Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Towards the discovery of the family farm
manual planting of broccoli at Cadet-Roussel farmIn 1995, organizers from Équiterre approached Cadet-Roussel farm in the Montérégie region offering baskets to citizens of Montréal, the idea at the time seemed odd but still, the seed sprouted. A sign that Margaret Mead's famous phrase continues to ring true: « A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.»
Young farm worker at Cadet-Roussel farm carries "grelinettes", a little known, but very useful tool.
Each year the network integrates young farmers who have chosen CSA (community supported agriculture) as a marketing mode because the formula allows a small-scale start up and offers financial security via direct commerce and prepaying by the consumer. A crucial support system. Between 1996 and 2001, the number of farmers aged 35 years or less has gone up by almost 40 % in Canada.
Farmer meticulously inspects his fields at Vallon des Sources
The farms in the CSA network apply the rules that enclose the term «organic». This implies a record keeping of all the operations on the land, anything used on the land and the management of the farm . Moreover farms receive an annual visit form an inspector from a independent certifying body This tedious process is done at the farm's expense.
Manual transplanting at Cadet-Roussel farm
A large part of the costs of CSA farms are labour costs. In fact, many tasks must be done manually given the diversity of the crops. In Québec, qualified labour is rare, which poses an obstacle to the growth of some farms.
In March, the production of vegetables begins on the farm . With regards to the number of partners foreseen , the farmers sow a number of seeds greater than their needs, thus assuring good results knowing that between seeding and harvesting favourable and unfavourable factors will influence the yield. It is in this light that the farm and her partners share risk and benefits of the coming season.
Harvesting of carrots at Cadet-Roussel