Mis à jour : 19 juil. 2020
Carol, holder of a vegetable farming diploma and Christophe Legal, specialised in wild plants and permaculture teacher, live with their two kids in Saint-Georges-de-Reintembault, Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne.
The parents have switched careers since 2006 after working respectively in heritage sites protection and socio-medical activities and cooking. They first settled in Corrèze on the plateau des mille vaches (plateau of the thousand cows). Back in Bretagne to be closer to their families and less isolated, they settled in a small farm since January 2013.
Applying permaculture principles in their daily life, this family masters its working time by producing on a small surface (5000m²). By realizing various food processing in small quantities, bread (no kneading), herbal teas, jams, soups, solar infusions, apple juice, pesto, cakes, sorbets, the family ensures their revenue from various activities all the while "taking their time" while trying to limit their impact on the planet. Wood heating, rainwater collecting, some rabbits and chickens, an orchard and using the most from the wild plants.
This family is driven by a global, sustainable action that integrates agriculture, education, health, culture and social solidarity economy.
Christophe organizes weekly wild plant picking walks on Wednesdays and there is a farm market every Friday.
On the farm, various activities are organized:
farm market with the farm production every friday
farm product based meals and snacks
edible wild and medicinal plant discovery tours
workshops, trainings about: natural gardens, edible wild and medicinal plants, seasonal cooking (vegetarian and gourmet), wild plant cooking, patisserie, introduction to permaculture design...
internships for trainees discovering or getting an education in agriculture
At the farm, you can find: a 1000m² vegetable garden, a 200m² greenhouse, with another planned for summer 2018, a 2000m² orchard and 200m fruit trees hedges (150 planted trees, about 20 different species with 50+ varieties), a new orchard planted as an edible forest of 500m². There is also a hangar for material storage and where is held the farm market, a house equiped with an open kitchen and a welcoming living room, a rabbit hutch, a place to store apples and another to store wood. Within the greenhouse, 2/3 of the surface is cultivated with annual plants. 1/3 is dedicated to try perenial plants: feijoa, myrtus ugni, smelly pelargonium, ginger and soon some citrus fruits. Four water reservoirs are also installed there to collect rainwater from the barn's roof. This water is used for irrigation and to store solar energy during cold periods. Following Mollison and Holgren principles, they apply the permaculture mantra: care for the earth and the humans, share with equity.
Zoning design, various activities with animals and plants, companion planting, care and multiplication of regional species within the respect of natural life.
Before producing the first crop, "making humus", was their first priority. Feeding the soil according its characteristics with organic material (composted or not) such as:
composted farm manure
green waste compost
mulching with green waste or chipped wood
Ramial Chipped Wood (RCW), fresh or composted
To tackle parasites, diseases and weeds:
species and varieties adapted to the area and the climate
no naked earth which would experience compacting and erosion
long cycle rotations
mecanical or manual actions - no ploughing
protection of the plants from their natural ennemies with companioning, hedges, birds nests, biological control,...)
treatment for diseases or pest attacks through plant or mineral bases preparations (fermented extracts, decoction,...)
The production aims at favouring diversity and is integrated in a desire to link "productivity" and aesthetics. Convinced that aesthetics favours activity and contributes to the well-being of those who work as well as those who visit or even of the neighbours, this principle takes shape into a layout that takes into account various constraints:
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