The breathtaking gusts and heavy autumn rains did not shake the certainties of the young farmer as solid as the structures of the greenhouse of his farm, which withstood many storms. Over the years, he still doesn’t mind walking in the mud and slush in Bannalec where he created his organic vegetable farm in 2015. “We started from scratch. There were no farm buildings. We built everything, the sheds, the greenhouse, the borehole for the water and the access roads”, summarizes Robin Silvent who chose to settle with his family in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Bannalécoise. “We are a bit isolated. But we are in the center of the Bannalec-Scaër-Rosporden triangle, three towns ten minutes apart,” he says positively.
“Winter is green, summer is red”
Despite the humidity and the first frosts, the market gardener appreciates autumn. “This is the period when the range of vegetables offered for sale is the widest with around forty varieties. The most difficult time is in early spring when customers get impatient. With the arrival of good weather, they think that everything grows very quickly. But we have to wait until the end of April for the first primeurs. It’s not easy to sell dreams with leeks at this time! But with the climate of the region, there is no commercial break. We don’t have to deal with drought or frost”, explains the market gardener who has learned the colors of the two main seasons. “Winter is green, and summer is red!” But before the much-awaited strawberries and tomatoes season, he was able to make his customers wait in “his school of taste” by focusing on diversity. Kohlrabi, rutabaga, winter radish, chard, he puts forgotten or little-known vegetables back on the plate. With his wife, who has been working full-time on the farm since last year, they add a few recipe ideas to the baskets to invite customers’ curiosity.
Less weeding work
They also had the idea of adding soups, to transform downgraded or damaged products, and tomato coulis, to drain off the overflow from an exceptional summer. In the family farm of 2.5 ha of open field vegetables and 1,200 m2 of greenhouses, the couple wants to move on to a new stage. “We are gradually switching to no-tillage or market gardening on living soil. This method reduces tillage. The plantations do not require any prior preparation, apart from mulching,” explains the 40-year-old, who thus hopes to limit the long tasks of weeding weeds. “This still represents 30% of the work in organic market gardening from April to October,” he explains. “The objective is also to densify crops and reduce working areas. We should eventually go from 2.5 ha to less than 8,000 m2. Another advantage: we will use the tractor less often, ”says Robin Silvent who does not want to cultivate any regrets.
Kercabon Vras farm in Bannalec. Sale at the farm every Friday afternoon from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 06 81 03 96 63.