From Brittany to the Côte-d’Or, twenty-two younger individuals crisscrossed the French countryside over the past fortnight of August to find farms with modern practices. Launched in 2019 by three younger sons of farmers, the Agricultural Tour de France is in its third version.
Earlier than deciding on a farm, its organizers needed to grasp the present challenges of their occupation: ecological disaster, rural desertification, entry to land, collective… Confronted with these questions, they sought solutions within the discipline, from the peasants, supported by the Rural Christian Youth Motion.
On board the three minibuses of this yr 2022, not all have the challenge to settle. They’re future agricultural engineers, veterinarians, landscapers, and even curious women and men who’ve come to find part of French agriculture. “ It is a solution to do intensive woofing for 2 weeks, with totally different methods and life philosophies »sums up Marine, 25, who got here to search for “ hope and energy ». “ I knew we weren’t going to see the basic installations and that made me wish to »explains Margaux, 25, an arts pupil.
- For 2 weeks, the twenty-two younger individuals of the Tour de France arrange their camp from farm to farm. Jules Mele
After a number of months of group upfront to attract their route, they left with their tents, their notebooks and their pens to satisfy their numerous company.
On August 16, it was in Bressuire (Deux-Sèvres) that the small camp of ten tents took up residence to trade with Anthony Brunault, put in in blended farming. Along with elevating 230 goats, Anthony has spent the 78 hectares of the household farm in Soil Conservation Agriculture (ACS) from 2007. On the time, there will need to have been “ three or 4 individuals within the division to work like that ». In the course of his barn, which smells of hay drying, he defended this alternative which allowed him to complement his land and of which he gave the three pillars: “ No tillage, everlasting plant cowl and diversified crop rotations. »
If his system is now bearing fruit, or reasonably his cereals, Anthony didn’t fail to inform his younger viewers in regards to the difficulties encountered. And even the “ monumental slapshe stated. However I by no means thought-about going again. » A shovel on his shoulder, he ends his go to by taking the small group to watch his soil after fifteen years of labor. A couple of holes within the fields and hop, they found a land stuffed with worms, roots, life.
This meticulous inspection of the soil was repeated a couple of days later within the Osme gardens, in Charente. Baptiste Brigot and Marina Lonardi have chosen to do market gardening on residing soil (MSV), at all times with the concept of not working the land.
Within the intimacy of the agricultural world
Past the manufacturing strategies, the twenty-two younger individuals had additionally come to search for life tales, visions of the world, by making a small place for themselves on the varied farms. So, a couple of kilometers from the Osme backyard, silence was so as when Bernard Peloquin, 82, advised the story of his farm, the Chassagne farm.
“ I knew agriculture from earlier than. With out pesticides we managed to dwell anyway, so I left on this foundation », he stated merely. When he took over the household farm in 1968, he determined to modify it to natural, armed with a easy brochure entitled “ small grammar of organo-biological agriculture ». “ My father stated to me: you develop weeds ! »
- “ I knew agriculture from earlier than. With out pesticides we managed to dwell anyway, so I left on this foundation “, defined Bernard Peloquin.
“ I am amazed by the best way they allow us to into their privateness when there are such a lot of of us »remarked Camille, 27, touched by this want to “ plant seeds in our minds ». The Chassagne farm continues to innovate since it’s now a part of a bunch of twenty-five natural farms which have chosen to pool their crops and seeds.
Subsequent step ? The Ecological Farm of Gorce. Serfouette, Brouette and Binette, the three minibuses, hit the highway once more. “ What does it imply to be chargeable for 150 hectares of nature, vis-à-vis people, all residing beings and the way forward for the planet? ? » Pedro Raimbourg, cattle breeder on the Gorce ecological farm, took his guests without warning. All through the go to to his land, he utilized himself to conveying the reply that he and his spouse Sophie, a veterinarian, try to provide to this query.
- Handled with respect and accustomed to human contact, the herd of Pedro and Sophie Raimbourg lets itself be approached. Jules Mele
Round one of many ponds they dug, they listed the species now put in. Respect for the residing is on the coronary heart of their discourse and their means of managing their land. Amid the grass-fed cows letting their lovely crimson coats be petted, the members of the Tour uncover breeding strategies that adapt to the animal and attempt to provide it an extended and extra appeased.
Margaux, 25, is especially touched by this mind-set in regards to the residing: “ I have been a vegetarian for seven years and their discuss how to consider consuming meat, honoring the animal all the best way, received me considering. I believe if we’ll rebuild this relationship, that is the best way to do it. »
“ We’re dedicated to preserving the lands we farm »
When leaving the subsequent day, a last-minute query is requested: “ In case you had been making cereal, what would you select between ACS or natural ? » Providing Pedro and Sophie a final alternative to convey their philosophy of life: “ It’s a must to know the methods however they continue to be instruments on the service of what strikes youbegins Pedro. If in case you have one thing on the backside of your coronary heart, put it in place and you’ll select the correct instruments on the proper time. » “ I had very down-to-earth expectations in regards to the methods, however what’s going to follow me most is the worldwide imaginative and prescient that farmers have of agriculture and of the world. »emphasizes Jules, a pupil on the Nationwide Faculty of Agronomy in Toulouse.
- The collective typically takes a break between two farm visits. Jules Mele
These conferences additionally made it potential to unite the group and to nourish the reflections of one another. “ I knew why I used to be coming: to satisfy individuals, to speak », stated Juliette, already a Tour to her credit score. Louise, 25, abounded: “ It is not simply assembly farmers, it is an expertise: residing with twenty different individuals for 2 weeks. » The chance, additionally, to find the boundaries of the collective. “ While you’re younger and also you wish to cool down, you assume that the collective is the bestidentified Marie, 23 years previous. We noticed that we needed to be vigilant. »
The journey ended with an agricultural competition on the La Chaux farm in Côte-d’Or, throughout which all of the Tour de France teams met. On this system: conferences, spherical tables and dialogue time round their respective experiences. Perched on a barrel on the entrance to the barn, one of many members declaimed: “ We’re dedicated to preserving the lands we farm. We demand consciousness of the urgency. In any other case, how can we dwell nicely from our lands and make our lands dwell nicely? ? »