France is in a temperate zone. It can get quite cold in many parts of France, but it also has a fairly mellow temperature compared to other parts of Europe. You only need to look at Scandinavia, Finland or the northern part of Scotland to see what I’m getting at.
Compared to these other places, France is thoroughly blessed. It’s not so hot that you could say it’s tropical or you may have problems would deserts; but it’s not so cold that its growing season is impossibly short. It’s kind of like in a Goldilocks sweet spot so to speak. It’s not too hot nor is it too cold. It’s just right. Accordingly, it is perfect for permaculture.
Permaculture is a farming philosophy where you work with Mother Nature instead of trying to impose your will on her. Instead of trying to mold her, tame her and otherwise cut up Mother Nature to fit human designs, you work with what you have.
You work with the seasons. You work with the way the soil is naturally composed. You work with the biochemical nature of the soil and plant life as well as the microscopic animal life living in the soil.
All these form part of a holistic philosophy that works with Mother Nature instead of against her. By and large, permaculture has proven to be a success in a certain scale.
Let’s be clear here. Modern agriculture requires economies of scale. That’s the only way farmers can produce a tremendous amount of food in the short period of time which, of course, drives down prices. The moment farmers start working with their hands because they only have a small plot of land to farm, you can bet that the price of food goes up while farm incomes go down.
That’s precisely the challenge posed by farming economics in places like Southeast Asia where there are many small holders and not enough agricultural scale. People pay more money for food while farmers starve. It is quite a dilemma. It is quite a paradox. However, it is a harsh reality that many people have to live.
Well, not with France. With France, there is an economy of scale as far as agriculture is concerned. However, there is also a market for 100% organic food.
This is where permaculture makes all the sense in the world because when you have a developed and mature market for organic fruits and vegetables, you can work with a smaller plot of land. You can work that land manually and still make a profit. The same cannot be said with other types of farming. You’re going to be forming at a loss.
French village permaculture is actually pretty straightforward. You need a lot of mulch usually supplied by ground-up plants or trees and shrubs.
You also need earthworms. This is the tricky part. While France does occupy a fairly temperate zone, it can get quite cold. This is what poses a health challenge to the most productive varieties of worms. African night crawlers, for example, are very productive as far as worm compost production is concerned. However, they are also very sensitive to the cold.
French village permaculture relies on proper mulching, recycling of plant material and the spread of compost. These feed into each other and are properly scheduled. When done right, French village permaculture produces a tremendous amount of 100% natural organic food. Since French people are sticklers for very fresh food, you can bet that the kind of tastes you would get from food you raise through permaculture would be off the scales.