About Ferme la Machine

Ferme La Machine was born of the desire to escape the "machine" of modern, middle class life by creating a new and better one. We share a growing malaise felt in the middle class, stuck in a cycle of a stressful work commute, demanding workdays, too little time, too little sleep, not enough enjoyment and fulfillment in life.

We were sparked by our growing awareness of the importance of a more intelligent and sustainable use of our natural resources, concerns about health and wellness, increasing demand for organic food in our communities and the challenges we face making life changes when you are stuck in the machine; the concept of Ferme La Machine was born. We have traded life in this machine for a new one. One of our own creation, that values quality of life, health and community.

Over the past few years we’ve learned to grow and preserve our food, bringing us much closer to self sufficiency. What’s more is that we are able to produce an abundance of great food on our farmstead that we are able to offer to your family. 

Our Core Beliefs
We don't want to produce vegetables at any cost. We take into consideration, the total cost. We always grow with the health of the environment in mind. We believe strongly in the principles of Permaculture and the practices of Regenerative agriculture. Agricultural practices have a huge impact on the environment. Minimizing damage is not enough. We want to make sure that we leave our little piece of the planet in a better condition than we found it. 

We are in this together
We are more than just a farm, we believe that in order to make this world better, we all need to work with other people in our communities. Our vision of Ferme La Machine has always been to collaborate with other producers who are doing it right. We actively seek out other ethical producers  to offer you the best products from our region, making it easier for you to buy most of your groceries directly from farms, encouraging producers who are doing it right. 

Our philosophy of growing better, not bigger

Growing ethically without compromise. Being a small family farm allows us to care for the plants and animals without the compromises that often come with large scale, even organic production. What does this mean? Producing large quantities of the same vegetables, even in rotation can start to resemble mono-cropping and can result in similar problems to those in larger scale agriculture making it harder to mitigate pest problems without having to resort the use of pesticides that can have negative impact on our environment. If you had a garden at home, you wouldn’t use pesticides, right? Probably because you don’t think it’s right, but also because you probably wouldn’t need to.The small quantity of mixed veggies planted closely together probably wouldn’t attract enough “bad” insects to cause a problem. We grow our fruit and vegetables like it was our home garden, because it is! Join our CSA and it becomes your garden too!

Diversity - Natural ecosystems have a huge variety of plants, animals and much smaller organisms. The more players available in the ecosystem, the better nature is able to make its own balance. We favour creating an environment with our gardens that allows this to happen.  One of the things we are most proud of is that we have seen an increase in the plants and animals flourishing on our land since we have started our farm. This is how we measure the success of our farm. 

Small, diversified farms like ours can actually produce more per acre than large agricultural operations. Our farmstead is a on a total of 5 acres, our production area is about 1.5 acres. We use intensive spacing between vegetables, interplanting, tunnels, integrate animals in the farm and many other strategies to keep a natural balance that maximizes the efficiency and productivity of the farm.  This is a continual learning process that we love. 

We invite questions about our farm, how we raise animals and grow plants. Questioning your farmers is the best way to truly understand not just where your food comes from, but how it was grown.

 


Powered by Humans

MARIE-FRANCE DUVAL

Why did I become a farmer? First and foremost, I am passionate about good food. This passion led me to gardening as I noticed that it was more and more difficult to find healthy and ethical products to cook with: no pesticides, no hormones and grown naturally. Also, I just love being outdoors…I couldn’t take the hustle and bustle of city life anymore. After two years of living on the farm, I know that I made the right choice!

My favourite thing to do at the farm: Since planting my first garden, I’ve always loved taking care of tomato plants…tying the stem as the plant grows, removing the suckers...the best part of all is the smell! Nothing beats fresh tomato stem smell! I want to bottle it up! Tomatoes are also my favourite thing to preserve.

My next challenge is…using the medicinal plants growing on our land. I’m currently taking a class on how to heal your loved ones naturally. I can’t wait to turn so-called ‘weeds’ into healthy and natural body products.

 

 

CURTIS PHILLIPS

The first year of our garden will always stand out to me. I remember not only how amazing everything tasted, but how good I felt eating fresh veggies everyday. I had a boost of energy that I could only explain with the fresh healthy produce from our garden. I became curious about the nutrition of homegrown veggies. My research lead me to book after book and documentary after documentary on ethical food production, the locavore movement, health and food sovereignty.

What I learned caused a huge shift in my mindset. It also left me with a dilemma.  Knowing what I know, what do I do now? Trips to the grocery store are not the same when you understand how most of the products got there. 

How do I avoid supporting a food system I oppose? How do we find the food that we want to eat, feel good about, and enjoy? The answer, for me, was simple. If you want something done right….

This not only solved the problem, it offered a great opportunity that has changed our lives for the better


Our farmstead's history

"Our farm" before it was ours Circa 1960

"Our farm" before it was ours Circa 1960

We are proud to carry on the tradition of small family farming on this beautiful, healthy piece of land in the area known as La Petite-Nation with our own farmstead.

In 2014 we moved from the suburban south shore of Montreal, to Montpellier, Québec. We bought a heritage home that was one of the first organic farms to establish itself in the area. The Outaouais region has a history of organic farming that goes back to long before we called it organic. We are proud to carry on the tradition of small family farming on this beautiful, healthy piece of land in the area known as La Petite-Nation with our own farmstead.

This region has no Big AGriculture to speak of and very little conventional agriculture, really. This means that, to our knowledge, there are no farms spraying pesticides within many kilometers of our farm. So the bees that are attracted to our plants are safe as well as our crops.