For the second year in a row, Équiterre presented awards at the family farmers network annual meeting on February 2 in Sainte-Rosalie.
The « Golden Carrot » award, given to farmers whose top-quality baskets and outstanding management set them apart, went to Johanne Breton from Les Jardins Naturlutte. The farm is renowned for its excellent fruit and vegetables, which supply 130 subscribers and are sold at the Racine farmers’ market. Owner Johanne Breton’s business development expertise is also outstanding. Johanne acquired Les Jardins Naturlutte in 2009 and moved the business to new farmland in 2013, where she had built a multi-purpose building and two greenhouses. As the sole owner of the farm in Ulverton, which is in the Eastern Townships, she manages a team of five employees and will be hosting an open house in the summer. Les Jardins Naturlutte delivers to three drop-off points: Kingsey Falls, Windsor and Drummondville. In the long term, Johanne hopes to expand to 180 weekly subscribers during the summer and increase her contribution to the Bio Locaux collective winter basket project by producing more winter vegetables.
The « Pioneer » award went to La Ferme Le Crépuscule, which has been a member since the network was launched in 1996! Équiterre wanted to highlight the farm’s longtime commitment and recognize the quality of its organic livestock, which are free to roam outside and treated with great care. The farm, which raises guinea fowl, veal, hens and other animals, sells directly to consumers through thirty drop-off points in Quebec. Jean-Pierre Clavet established the farm in 1989 and was certified organic in 1992. He is one of the few brave organic farmers in Quebec who decided to do things differently by not using antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides or chemical products on his farm. Jean-Pierre keeps his animals healthy by giving them space to roam, exercise and access to sunlight and fresh air.
The purpose of the family farmers network awards is to recognize the farming excellence of its members, to inspire other family farmers—especially the next generation—to adopt best practices and to enhance public awareness of exceptional local farmers providing farm-fresh produce and livestock.
Congratulations to both farms, and thank you for your commitment to promoting organic farming in Quebec.