Read Miraculous Abundance: One Quarter Acre, Two French Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World by Perrine Hervé-Gruyer Charles Hervé-Gruyer Online


The Bec Hellouin model for growing food, sequestering carbon, creating jobs, and increasing biodiversity without using fossil fuelsWhen Charles and Perrine Herve-Gruyer set out to create their farm in an historic Normandy village, they had no idea just how much their lives would change. Neither one had ever farmed before. Charles had been circumnavigating the globe by sailThe Bec Hellouin model for growing food, sequestering carbon, creating jobs, and increasing biodiversity without using fossil fuelsWhen Charles and Perrine Herve-Gruyer set out to create their farm in an historic Normandy village, they had no idea just how much their lives would change. Neither one had ever farmed before. Charles had been circumnavigating the globe by sail, operating a floating school that taught students about ecology and indigenous cultures. Perrine had been an international lawyer in Japan. Each had returned to France to start a new life. Eventually, Perrine joined Charles in Normandy, and Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin was born. Bec Hellouin has since become a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring Cesar and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain ("Tomorrow"). Miraculous Abundance is the eloquent tale of the couple's evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future--when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must. Today, the farm produces a variety of vegetables using a mix of permaculture, bio-intensive, four-season, and natural farming techniques--as well as techniques gleaned from native cultures around the world. It has some animals for eggs and milk, horses for farming, a welcome center, a farm store, a permaculture school, a bread oven for artisan breads, greenhouses, a cidery, and a forge. It has also become the site of research focusing on how small organic farms like theirs might confront Europe's (and the world's) projected food crisis. But in this honest and engaging account of the trials and joys of their uncompromising effort, readers meet two people who are farming the future as much as they are farming their land. They envision farms like theirs someday being the hub for a host of other businesses that can drive rural communities--from bread makers and grain millers to animal care givers and other tradespeople. Market farmers and home gardeners alike will find much in these pages, but so will those who've never picked up a hoe. The couple's account of their quest to design an almost Edenlike farm, hone their practices, and find new ways to feed the world is an inspiring tale. It is also a love letter to a future in which people increasingly live in rural communities that rely on traditional skills, locally created and purveyed goods and services, renewable energy, and greater local governance, but are also connected to the larger world....

Title : Miraculous Abundance: One Quarter Acre, Two French Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781603586429
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Miraculous Abundance: One Quarter Acre, Two French Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World Reviews

  • Adam Shand
    2018-08-30 20:06

    I loved this book but it’s not a how to book, it’s a story of a family learning to farm.What I most enjoyed about this book was that it appealed to my sense of beauty and possibility in a way that other market gardening books haven’t. Like those books this is a description of a working farm, of people working the land to earn their living. Unlike those books this book won’t teach you how to farm, what it might do (and what it did for me) was rekindle the belief that earning a living from a farm doesn’t have to be about ruthless efficiency.I love the idea of producing and selling food and of helping to regenerate an ecosystem, I’ve take several market gardening classes and read a bunch of books. However each time I’ve dug in to the details I couldn’t get enthused, the practical reality of growing food for money just seemed tedious and overwhelming. What JM and Curtis added to the the picture was that you can make good money doing it. What Charles and Perrine add to it is that it can be food for the soul too.If you’re interested in regenerative agriculture, Miraculous Abundance provides a wonderful overview of everything you might want to research in greater depth. It summarises most of what I’ve learned in the last five years and drops quite a few hints about fascinating new topics to research (making bokashi from your own indigenous microbiology!?). If you’re wanting to learn techniques, skip this book. If you’re wanting an overview of what’s possible and how one family navigated to a profitable, beautiful, amazingly diverse small-scale, permaculture farm then I can’t think of a better book to read.____A few snippets that stood out for me:On the traditional Parisian market gardeners that inspired Elliot Coleman and John Jeavons:“The market gardeners of Paris form the category of workers which is the hardest working, most consistent, most peaceful of all those who live in the capital. However solid or weak their situation, we never see the gardener change occupations. The sons of a gardener become accustomed to work, under the eyes and with the example of their fathers, and almost all become established market gardeners. The daughters rarely marry a man from a different profession than their father. Although the job is very hard, the market gardener becomes attached to it.” — “Manuel pratique de culture maraichere”, Moreau & Daverne 1845Parisian market gardeners are called jardiniers-maraichers in French, which contains the word marais, meaning “swamp” or “marsh”. It is a reminder of the time long ago when vegetable crops were grown in wetlands, in the small spaces left free by urbanization, when regulations were much looser than today. In 1845, food crops within the walls of Paris covered about 1,378 hectares, divided into eighteen hundred gardens, each about 7,650sqm. They employed nine thousand people or five people on average per garden: the master gardener and his wife, the day laborers, and a hired boy or girl, more often than not children. The work of these nine thousand market gardeners was enough to supply the city with vegetables.On Japan’s ecological crisis in the 16th century:At the beginning of the Edo period, almost all of Japan’s cultivatable land was farmed, feeding just twelve million people. These lands were, for the most, depleted. Two hundred years later, after a period of widespread ecological restoration, those same areas largely fed thirty million people. Deforestation had been controlled and trees replanted. The land had regained its fertility. At all levels, the actors of society were cooperating in order to find the right balance between the needs of humans and the resources that the island had to offer. The standard of living had improved, the Japanese were well fed, decently housed and clothed, their level of health was good. It was a result perhaps unequaled elsewhere, then or now.“More than anything else, this success was due to a pervasive mentality that propelled all other mechanisms of improvement. This mentality drew on an understanding of the functional and inherent limits of natural systems. In encouraged humility, considered waste taboo, suggested cooperative solutions, and found meaning and satisfaction in a beautiful life in which the individual took just enough from the world and not more.” — “Just Enough”, Azby BrownAgriculture researcher Stephane Bellon commenting on why he was so enthusiastic about their farm:“We aren’t crazy enough to create a system like this at our research stations; that’s why it’s so interesting to us!”Talking about forest gardens …We are convinced that the most innovative system we put in place in our valley is the forest garden.The forest garden could prompt the emergence of a new profession in organic farming, on that we propose to name sylvanier (forest gardener).Java, home to the largest concentration of forest gardens – or pekarangan – is one of the most densely populated areas on earth.What we are moving towards:The future lies in an ecologically sound, circular economy that creates value at every stage of the trade cycle, does not waste anything and replaces what it takes from the earth. This type of economy is inspired by nature and is based on living systems, because only they are capable of generating a natural increase in resources. We will have to relearn how to live almost exclusively on biological resources, as our ancestors did.Each of us can align our lives with our most precious aspirations. We can in good conscience, take responsibility for our existence and the consequences of our passage on earth. Every persona firmly committed to transition advances the entire human community.

  • Laurie
    2018-09-21 00:44

    I read this book slowly over many weeks, mostly in the evenings before bed. And each return to the book brought me a step closer to imagining and envisioning the next place that my husband and I decide to live. We will move; that is a given. And we will take with us our desire to garden. In our current location, we grow tomatoes on our deck in Earth boxes; the deer and other suburban animals would raid our garden otherwise. Indeed, due to it being a dry summer, the squirrels - for the first time in almost 30 years - brazenly raided our tomatoes on the deck, leaving us in a maddening race with them to see who would harvest the tomatoes first. We won occasionally and only at the expense of pulling a tomato just as it was getting ready to turn colour. Interestingly, for this and other reasons it turns out that it's not always prudent to wait till tomatoes are red before picking them. But I digress…This book is eye-opening for describing the pending food crisis and a viable solution to it. Indeed, we are already in a global food crisis, though many of us have not felt the consequences. Based on the work at their farm, La Ferme du Bec Hellouin or The Bec Hellouin Farm, Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer have developed a lifestyle that is food-sustainable, earth-sustainable, human-sustainable, as well as family-sustainable. In other words, they prove the point that it is possible to microfarm a small area of land, feed a family on the produce, live a satisfying life, and earn sufficient income on which to live. Don't take my word for it; however, if this approach interests you in the least then go get yourself a copy and soak up their experiences and allow yourself to find motivation and support in their ideas.For further inspiration you can view their video on Permaculture or view some of their numerous videos about this entire process on their French site.Lest you think this is utopian or a bit too idealistic, consider my in-laws, who had a large fruit and vegetable garden on their property on Cape Cod, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. For years, grandchildren picked blueberries and strawberries, and any number of children, children-in-law, and grandchildren picked vegetables in the garden "down below", so called because it was behind the house, nestled into an indent in the land. While this harvest did not feed a family (nor was it meant to), itcould have, and that is my point and the point of Perrine and Charles.

  • Brandi
    2018-09-09 22:12

    Another permaculture + gardening book I ended up adding to my permanent shelf of food-growing resources. It took me a few months to finish this well-researched and well-written tale because I was taking notes and rethinking my own home gardening methods. Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer tell an honest tale of what it was like to transform a patch of land in the French countryside into a highly productive farm using biointensive methods and without reliance on fossil fuels--including their failures and reliance on a generous savings to begin their farming journey. This is not a how-to book. It provides a good look at how the theories, history, and practice around integrating permaculture and biointensive farming methods can be used to address current and future challenges around sustainable food production.

  • Dee
    2018-08-27 01:48

    I don't know if it was a translation problem or what, but I had trouble with this book. I wish it had been easier to read. I kept waiting for the authors to explain and show their system for their wonderful garden. Instead, it felt like a history of different types of intensive farming.

  • Lisa Mudge
    2018-09-18 19:52

    I was looking for more practical and less theoretical application of farming/gardening. It did help me get a better understanding of permaculture though.

  • Meggers222
    2018-09-10 01:01

    Permaculture primer that is as much a great story as it is a how-to primer

  • Luta
    2018-09-18 22:04

    Poorly written. Great ideas and implementation.

  • Josie
    2018-09-17 20:56

    The agricultural side was interesting, and I'm glad this project/farm exists, but I didn't find the organization of the book to be well done.

  • Jessica
    2018-09-07 21:44

    Perrine and Charles Herve-Gruyer both had successful careers, but wanted to spend their days closer to the land. They were also concerned about where their food came from, so they decided to become farmers. Through trial and error they transform a small piece of land in France into a wildly productive food business. This book explores their farming philosophy and some of the the issues they've encountered and overcome. My main complaint about the book is that it's not a straightforward story of their farm. That is interspersed throughout the chapters on various topics/issues/philosophy/etc. It is an interesting book, just not exactly what I was expecting. But the biggest point is that they show that you can make a living on a a quarter acre of land if you plan well and use permaculture ideas - they commission a study to see exactly how much work and production goes into one 1/4 acre section of their farm and the results are astounding (pg. 118-121 for specific data). Definitely an interesting book and the color photographs really make the book because you get to see the spaces they've transformed.Some quotes I really liked:"Slow Food is often criticized as elitist. But that criticism is totally blind to the real issue. It is not important whether you or I or anyone else in the United States ever gets to eat some specific artisanal food. What's important is that it exists, that there is one small corner of the planet still unconquered by Kraft or Nabisco or Monsanto, one little rural holdout inhabited by a few hardworking people who still know what quality is and have a passion for producing it." (p. x of the Forward)"Here is a definition of this system adapted to our latitudes, from Patrick Whitefield: 'A forest garden is a garden modeled on natural woodland. Like a natural woodland, it has three layers of vegetation: trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. In an edible forest garden the tree layers contains fruit and nut trees, the shrub layer soft fruit and nut bushes, and the ground layer perennial vegetables and herbs. The soil is not dug, and annual vegetables are not normally included unless they can reproduce by self-seeding. It is usually a very diverse garden, containing a wide variety of edible plants.'...If we abandon an agricultural area, it is the forest that will return naturally. Maintaining open space requires constant effort. The central role of the tree is becoming better appreciated. It fulfills a plethora of ecological functions, creates soil, promotes microclimates conducive to life, and stores carbon. It also beautifies the landscape and provides countless human services." (p. 128-9)"Traditional agriculture was labor intensive, industrial agriculture is energy intensive, and permaculture-designed systems are information and design intensive. - David Holmgren" (p. 147)

  • Kara
    2018-09-12 17:57

    I was hoping for more how and less sermon

  • Sam DeSocio
    2018-09-03 21:12

    A good book following the life and thoughts of the Herve-Guyer families as they work on their Microfarm.

  • Correen
    2018-08-26 19:51

    It took awhile to start but then what a fascinating read! Perrin and Charles Herve-Gruyer built and have continued to operate a micro-farm in France using a permaculture method that allowed to start poor soil and develop it into a market enterprise. They started with a quarter of an acre and have grown but now beyond their ability to farm it using no motorized machinery. They are now highly successful, provide produce for famous restaurants, sell products in their farm store, and fill regular boxes for subscribers. They are also a research farm, training center, eco-tourism site, and agricultural promoters of small scale operations.

  • Paige
    2018-09-13 21:02

    This book is an amazing guide to bio-dynamic farming and permaculture! While most of the book is scientific, the authors (a married couple from France) tell the story of how they created their biodynamic farm. Truly a wonderful book! Also includes photos of their farm, garden layouts, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed this and have bought my own copy.

  • bibliotekker Holman
    2018-09-15 02:08

    Again, I only read a portion of this fine book since I've read many "how we did it" living off the land books like this before. The difference being that this one is set in France and offers the unique lens that affords. A good read. If you haven't read one like this before, this is a good one to start with.

  • Martin Sikkink
    2018-09-14 00:48

    5 étoiles pour l'inspiration.Je suis content d'avoir fini ce livre. Il m’empêchait de dormir!

  • Emily
    2018-09-23 00:54

    Not really very informative in the practical sense - more theory.