La ferme Ma Zadoù
A little Breton farm using working horses to encourage biodiversity for a better future.
In an independent organic micro farm, as a rejuvention therapy, I will offer a tourist activity with two aims : to create awarness of the countryside through using traditional peasant skills and the making of old fashioned bread.
A simple return to basics, for our health, Mother Earth and for future generations.
• A holistic turn
As a young doctor of pharmacy, it was because of the importance of good health that I reconnected myself to the basis of life - food. In searching for the meaning and depth in my daily life, it was the smell of old-fashioned bread that intuitively drew me. I wanted to understand and be involved in the all process from wheat seed to freshly baked bread.
So, after a long sailing trip in the Atlantic Ocean, I decided to take the risk to trade my pharmacy qualification and become a peasant who’s making bread.
• A grounding
Like this thousand year old tree under which I am regularly rejuvenated, this project is rooted in the land of my peasant ancestors and will strive to preserve the environment and safeguard some biodiversity, both increasingly relavent issues.
This is where the project of the ferme Ma Zadoù started. In Breton language, "Ma Zadoù" means my ancestors, my fathers, as in the regional anthem.
The basis therefore is to develop a tourist activity in an organic human scale micro-farm, respectful of the earth and of the living, at the service of eating well.
The main agricultural activity will be the reintroduction, cultivation and conversion of old varieties of bread-making cereals into sourdough bread, hand-kneading and wood-fired. There will also be other secondary workshops that will enrich the agro-ecosystem (market garden, hens, horses, beekeeping, tree growing).
• An infinite quest for coherence and freedom…
Through the ferme Ma Zadoù, I am in search of freedom as well as a deep coherence with the fundamentals that govern life on earth. This is the reason why my mains objectives are to aim for a food that is autonomous, ethical and of high nutritional quality.
To do this, I intend to :
- Heat the premises and cook the bread over a wood fire as in the past. To compensate for carbon emissions we will plant trees and fruit bushes on recently reconstituted slopes, to the delight of the birds as well as the landscape.
- Use as much as possible the serene strength of Breton draught horses for daily transport, as well as for working in the fields, in order to minimize my oil needs (from the Middle East…) !
• Tourist activity in the land of the Celtic druids. Live at another speed to take the time to rejuvenate in this lush nature.
A holidayweek without oil will begin and end at the nearest train station, where I will pick up my future co-pains (means friends in french) in a carriage, accompanied by my powerful ploughing companions.
Where the innovation is, is that the farm is not intended to function as an agricultural economic entity as defined by the French agricultural system… as a production entity. Instead, I wish to draw attention to another facet of the peasant world which has almost disappeared in our « developed » societies.
Isolated at the heart of Kreiz Breizh (center of Brittany), I intend to use the farm’s vitality as a centre for visitors to be able to disconnect from hectic modern society, recharge their internal batteries and connect with the essentials in life by taking part in the activities of past times but with modern comforts. A carefully prepared programme will include visiting and taking care of the wheat field, collecting the flour from the miller, and finally together having fun baking the bread which will be on the table during meals.
In re-appropriating bread in this way and more generally our relationship to food, this tourist activity will be like a non-religious spiritual retreat by uniting us all as humans by connecting with mother earth together. Visitors will have the opportunity be participants and become actors through action, giving a fundamental meaning to each of the activities giving a lasting pleasure in harmonising with the earth.
It is in this context that in small groups, we will alternate between rides, tourist visits, quiet times, friendly moments and fun manual workshops.
• Other experiences and qualifications, as knowledge, emotions and stories are shared. Driven by my convictions, in search of a balance that probably does not exist, after years of intense reflection as well as other qualifications (see biblio), my thirtieth birthday which co-insides with the last day of this crowdfunding, it is time for me to make this project live on the land of my ancestors.
For me, this project is not only a life project or a professional project. It is also, and above all, a vocation to join a more global dynamic, among all those who, out of love and kindness, work daily for the preservation of our common universal heritage, a heritage that our children will inherit.
For this project to become a reality, I ask for your help because without it, it will be difficult for me to make it concrete. For those who can, I appeal for donations (with or without rewards), but also to share this page with your networks !
#biodiversity, #environment, #respecttheearth, #agroecosystem, #localconsumption, #humansizepeasantlittlefarm, #sustainablefutur, #foodempowerment and then freedom...Topics covered by this initiative are international so, do not hesitate to share this link across borders. Although I am attached to my region, to France and to Europe, I am first a citizen of the world.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your attention and I hope for your support.
Hope to see you as soon as possible at the farm Ma Zadoù !
What’s the crowdfunding for ?
Some family land not particularly fertile, as well as the precious help of friends and neighbours allows me to start farming (beekeeping, market garden, planting of my wheats in the autumn).
Nevertheless, for the tourist activity, I am making some large investments to buy and renovate an appropriate farmhouse.
Your assistance will enable me to finance the purchase of Breton draught horses and associated equipment, which is not a negligible burden. If this crowdfunding campaign becomes a success thanks to you, I will gradually start this new life without oil, with my new equine road companions. Upon their purchase (which will likely be during the renovation period), I will familiarize myself with their company, while honouring some of the rewards attached.
Your support will enable me to acquire 3 fundamental elements necessary for the successful development of the overall project :
- the two working-age draught horses, as soon as I find some nice ones to buy (8,000 euros)
- A new carriage with road standards (10,000 euros);
- Associated equipment, such as harnesses (2,000 euros);
- Amortize the taking of the crowdfunding platform (around 2,000 euros);
Trugarez vras! (means « thank you so much in Breton)
(For further information, please contact : email@example.com)
• From 25 euros and more (reward automatically applied to all higher donation’s levels) : Welcome among the ferme Ma Zadoù’s peasants! From the opening of the farm to the public, you will be registered during the ﬁrst year in the farmers' register of the ferme Ma Zadoù as supporters. This associative register will normally be reserved for close partners of the militant agricultural world as well as for farm customers. By being part of its network, this will allow you to be kept informed of the farm news as well as to be invited to the participatory/festive open gatherings (e.g., threshing days)... (diponibility : october 2019).
• From 50 euros and more (reward automatically applied to all higher donation’s levels) : One invitation to the inauguration party of the ferme Ma Zadoù. When the renovation is ﬁnished and the farmhouse ready to receive its ﬁrst guests, a private opening day will be proposed. For those who will be available, this will be the opportunity to meet all of us in simplicity : sausage patties, local cider and other festivities will enhance this fest deiz (traditionnal Breton party during the day). (Availability : June 2020) (Delivery : To be taken on site on the date envisaged spring-summer 2020, depending on the progress of the renovation).
• From 90 euros and more : One place for a participatory aperitif in the carriage! Is it necessary to comment this reward ? It will be a half-day horse ride. I’ll bring some bread and farm butter and offer a round of local mead. It is up to you to add to this feast according to your tastes so, that we share everything in the carriage. (Availability : January 2020) (Delivery : To be taken on site. Groups of 6 people max. (date subject to date of acquisition of horses)).
• From 200 euros and more : Gourmet horse-drawn carriage tour and local treasures visit. I’ll pick you up at the nearest train station with the carriage and offer you a day riding tour. The picnic will consist of an organic local products tasting. During this day, we will be accompanied by a naturalist, a historian or a storyteller to evolve around a theme that will vary according to the desires and the season. (Availability : January 2020) (Delivery: To be taken on site. Depending on the number of donors, several Saturdays and Sundays with related topics will be proposed by email. Groups of 8 people max. (date subject to date of horses acquisition‘s date).
• From 400 euros and more : A disconnect-zen weekend listening to nature. During this weekend, we will travel in a carriage at Bulat-Pestivien and it is at the horse’s rhythm that we will move slowly. It will not be about consuming time, but about taking it as much as possible, feeling it pass away, our senses awakened. We will therefore spend two consecutive days where we will forget the mind, to delight in the present moment, listening to the surrounding nature. Over this itinerant equestrian hike, we will combine waterless fasting, under trees outdoor meditation sessions. We will end on Sunday afternoon with a liberating dietetic snack with some seasonal local food. A musician will accompany us.
Cell phones and computers will be strictly prohibited. Availability : January 2020 Delivery: To be taken on site For this weekend, we will agree beforehand on a date together. Groups of up to 6 people. (date subject to date of acquisition of horses).
• From 800 euros and more : Discount voucher for a week for 2 personns, between co-breads on the farm! (« co-pains » means friends in french) A big thank you for your precious support that I will remember! This consideration allows you to beneﬁt from 50% discount on the rate of two people for a week, from the date of opening of the farm to the reception. During these disconnections in all simplicity, you will of course ﬁnd the horses and the carriage... but many other activities will enrich the week as explained in the presentation. I look forward to working with you! Availability: June 2020 Delivery: To be taken on site Discount valid from the opening of the farm to the healing stays (date envisaged spring-summer 2020, according to progress of the works).
I was born the year of the fall of Berlin wall in a very environmentally sensitive family. On one side, my great-grandparents were fishermen in northern Brittany and on the other, they were peasants in the center of the region. At home, we ate organic before the label even existed.
I grew up near Rennes. As a child, I spent most of my time wandering in nature, on foot or by bike, alone or accompanied on the trails of the small commune where we were living. I loved soaking in its essence, the sounds of the valley stream, the rustling of the tree leaves, the singing of the birds. When I was home and until late, I lived in my bubble, telling myself stories with playmobils or just listening to music.
In the summer, when I went to see my granddad in the country, I never stopped building cabins in the trees and lighting camp fires. When I went to see my grandmother by the sea, I learned to sail on the beautiful, capricious and rocky waters of the English Channel. Anyway, I took nature for myself or maybe the other way around !
As a teenager, I was a volunteer sailing raid instructor during the summer holidays. Around this playful practice and the trips that I done by wind’s force, I became aware that it was possible to reach an indescribable well-being with a fairly basic material comfort. This feeling resided in particular in the quality of sleep, the quality of meals, the proximity to the surrounding natural environment and the quality of the interactions between people in the crew... So many points of unimaginable simplicity that we don’t pay enough attention to, especially when we are taken by our western lives. Although this sometimes hostile environment is not suitable for everyone, it was in the open sea that the seed of this project first germinated.
In 2007, at the end of high school, after having followed a general scientific course, I made the choice to study a medical profession because I was always motivated by the desire to take care of others. I was led to pharmaceutical studies by their general education and their openness to the natural sciences (botany, pharmacognosy, mycology, animal biology, etc.). At the end of 2017, I ended this course by writing a thesis about the use of essential oils in hospitals, obtaining a diploma of a doctor in pharmacy.
At the same time, I practised as a substitute pharmacist in Brittany for about three years. During those years within the French health system, in a perpetual quest for meaning and depth in my daily life, I was quickly oppressed by its limits. This is how I observed the overall health of my fellow citizens according to geographical and social/professional contexts, finding the links between human health, the environment, food, the stress of everyday life, the virtual world and our society.
The scientific and technological advances of recent decades have the merit of advancing the quality of the care service offered in our developed countries. Nevertheless, I became aware of the drifts and impasses in this work, along with current pathologies such as burn-outs and depressions. In these humanly touching situations, I have too often felt powerless as a healthcare professional behind my counter. I knew too well the bitter feeling of surfing on a superficial system that was selling chemical dressings, instead of really trying to promote the healing of wounds directly related to bad life hygiene, something clearly induced by our society’s model.
From one observation to another, from replacement to replacement, a kind of intuition led me to return towards what I had distanced myself from, the one I lacked, the one that nourishes us all : mother nature. I knew that my parents owned some vacant family fields in the centre of the region and little by little, the idea of trying to make something of it came to me, while valuing every one of my life experiences. Images captivated me, memories : the ears of wheat in the wind, the song of grasshoppers, the smell of freshly baked bread... Gradually, I engaged with the peasant old seed networks and those of peasants who are making bread at farm in my region. These people’s
commitment to cultivated biodiversity, human-sized agricultural models around diverse agro-ecosystems, their sensitivity, the strength and beauty of the convictions of these individuals have convinced me, despite their often difficult lives, without the help of the dominant model.
That is why last year, I completed a two-degree course at an agricultural high school which enabled me to obtain a Professional Certificate of Responsible Agricultural Holding with a specialisation of farmer-baker (or literally peasant-baker), as well as a Certificate of Professional Competence of baker. The first gives me the right to claim the status of farmer and the second of an artisan baker. Right now, I’m in the middle of a final training course certified by the French horse-riding federation, to become a carriage driver in equestrian tourism, which will allows me to be able to propose activities around the animal traction as well as the coupling...
Next step will be written with your help, be it financially or by simply sharing this with your lovedones. Thank you !