By Writing La Presse de la Manche
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Each 1eh mayindividuals can sell their lily branches of the valley from their personal harvest. To Valognes (Manche)to Claude, now retired, it had been a long time a family tradition.
I have lilies of the valley and daffodils in my garden. One day I thought I would make money here. And then came the grandchildren.
A family ritual
So here it is five cousins who find themselves, very young, doing their small business of lily of the valley 1eh may. An annual ritual, fondly remembered by Jeanne, 27, one of the grandchildren.
It is impossible to miss this meeting. Even when we started growing up, going to school, we were always there!
Every year, Claude offers his five grandchildren the opportunity to build a stand “in strategic places” in Versailles of Normandy.
“I went to the van to see if everything was fine, I came with a bucket of refreshments, I collected money and brought them pastries,” said the eldest, with a touch of nostalgia in his eyes. “Ah, you’re watching,” Louise, 24 replied.
“We didn’t change the price! »
Releasing old signs “Four strands of lily of the valley € 2” as a souvenir, Claude and his grandchildren went to the thread. “We didn’t change the price! “said Jeanne.
Because for several years, Claude and his grandchildren stopped selling, even though they continued to meet every May 1st to pick lily of the valley from the garden.
Sitting around the family table, in the same place as for many years, the cousins are not stingy with memories, photos from 2003 in their hands. “It’s folkloric,” Louise laughs. Each year, the small band sells up to 1,000 bouquets. “We even had an offer: five bouquets were bought, one was offered,” Jeanne recalls.
“The smell of the lily of the valley flooded the house”
The week before this important moment is a source of stress: will the lily of the valley bloom? “Even when Grandpa took care of them, sometimes the heat causes them to bloom or turn yellow,” Louise said.
The ritual was framed: the previous day, April 30, “everyone came together to harvest the branches in the garden. We spread them out to form bouquets, the smell flooded the house, ”Louise recalls.
The next day, at 6 a.m., the whole merry band posted. “We finished before noon and then we went home to eat chicken. And in the evening, we spread all the money on the table and we divided it all fairly, our heads above the grandfather to make the accounts. »
A small nest egg is always welcome
For Claude, offering his grandchildren to run a lily of the valley sales stand was more of an educational interest: “It taught them how to manage money and forced them to learn to count, without calculator “, the grandfather reasoned.
For Jeanne, François, Alexandrine, Louise and Guillaume, it was above all a way to earn a little pocket money.
If for some, the corresponding earned savings were used to finance their recreation for years, others, “more ants than cicadas”, saved it. Then, “I just bought a house. And part of my savings comes from selling the lily of the valley, ”Louise admitted.
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