Latest from EU Member States

What France Can Teach Us About Rural Resilience

In the past two years, ARC2020 has been listening closely to voices on the ground in the French countryside. What have we learned? What do the participants have to say? And what’s next for the Nos Campagnes en RĂ©silience project? The key themes emerging from the research so far were presented to the project participants at an online gathering in June, when a lively discussion helped to collectively shape the direction for the future. Report by the Nos Campagnes en RĂ©silience team. […]

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France | Growing Vegetables, Seeding Values – Part 2

Why is it so important to open the farm gates to the community? Vegetable grower Vincent explains how he and his colleagues want their market garden, to be a site of coming together as well as a site of production. Vincent also opens up about the challenges of labour – for him as an unlikely ‘boss’, and for the workers who must be incredibly motivated to overcome the tough working conditions. Part 2 of a conversation with ValĂ©rie Geslin. […]

Latest from EU Member States

France | Growing Vegetables, Seeding Values – Part 1

Vincent, Julie and their three employees run a small market garden in North-West France. Producing 45 vegetables, the team at La Ferme de PitouĂ© has learnt over the years the limits of diversification. In their garden, over coffee in the sunshine and a chorus of birdsong, Vincent tells us how they manage to stay true to their values on the farm. Part 1 of a conversation with ValĂ©rie Geslin. […]

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France | Farming by Numbers part 2

Work less, age better. Instead of more money, choosing to bring in more farmers. For StĂ©phane and his associates on their six-hectare horticulture farm, GAEC Le Jardin des Pierres Bleues, every choice is calculated to yield the best outcomes for people and planet. Part 2 of a conversation with ValĂ©rie Geslin. […]

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France | Farming by Numbers part 1

StĂ©phane loves numbers, and it’s a formula for the success of the six-hectare horticulture farm, GAEC Le Jardin des Pierres Bleues, that he runs together with three associates and one employee in Vay, north-west France. By his calculation, everyone gets to earn a dignified living, true to their principles and to nature. Free of debt, and free of CAP subsidies… In conversation with ValĂ©rie Geslin. […]

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France | Change Is In Our Hands – Part 2

Far from the stereotype of the solitary farmer, Marion and Benjamin make a conscious effort to get farming out of its bubble. It’s the only way they’ll shift mentalities, they believe. The two farmers, who are associates in a cooperative mixed farm in Brittany, also open up on the thorny issues of unpaid activism, taking holidays as a farmer, and feeding the community versus feeding the world. Part 2 of an interview with ValĂ©rie Geslin. […]

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France | Change Is In Our Hands – Part 1

Marion and Benjamin are pig and dairy farmers on a community funded farm in Brittany, France. Agricultural engineers by training, they have reverse engineered the process of farming to make sure they get to take time off and make a decent living. In part 1 of a fascinating conversation, ValĂ©rie Geslin, project coordinator for Nos Campagnes en RĂ©silience, unpacks their experiments in rural resilience. […]

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Patrick’s Rants | Farming Communities. Cooperatives. They Rock.

Why should farmers consider community, cooperative approaches? What are the benefits to doing so – and what happens when more individualistic approaches are taken instead? In the first of our occasional contributions from Patrick Worms, this testing topic is grappled with.  Patrick Worms trained as a molecular geneticist and is the Senior Science Policy Advisor of World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and the President of the European Agroforestry Federation. These rants however, are 100% Patrick’s own personal opinion, and are not necessarily the views of any of the organisations he works for or represents. […]

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France | Tasting Independence in Beaufortain

In this excerpt from the book “Rural Europe on the Move: A travel guide to transitions”, Philippe Barret tells the story of Beaufortain, a community in the French Alps that has been coming together to practice rural sustainability since the 17th century. Beaufortain also happens to be the home of ARC2020’s project to build rural resilience in France – “Nos campagnes en rĂ©silience”. In this chapter you’ll meet some of the key people involved in this latest venture: coordinator ValĂ©rie Geslin, volunteer Jeanine Sochas, and farmer Pierre Gachet.  […]

Latest from EU Member States

France | Building Rural Resilience From The Ground Up

ARC2020 is launching a new project in France to build rural resilience from the ground up. It’s called “Nos Campagnes En RĂ©silience”. The goal is to empower rural communities to realise their own fair and socio-ecological transitions, by connecting and supporting the many exciting initiatives that are emerging on the ground. Why France? And why now? Hannes Lorenzen explains. […]