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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
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96 comments

  • Marco G.
    05/21/2020 09:05

    moch ma sowos

  • Nora P.
    05/20/2020 22:09

    Great success. Canada has lots to offer. Keep our farms family farms and sell at home. 👍👌

  • えら ラ.
    05/18/2020 22:06

    Yes!

  • Karolina K.
    05/18/2020 15:42

    This is exactly what the world needs! We have to bring back proper image of farmers and field jobs! It's not only about business and engineering, but about growing food and nature. We shifted away too far away from what is closest to us - mother nature :)

  • Arnaud R.
    05/18/2020 08:28

    The future

  • Lani K.
    05/18/2020 04:57

    We so need more farms like this. Beautiful.

  • Monique B.
    05/18/2020 02:04

    C vraiment inspirant pi je suis d'accord avec tout ce que tu dis, merci!

  • Jeff C.
    05/17/2020 23:58

    Intéressant n’est-ce pas?

  • Anne B.
    05/17/2020 23:54

    Bravo! Bravo! Tellement heureuse de constaté tout le bien que vous êtes entrain de faire dans votre si belle province Québec! Vous êtes tellement une belle inspiration pour les futurs générations! Eh! La je pense à mes petits-enfants! Encore une fois bravo et merci de mettre au premier plan de notre bien être l’agriculture! 🌝🌝🌝🌝🌝

  • Ellen Z.
    05/17/2020 23:10

    So smart!

  • Anita B.
    05/17/2020 18:31

    GENIAL !!!

  • Richard G.
    05/17/2020 13:45

    Excellent hat.

  • David M.
    05/17/2020 12:49

    Great video

  • Mike V.
    05/17/2020 11:01

    Will never happen so long as corn, soya bean command high return for little work. Most mixed use farms disappeared because the farm kids did not want to take over because of the work involved for little return. There was more money working for someone than working the land. Growing actual food like vegetables and fruit takes work. Growing GM corn for ethanol takes a tractor, lots of chemical a combine and little work. For big money returns.

  • Alma N.
    05/17/2020 09:38

    Good job

  • Anthony W.
    05/17/2020 06:52

    Stupid hat

  • Jeremy T.
    05/17/2020 02:29

    Well done buddy! I’ve only had my 1/2 acre for a few months but I can feel it's already making a difference to me and the people around me. Food forest has started and planning for the Earthship has begun!

  • Phill L.
    05/17/2020 01:23

    No one should listen to a man who wears a hat like this.

  • Go G.
    05/17/2020 00:48

    our problem is that youngsters don't want to be farmers anymore

  • Susan P.
    05/16/2020 22:15

    He is SO RIGHT! ABSOLUTELY!