In detail

Visit to the Bec Hellouin organic farm garden

Visit to the Bec Hellouin organic farm garden

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Here is a garden like no other, designed as much for the pleasure of the eyes as for the development of abundance. And here, when we talk about abundance, we are closer to the vision of foster mother earth than to that of modern highly mechanized farms designed for intensive yield. Installed in a valley bottom presenting unfavorable conditions for market gardening - risk of late frosts and weak layer of topsoil - the Bec Hellouin farm nevertheless succeeded, thanks to the implementation of permaculture fundamentals, in creating spaces highly productive, whose fertility and autonomy increase over the years. The secret of this success, carried by Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer, a neo-rural couple who came to settle in the Normandy countryside? Listening to nature and its potential, drawing inspiration from the functioning of natural ecosystems, and working in the direction of life rather than against it. Behind this high fertility hides a market gardening on a human scale, capable of reconciling productivity and respect for nature and foreshadowing the agriculture of tomorrow.

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The Bec Hellouin farm ## The Bec Hellouin village The Bec Hellouin farm is located in the small village of the same name located in the Eure department. Nestled in a landscape of gentle hills, the village has many advantages, including a classification as one of the most beautiful villages in France and an area classified Natura 2000.

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La Ferme du Bec Hellouin ## Overview of the gardens and the farm Is this a new concept of amusement park? Not entirely ! Here, under the brush of the watercolourist, the different spaces of the farm appear distinctly: the forest garden, the garden islands, the mandala garden, the agroforestry gardens, the gardens of flat mounds, the small pastures for animals - like draft horses - which participate in the work of the farm…

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The Bec Hellouin farm ## Culture on flat boards Installed along the river, flat boards are an experimental ground for micro-agriculture through associations of plants, tests on the density of crops…

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The Bec Hellouin farm ## The garden islands Dream locations for Robinsons-market gardeners at heart, the two farm garden islands are privileged areas for experimentation due to the micro-climate they benefit from (protection prevailing winds by the forest, and heat and light brought by the reflection of the sun on the water).

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La Ferme du Bec Hellouin ## Culture on hot beds These amazing mounds are made of manure. Stored in thick layers, it ferments and gives off heat which enables early cultivation.

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Bec Hellouin farm ## La mare Zoom on the pond and some of the many benefits it brings to the garden: less distance to cover to fill the watering cans, a refuge for frogs predators of garden slugs, an area where heat is stored during the day to be returned at night ... without forgetting the pleasure of the eyes, and many other benefits.

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The Bec Hellouin farm ## Zoom on animal traction Here, motor vehicles have no place. The work of the ground is done by means of manual tools, sometimes accompanied by the driving force of the draft horses. Animal traction has many advantages: silent gardening, respectful of the environment, suitable for narrow and steep spaces, not to mention the pleasure that there can be in walking in the company of the animal.

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La Ferme du Bec Hellouin ## Seasonal baskets The farm distributes its production of seasonal vegetables and fruits every week via a basket system. The gustatory quality of the vegetables and the richness of the cultivated varieties also caught the attention of some of the best restaurants in the region who made them their source of supply.

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Bec Hellouin farm ## Towards a society of abundance for all The cultivation techniques of Bec Hellouin farm have attracted the attention of INRA researchers who have been studying them since the end of 2011 as part of a program aimed at to measure the economic performance likely to be obtained on a surface of 1000 m² and the associated workload. The first results already demonstrate that it is possible, from such a small area, to generate a decent income for a person. What is the alternative to our current productivist industrial model?