The farm called La Récolte de la Rouge
One sunny afternoon in May, I was in a field at the farm called La Récolte de la Rouge, located right in the heart of a bucolic valley in Brébeuf, beside a river. A couple of very nice market gardeners had welcomed me with broad smiles as they busily sowed their seeds. This early in the season, every minute counts.
He is Mathieu Roy: late thirties, a well-informed farming technician with accreditation in agriculture who has everything he needs to succeed in this field, except…he doesn’t have a companion.
She is Catherine Baltazar, with a master’s degree in aquatic biology, without farming experience except as a WWOOFer* twice, in Scotland and in France. She is the courageous soul who said YES, when asked “What would you think of starting our own farm?”
Thanks to the program L’Arterre**, a networking service to facilitate access to the world of farming, and to the MRC des Laurentides, they met a vacation property owner who wanted to encourage the next generation and who has…a soft spot for strawberries. The perfect match! A 30-year lease!
Starting in 2016, the couple launched on a big scale, without water or electricity; they built their building. The objective was to provide a wide variety of organic vegetables and berries, including honeyberries (aka haskaps or blue honeysuckle-berries), strawberries and blueberries. Several major challenges followed: of 8,000 raspberry bushes, only five per cent survived. In mid-season, the tractor decided to pack it in for six weeks. A $15,000 loss. But they persevered.
This is their third year. Two employees have joined the pair and there are several new projects on the horizon. The north wind is blowing in the right direction, as well, to make the vegetables sweeter.
This summer, plan to stop at their self-service stand – a concept based on trust – or head for the market in Val-David. Pick-your-own days are planned and those wishing to help can join the volunteer gardeners.
*WWOOF (WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms)
**Formerly Banques de terres
By the same author: Les jardins Vertige (Click the image below)
Marie-Stéphane Asselin54 Posts
Marie-Stéphane s’est lancée dans l’aventure agricole en 2015, alors qu’elle décida de laisser libre cours à une étonnante intuition; celle de produire du safran. Cette nouvelle safranière, baptisée Safran des neiges, représente depuis lors une fabuleuse aventure pour cette jeune entrepreneure passionnée. Elle partage avec nous ses coups de cœur agricoles du terroir laurentien. / Marie- Stéphane launched herself into agriculture in 2015 when she decided to follow a surprising intuition: the production of saffron. The new saffron farm, named Safran des neiges (Saffron of the snows) has, since that time, been a fabulous adventure for the passionate young entrepreneur. She shares with us her agricultural favourites in the Laurentians terroir.