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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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55 comments

  • Stacey W.
    3 days

    thought of you

  • Tatha C.
    3 days

    Great project Brut Nature, and good ideas. You might want to check out Spring Impact. They are a fabulous organization all about helping to scale up successful social enterprise ideas. https://www.springimpact.org

  • Justin I.
    3 days

    That’s awesome I want to do this!

  • Xavier O.
    3 days

    Jean Martin Fortier est un super prof, j'ai la chance d être un de ses élèves. Je commende à tous sa Master class.

  • Ghislaine M.
    02/09/2020 20:23

    Merci Louise d’avoir partagé! Très inspirant...😘

  • Tony S.
    02/08/2020 04:58

    yes you do beautiful man-lv Patricia

  • Lise L.
    02/07/2020 00:11

    wow! encourageant!

  • Paul B.
    02/06/2020 08:42

    We need a farmers market in Sætre...... this year! Who will help me get it started?... Fin, Bunches

  • Karine S.
    02/06/2020 00:56

    Oui il en faut plusieurs

  • Nicholas N.
    02/05/2020 23:05

    Great idea!..i. concentrate on your local community..

  • Jan K.
    02/05/2020 14:18

    Young ppl don't wont work so. They dream to work in fron of a PC 8 hours a day.. there will be not enaugh workers for this...

  • Anthony F.
    02/05/2020 11:41

    Jean -Martin Fortier, tres bien monsieur.

  • Raphaël R.
    02/05/2020 08:05

    c’est lui dont je te parlais! Je pose ma dem et c’est parti!

  • Iva M.
    02/04/2020 16:28

    ajmo lagano ⛏️

  • Dindo S.
    02/04/2020 05:58

    Very inspiring!

  • Aldy C.
    02/04/2020 05:36

    I am very much interested in doing .. I hope he will going to hire me as an apprentice... Thanks

  • Yvonne G.
    02/04/2020 04:19

    This! He is so right !

  • Reichel H.
    02/04/2020 00:39

    this is great

  • Maria L.
    02/03/2020 21:17

    Why mentioning Che Guevara, he did nothing for agriculture. Cubans have been hungry for years on end. Otherwise, the idea very good.

  • Sin J.
    02/03/2020 15:17

    Omg. Since i have a balcony, i grow plants that i can eat after. Its so easy to grow veggies and else at home but no xD people prefer flowers xD so...