03. The microfarm

The microfarm is conceived as a diversified and autonomous agroecosystem, according to the concepts of agroecology and permaculture. Ideally it comprises different environments that interact in an integrated way.

The method is particularly suitable for market gardens of a very small size, and for smallholdings and family farming.

Intensive market gardening frees up agricultural space for other uses: meadow orchard, small livestock, forest garden, fruit hedges, red fruits, ponds, etc. Compared to a mechanised approach, a given area (of the order of 1 to 2 hectares) will be able to provide a greater diversity of produce, better self-sufficiency in organic matter, increased biodiversity and probably a pleasanter environment.

In recent years, we have sought to develop a “micro agrosilvopastoral system”: cultivated plants (vegetables, cereals, etc.) coexist on the same space with trees and animals (poultry, sheep, pigs, equines, etc.). By combining annual plants with perennials and animals, the agroecosystem gains stability.

The most elegant way to feed people seems to us to be to imitate the natural ecosystem of each place – the one that dominated before human intervention. Species naturally present, but inedible by humans, can be replaced by related edible plants.

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