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A model of biointensive farming to transform global agriculture

"We want to replace mass agriculture with a mass of farmers" A really small, but profitable farm. That's what Jean-Martin Fortier has founded in Quebec. And he wants to show that an agricultural revolution is possible. He talked to Brut nature.

Kind agriculture

“The idea is to increase the number of small farms. We want to replace mass agriculture with a mass of farmers who practice ‘kind agriculture.’” In Quebec, Jean-Martin Fortier has founded the Jardins de la Grelinette, a biointensive micro-farm that’s become a model for this approach.

“When people visit my farm, there are two things that totally captivate them. First, the beauty of the place. There’s a pond and ecological niches for snakes and birds. Vegetables are growing on every square meter; we’ve maximized the production area and it’s also really small. It’s about the size of a soccer field. And even though the farm is on a small plot of cropland, less than one hectare, we make a good living. We make up to $100,000 from a hectare of vegetables. So, it’s a really small, but very profitable, model, very efficient. And we’re having a positive impact in our community. That's what was important.”, he tells Brut.

“I’ll harvest carrots and radishes, then I’ll sow some seeds, prepare the soil, package vegetables… You know, there’s no monotony in my day. That’s because we have a diversified farm, because it’s a small farm, we’re always doing different tasks. Then we sell our produce directly to consumers, to people who come over and thank us, who say, ‘Thanks for the lettuce, thanks for the gorgeous carrots, thanks for doing great work.’ Doing all of that in one day, one week makes me find my job colorful, dynamic and enjoyable even though it’s tough, even though we work hard.”, he explains.

That’s where we are today, and things need to speed up. Often there are doubts, like “Can micro-farms really feed the world? Can France cover its food needs by increasing small farms?” I have 3 answers. First, right now, all around the world, family farms are already the ones feeding the planet. All the UN reports confirm this. There’s a sort of myth about big industrial agriculture being responsible for feeding the world. Second, it’s a bogus question. We don’t care about feeding the world, we just need to feed our communities. We just need to supply the local restaurant. We just need to be part of a local organic co-op. We have to stop looking only at the big picture, and focus on one farm at a time, one community at a time. And third, today’s model is a dead end. We need to try something else.”, Fortier concludes.

Brut.

02/01/2020 9:58 AM

93 comments

  • Aroti B.
    09/02/2020 10:53

    Wow amazing

  • Dulci R.
    09/02/2020 01:21

    I salute to you sir, you are doing a really good job, more power and God bless👍

  • Kerry E.
    08/31/2020 18:20

    So a few questions popped into my mind while listening to this clip...He might be employing people but it’s still only seasonal work so for a few months of the year they draw on unemployment benefits. It looked like he employed way more than 4 people to work his farm. Did he buy the land without help from a financial institution? Same for the buildings, infrastructure and equipment? Did he get help for that? Are his prices competitive with the super markets or is he selling in the expensive organic niche?

  • Mike V.
    08/31/2020 04:16

    The issue with this type of farming is that it takes work. Whereas cash cropping takes money with little work. With little respect for the land. They plant a couple thousand of acres with GM modified corn or soybeans, with a couple of machines driven by gps, fertilize the crap out of it with tons of chemical and or sewage waste. Spray the crops with glyphosate's. just sit around all summer then jump into huge combine to harvest. And sell the crop to make fuel. 2months labor for huge returns. Why would they use the most fertile land in the country that could be used to grow labor intensive food? Now if they were taxed as an industrial enterprise for growing a fuel additive instead receiving tax credits for using the land to grow food. You would see many change over to growing food.

  • Chris R.
    08/30/2020 23:58

    Love the idea but this is super intensive on the soil,so what is your crop rotation?

  • Chris R.
    08/30/2020 23:57

    What is your soil structure and Biology like with some much foot triffiac ?

  • Leslie F.
    08/30/2020 23:01

    This guy is in another world. He can sell his stuff at higher price point because supply is low. When you have tens of thousands of farms flooding the local market, guess how much you can sell. He's selling a niche product and he doesn't realize that.

  • Belinda B.
    08/30/2020 21:28

    Wonderful!

  • Angela H.
    08/30/2020 19:18

    Totally agree with this

  • Mike M.
    08/30/2020 19:04

    nice way to farm but as long as there is real estate taxes it does not work that well. people think live off the land and i am sure you can but if you do not make some money to pay your property tax and health insurance you are going to loose your land either to the government for non payment of taxes or to a dr/hospital some time if you get hurt. i done organic farming for 30 years and was doing alright until the usda decided that their standards were the only one you could use and they allowed a lot of un-organic food into the marketplace by unscrupulous retailers. eat local and eat seasonal is the way to go but lets face most people do not really care about what they eat, they have been institutionalized very well. could go on but think i better quit. wish you all good fortune and gentle rains at the rite time

  • Keith O.
    08/30/2020 17:51

    I’m a small farmer 🙂

  • Grasa B.
    08/30/2020 17:51

    , out of the cubicle to the farm

  • Guilherme N.
    08/30/2020 15:57

    What about mass exports, logistics, large scale market supply and the lack of workers already afflicting the USA?

  • Sammy J.
    08/30/2020 15:15

    whyyyyy do I see you and Shaneo within this vid....

  • Jesse U.
    08/30/2020 14:53

    I have a 12x16 city garden I donate 90% to the food bank keep only the basil and nibble some spinach, i can afford produce so this is my contribution to families who may never be able to try certain foods like arugula, chocolate bell peppers and 24" oriental green beans...plus gardening is good for the soul

  • Allena C.
    08/30/2020 13:08

    This isn’t a brand new concept that he came up with. I have been doing studies while overseas on building and managing a sustainable micro farm, and planned to do just that in my community. It is great what he’s doing, but claiming credit for it is strange

  • Niña V.
    08/30/2020 10:42

    👍

  • Nguyen T.
    08/30/2020 10:24

    💚💚💚

  • Karilyn R.
    08/30/2020 10:24

    - this is so interesting, Xxxxxxxxx xx

  • Mizanur R.
    08/30/2020 10:03

    Organic Natural Agriculture is one of the most Sacred professions in the world for Humanity.

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