In Bannalec, the organic market gardener cooks soup to vary his baskets – Les mains dans le terroir en pays de Quimperlé



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.

The organic market gardener is ingenious. He designed a weeding bed, which removes weeds without bending over, with the help of the farmer’s workshop. (The Telegram / Patrick Hernot)

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.

Robin Silvent, organic market gardener at the Kercabon Vras farm in Bannalec.
Robin Silvent, has also created a warm room for storing gourds. (The Telegram / Patrick Hernot)

Practice

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: lafermedekercabonvras@gmail.com or tel. 06 81 03 96 63.

In Bannalec, the organic market gardener cooks soup to vary his baskets

in complement

From large ensembles to large spaces

Robin Silvent left the Paris region to start organic market gardening in Bannalec in 2015.

The idea of ​​a professional retraining in the middle of the fields germinated at the dawn of quarantine for Robin Silvent. “I grew up in the south of France surrounded by farmers. I wanted to rediscover rurality,” says Robin Silvent. At 38, he is turning the page on a career in the hotel industry to return to school. “I passed the professional patent of farm manager”, he specifies. When leaving the Paris region and its housing estates for the great outdoors, the child from the south turns… to Brittany, more financially accessible than his native region and less subject to the vagaries of the weather. “I had family in the Bannalec area and I used to come there during the holidays. I’m more bocage and valley than seaside, ”smiles the forty-year-old who has found his happiness in the Bannalecoise countryside.

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