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About Potager Santé

The Producers

FamilyThe Potager Santé is a family agricultural initiative. Christian Thivierge leads the project with his partner Julie Trudelle. Our two daughters of six and three years old also get involved as much as they can—from planting to controlling weeds and from harvesting to preparing bulbs—they are there with smiles on their faces and pruning shears in their hands.

ChristianChristian is a forest engineer and has a master’s degree in regional development and work organization. He worked for 10 years in international development projects in Africa and Latin America.

Christian is an amateur chef and an epicurean. His work and travels have led him to discover numerous culinary cultures and to appreciate the different ways food is produced and prepared. Furthermore, Christian’s involvement with producers coupled with his work in 1999 with a large organic coffee co-operative has allowed him to deepen his commitment to organic production and his support of fair trade networks.

FamilleOur decision to grow garlic on a large-scale came gradually over recent years. Initially inspired by close friends who grew garlic, we began producing on a small-scale just for ourselves. After three years,we were offered a tow-acre plot on the Plate-Forme Agricole de l’Ange-Gardien.

The Location

The Potager Santé began farming in the summer of 2009 on a two-acre plot at the Plate-Forme Agricole in the municipality of l’Ange Gardien.

The Plate-Forme Agricole is an innovative project that aims to support new farmers in starting their own businesses. The project is managed by a not-for-profit corporation (CREDETAO) based on an ‘incubator model’, which allows new farmers to develop agricultural expertise by renting land, equipment, and infrastructure at a relatively low cost. L’Ange-Gardien, which has half of its municipal area covered by agricultural activities, bought 80 acres of land to further support the Plate-Forme Agricole.

What is organic?

Organic agriculture aims to practice sustainable land use through respecting strict guidelines that ban the use of chemical fertilizers, drugs, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms. Thirty independent organizations in Canada are mandated to provide organic certification. Representatives from these organizations visit the farm and the processing facility to ensure organic standards are being met.

The annual cost for these services is approximately $1,000. In addition to other administrative costs organic producers incur to obtain certification, they also must practice time-consuming manual techniques for such things as weeding, where commercial agriculture operations use chemicals, demanding less effort and time.

These extra costs and labour are the reasons why consumers pay a supplement for certified organic produce.

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