Meet Guillaume from Bordeaux, France

“I am 34 years old and father of 3 children. I have always appreciated the environment. I trained in the field of water treatment. I replace single-use bottles with water fountains but I hope to make a living from my passion for the permaculture vegetable garden in order to ensure a better future for the next generations.

I was inspired by Damien DEKARZ Youtubeur – Permaculteur, Thomas ALAMY – Writer Permacultor, Jean-Luc PIOZIN – Horticultural Engineer Versailles “At 72, he continues to work 7 days a week”, Geoff LAWTON Teacher – Permacultor and of course Bill MOLLISON.

I grow food to eat organic products that taste better than those produced on a large scale, to consume in short “carbon footprint" circuits, to discover new flavors, new colors and to preserve biodiversity. I hope to strive for autonomy in fruits and vegetables.

I cultivate on an area of 120 m² but I hope one day to build an educational farm on 4 hectares to create an edible forest “orchard-vegetable garden". I cultivate more than 100 varieties in summer.

The best practices for soil and pest management in my opinion are to imitate nature as much as possible, intervene as little as possible. I cover my soil with straw, hay, hemp, dead leaves, shavings wood, grass shavings. I compost my vegetable waste directly under the straw. I plant nasturtium flowers on the edge of my vegetable garden to trap aphids and I put marigold flowers in the center of my vegetable garden to repel aphids. I use few tools, the earthworms work for me to loosen and aerate my soil.

My seeds come from associations, vegetable gardens, grain libraries, I also share my reproducible organic seeds in order to preserve certain species that could have disappeared.

At the start I was faced with a hell of an invasion by the slugs. I picked up 400 one evening then 300 another evening, I tried everything like beer trap, eggshells, wooden board etc. Finally after being patient, the predators like lizards, hedgehog, frogs, birds have arrived and the balance has returned to normal.

My most beautiful rewards are large quantities of varied products of incomparable quality, rising population of bees and the pleasure of sharing my harvests with my neighbors. Permaculture is all about sharing after all!

I am involved in community initiatives such as sharing seeds, plants and food, training and other forms of awareness. For example, I went to my son’s kindergarten with an earthworm and a young plant to explain how it works, I also brought bean seeds to lead a workshop with children to teach them how to use them.

We can plant trees and make a vegetable garden even on a balcony. It’s time for more of us to create permaculture gardens; believe me I got five times the yield than a traditional vegetable garden with less effort. Creating edible forests is surely the solution to fight against global warming, the biodiversity crisis and to feed the ever-increasing world population.”