Cultivate differently with permaculture
Originating in Australia, where founders Bill Mollison and David Holmgren developed this concept, permaculture is the idea that the interconnection between the elements: soils, air, water, forests and habitats enables self-sufficiency, which brings to mankind the production necessary for his needs.
Life on earth has known many hazards since its inception. Yet tirelessly, she provided food to all those who populated her (humans, animals and plants). The evolution of all these living beings, but especially of humans, has somewhat upset the complex and undoubtedly fragile balance of the planet.
Towards an evolution of mentalities
The current awareness promotes the need to find and return to a way of life more in harmony with nature and the elements that compose it. We talk a lot about de-globalization, which is in a way what permaculture advocates, the concept of which is “the permanence of production in a harmonious environment, generated by a very careful study of the environment”.
An interaction between all the components of an environment
Permaculture concerns not only agriculture, market gardening, gardening but also the beneficial influence of animals on this practice. It is based on common sense: for example, applied to the garden, it requires careful observation of the geography of the place. If we start from the house as an observation centre, we will expand the composition of the whole with peripheral vision.
In what climate do we live, will the wind, the sunshine, the presence of trees have an influence on the planned production? Proceed methodically, using a diagram if necessary, noting that the system is self-regulating. Use your gardening instinct and your already acquired knowledge to succeed in your business. The combinations of vegetable plants, the choice of traditional and non-hybrid seeds, produce your compost to limit waste, do not leave the earth bare but use a mulch to save water, collect rainwater, make your own treatment solutions with plants (nettle manure), avoid turning over the earth, weeds and other “pests” and enemies of the gardener could make a few hens happy, are a few notions to assimilate permaculture.
This open concept of permaculture is based on ethical principles: taking care of the earth, taking care of people and sharing fairly.
These principles, according to Holmgren, are 12 in number:
- observe and act accordingly
- use renewable energies
- produce useful and functional
- apply self-regulation
- use renewable resources
- do not generate non-reusable waste
- start from a global approach to end in detail
- to associate and not to separate
- favour solutions on a human scale
- enjoy the benefits of diversity
- do not work with blinders but widen your field of vision
- do not undergo change but use it in a creative way.
La ferme des Gounelles: growing seasonal and healthy vegetables…
Established since May 2019 in Chambérat in Allier (French department), Céline Bourgougnon has chosen organic market gardening inspired by permaculture to offer individuals and restaurateurs not only seasonal vegetables, but also health. Because we now know better the importance of healthy eating in order to preserve our health capital. Permaculture opens up a real toolbox for restoring ecosystems supporting humans in their quest for food preserved from fertilizers and pesticides…
At La ferme des Gounelles, there are no tomatoes in December nor strawberries in February. It is nature and the weather that decide what will be in the baskets of vegetables delivered each week.
Céline Bourgougnon does with nature and not against it. This requires admitting that we do not always control everything, that there will be losses but also, on the contrary, good surprises! “It’s not always easy to admit that sometimes you have to let it go, even if you put all the conditions for good plant growth. Conventional agriculture has allowed for abundance through chemistry and greatly limiting the risk factor. But we have forgotten the taste and the know-how of before. It is this return to nature and ancestral gestures that I stand for on my farm ”.
This micro farm, on only one hectare, is presented as a market garden more than a farm. We have recreated a whole universe, inspired by nature, which is made up of ponds, orchards, protective hedges, tiered berries, shelters left untouched by human intervention to preserve wildlife. And, of course, space dedicated to vegetables, the heart of the farm’s economic activity which blends harmoniously into this microcosm. With only 300m2 of greenhouses, it is mainly in the open field, like the market gardeners of the 19th century, that the vegetables are grown on this farm. This promotes flavours, a real return to the seasonality of the products.
You can find their farm products online www.fermedesgounelles.com
La ferme des Gounelles, lieu dit « les Chiez » 03370 Chambérat, France.
Facebook : lafermedesgounelles