|Authors: ||K. Morel, C. Guégan, F.G. Léger|
|Keywords: ||organic horticulture, energy independence, agroecology, systemic approach|
In industrialized countries, innovative farmers inspired by holistic permaculture principles claim to be able to design market gardens based on manual labour alone.
We carried out a case study on one of these farms to assess the extent to which this approach could make it possible for a commercial organic market garden to be viable without motorization.
Our work showed that these market gardeners implemented a wide range of strategies that embraced ecological, technical and commercial dimensions to increase their production on a small cultivated area, as well as the added value of such a production.
On a cultivated acreage of 1,061 m2, it was possible to create a monthly net year round income of between € 898 and 1,571, depending on sales and investment levels.
These incomes were generated with an average workload of 43 h week-1. Such economic performances demonstrated that these initiatives can be viable.
However, in our case study, market gardeners excluded consumer staples cultivated by hand, such as potatoes.
Further investigation should be carried out about the way manual and motorized market gardeners can collaborate at a local scale to fulfill consumersRSQUO requirements.
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