread.
When I first met the members of Agribio 04, one of them
had given me to understand that Meunier d'Apt had been able to enter into the manufacture of
oil so consumed in the region. This information had particularly stirred up my
curiosity; I was therefore keen throughout the investigation to multiply the investigations into the
prospect of knowing more about this subject. However, I did not find any element
referring to this type of production with Meunier d'Apt. But to the extent that
8 I have already said that in popular parlance, a "wheat of strength" means that "makes the dough swell". We can
also note the definition given in the specialized works relating to flour milling or baking:
"The term" force "has a rather broad meaning, but it generally designates the ability of a flour: 1) to give
well-developed bread of a suitable texture; 2) to absorb and retain water during the preparation of the
dough and thus give more breads for each bag of flour. These two factors depend
the physical characteristics of the dough which itself depends on the quantity and quality of gluten that it
contains ”(Lockwood, 1950, p. 44).

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many were my interlocutors to make sure that our wheat was almost the only one to be
cultivated in the country of Apt, there is therefore a chance that it was used for other purposes than
bread. It is interesting to report here the words of my interlocutor from Le Castelet aged 97
years: "Blé meunier is a wheat that was used in pastry making, which was used to
all. (…). It was only this wheat ”. "So the wheat miller was used for the bakery and
for pastry? I insisted. "The wheat miller did everything," he retorted. I add
that an aptois baker who worked from the 1950s told me that in his time
a lot of oil pumps were made and that for these, as well as for others
pastries such as brioche king cakes for example, we chose rather
so-called "strong" flour, that is to say made from hard wheat.
3. Wheat transactions in the old milling wheat area
A. Escaping the monetary system
At the time of the cultivation of milling wheat, it occurred to me that wheat was exchanged for
bread, a widely used practice in Provence and the Vaucluse. "There was not
exchange of flour for bread. The exchange took place between the peasant and the baker;
it was the baker who was getting paid in grain. This is what we called consumption
family. I still lived it in Banon, and in that country, in particular in Revest-du-Bion and
the surroundings, in Saint-Trinit and the whole area. People did not pay for their bread and at the end of the
months received their invoice; in proportion, the bakers were paid in wheat ”,
remembers the former miller of the Pangon mill. The exchange therefore took place between the
the baker and the farmer, the former even sometimes choosing his wheat even in the
fields during harvest; he then occupied himself with having it ground by the miller. For the
9 "Bluter" means in its own words "pass through a sieve". If we believe an old book on
bakery (Urbain-Dubois, 1933, p. 43), the screening allows, after grinding the grains, to separate the flower from
flour, groats, semolina, bran and sprouts.

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value of the exchange, I was almost always told that it was "a kilo of
wheat against a kilo of bread ”. Here Anne-Marie Topalov indicates about this
which she calls the “swinger system” 10 : “They always tell you that with 80 kilos of grain,
you get 100 kilos of flour and 120 kilos of bread ” 11 . Still, according to C. Mesliand,
“The exchange formula was undoubtedly the most widespread in Vaucluse until 1914” 12 .
A.-M. Topalov specifies that in the Basses-Alpes, this operation would have lasted until
1935, after which one begins to buy his bread. For my part, I found a memory
very lively from these exchanges among the different people I interviewed; some
say they knew them until the 1960s.
But if we are to believe C. Mesliand, who sees this operation as a step towards
market system, it would seem that in transactions between peasant, miller and baker,
it was not always so. In the XIX th century, "Wheat is still the single most
of peasant self-consumption, we can clearly see it from the customs in terms of
bread making. While domestic bread baking does not appear to be widespread in Vaucluse,
less was the preparation of the dough at home, by the care of women, was it common
and the baker's work consisted mainly, in the villages, of baking bread,
for remuneration in kind. At the turn of the century, this use was lost and we saw
appear more elaborate forms of division of labor: the most common is the wheat exchange
or flour-bread ” 13 . And Mesliand considers that this new system “corresponds to desire,
translation of a progress in the way of life, to eat better quality bread: we
thus buys bread every day, whereas in the previous formula we baked bread
every eight or ten days and it happened that the last loaves were moldy ... But what
links this use to the previous one, it is its purpose: it is always a question for the peasant to obtain
the bread necessary for the family diet without a purse loosen, the miller and the baker
being paid for their work in kind. The concern to escape the monetary exchange circuit is
so strong that it is expressed in cooperative forms: from 1900 to 1914, the creation
of around thirty cooperative bakeries in the Vaucluse villages, and their statutes
predict with precision the conditions of exchange between the wheat brought by the peasant and the bread
delivered by the baker ” 14 .
10 “The exchange system is wheat as the main currency”, she specifies (Sound library of the Musée de
Salagon, C20).
11 Sound library at the Salagon Museum, C20.
12 Mesliand, 1981, p. 165-166.
13 Mesliand, 1981, p. 165-166.

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B. Sell your wheat
In addition to trading with bakers, wheat was also sold to brokers or
millers. “I hear from my father and my grandfather that they stored the grain in
attics. And then they sold it in the winter to traders. (…). And the more we kept it, the more the
grain was paid; it did not increase much, but it was a little more expensive ”, says a
train farmer. “Sometimes the lessons weren't regular. So when the lessons were
better, we went to get bags, we filled it in the attic and the trucks would come
look for them in the middle of winter, ”recalls another 15 .
The people I interviewed had a hard time remembering the price at which to
negotiated wheat miller; none of them managed to give me an indication
precise. "There was only this one, it was the most expensive," the oldest told me. I found
a price indication for local wheat dating from 1899: “Blé Roussillon Barberousse de
Castelnaudary at 19 francs per hectare at the departure station, Blé blanc de Castelnaudary idem, Blé
bladette de Puylaurens idem, Wheat from Bordeaux or Noé idem, Wheat tuzelle blanche idem, Wheat
bladette de Toscane idem, Wheat tuzelle de Pertuis at 35 fr. housed the 8 double Pertuis stations,
Wheat Arles saissette at 40 fr. the 160 kilos Avignon station ” 16 . La Tuzelle de Pertuis of which he is
question here would it correspond to the white Touzelle of Pertuis? No element has me
allowed to know more. We will retain from this extract that the price of this touzelle was
particularly high. In the second half of the XX th century, these prices will decline; I will have
the opportunity later to explain the reasons. As for my oldest interlocutor, he
affirms that in his village where only wheat miller was cultivated, “I knew wheat from
a franc or two per kilo ” 17 .
14 Idem.
15 In the Aigues region, I was told that the density of the grain of wheat was measured using a container fitted
sometimes with a metal handle, called a "panau". "In the 'panau', for the wheat to be good, it had to be
13 kilos. We poured the wheat over it and then we had to shave with a wood. And there you were never wrong,
that was the exact return. We put the grain inside and then weigh it on the scale. If it exceeded 13
kilos, if it was 14 or 15 kilos, your wheat was paid more. The merchants who bought it took into account
that ”. This is the same farmer who also told me that the weight of wheat increases after it is stored,
information that farmers today no longer seem to have.
16 Union of Agricultural Syndicates of the Alpes de Provence and of the Vauclusien Agricultural Union, October 1899, p. 6.
17 And the latter specifies: "the wheat was worth a franc. A man was earning two francs a day at the time. AT
back then, a working man earned two kilos of wheat a day ”.

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From the 1930s, wheat cooperatives were created; now all harvests
will be sold to them directly. "We filled 80 kilo bags on the apron and then it was
a truck that came to pick them up to take them to the silo ” 18 , we remember about the
C. Trade and fame of wheat in Apt and Pertuis according to ancient texts
If one believes the old documents relating to the department of Vaucluse, the trade of
wheat appears at a certain period to be particularly flourishing in the
geographical area of ​​the ancient cultivation of wheat miller from Apt. Several of them report
markets and important fairs, and at the end of the XVI th century. At that time, "there was
in our town a large annual grain market which took place on the first Friday
followed on August 15 ” 19 , indicates the municipal review Pertuis - Municipal Bulletin . This is
moreover in this one that it is locally question for the first time of touzelle which one
says it "is highly regarded because of the quality of its grain". According to the Monthly Bulletin of
Vauclusien Agricultural Union , the town of Pertuis also seems to have been a center in the 19th century.
important distribution of wheat throughout the canton. In that of October 1895, I noted the
following indications: “A few union members asked us to provide them with wheat from
seeds, we thought that we could, thanks to the organization of our warehouse of
Pertuis and to the zeal of its administrators, to provide them with top quality wheat,
authentic origins, harvested on the best slopes of Cabrières, La Motte-
Aigues, Sannes, Saint-Martin, etc., at price conditions that are certainly more
advantageous than those offered commercially. All these wheat, after passing through the