Farmer, tool hacker, organizer, and self styled agricultural anthropologist (and, we’re proud to say, a GH blog editor) Samuel Oslund takes us on a journey into les Rencontres de l’Atelier Paysan. Les Rencontres is a yearly gathering of farmers from across France, hosted by our French farm hacking heroes l’Atelier Paysan (roughly The Peasant’s/agrarian Workshop). The event is a hands on skill sharing celebration, filled with food, good wine, and some fairly strange music.
Beyond throwing memorable shin digs, the farmer-run organization works with agrarians across France designing and developing user based, co-designed tools and implements. All of their open-source plans are available online and in a beautifully produced manual. Among other things, L’Atelier Paysan is creating a unique business model that fosters collaboration and skill sharing.
Come and join us for a weekend in June on a Burgundy farm! Atelier Paysan is organising a gathering on the 17th, 18th and 19th June 2016 : AGM, agricultural DIY fair, practical workshops, talks, concerts and banquets…
3 days in June to include in your cropping plan!
BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW! 3 days in June where you can meet fellow farmers, have a go at welding and other metal work, get an overview of the technical innovations in our network, as well as feedback your reflections and imagine together the cooperative’s future.
We have organised more workshops and debates to oil up our rusty skills and jump start our enthusiasm to take part and learn! To break the ice, nothing better than a banquet and some good wine. And with spirited concerts in the evening, this will be a real Rock & Roll adventure!
Friday 17th June
Saturday 18th June
Sunday 19th June
Welcome, Atelier Paysan’s AGM
1st agricultural DIY fair: reports and demonstrations of the network’s machinery and agricultural building designs
Take part in a workshop whatever your level of skill:
workshop to convert the host farm’s equipment to the quick hitch triangle system.
workshop modifying a piece of kit
Making a pedal powered agricultural tool with Farming Soul
Constructing a mobile pig shelter (wood and metal)
Where? In Burgundy: The Domaine Saint Laurent (a farm producing meat, dairy products, vegetables and wood) is in the parish of Château, 2 kms outside the town of Cluny in Bourgogne (http://www.domaine-saint-laurent.fr/).
It’s easy to reach ! By train: TGV train station of Mâcon with regular shuttles onto Cluny By car: One hour north of Lyon, 20 mins from Mâcon.
What will we eating? Breakfast and lunch for all 3 days is included in price, as well as Friday evening’s barbecue, provided by Le Pain sur la Table, an organic caterer (http://lepainsurlatable.fr/). You will however have to pay for your wine-inspired conversations. Wine producers will be there to provision you…
Where will we sleep? You can camp on the farm, or rented accommodation. Arrivals from Thursday evening onwards.
One of these tools is the Triangle Quick Hitch, which was the focus of a Farm Hack event in 2012 and is also documented on the Farm Hack site. This is a system several farms in the US have already implemented as a cheaper, open-source alternative to proprietary quick hitch systems, and one that is already more widespread in Europe.
Another precious nugget that Atelier Paysan has developed is the self-build guide:
With tutorials and technical drawings to build 16 tools adapted to organic vegetable production, this book is an instruction manual for becoming self-sufficient in terms of farming machinery. Included are principles of self-building, methods and techniques, regulatory considerations, and most importantly, examples of tools tested by vegetable growers presented in the form of building tutorials, allowing you to develop your skills and expertise around the tools you work with.
The guide is spiral bound and 246 pages long with a folding cover, designed to be easy to use and long lasting. It will accompany you in your farming project and throughout your career. It’s a source of inspiration which you can use and enrich with your own adaptations.
Unfortunately translating this guide book into English is a big project, so it has not yet been done. If you have several thousand dollars or an inclination to translate this technical manual, get in touch.
The work of Atelier Paysan in the field of training farmers and organizing collaborative development and building of tools for biological agriculture is truly inspiring to us, and we look forward to continue learning from and collaborating with them!
From our friends at FarmingSoul, an alternative approach to the pedal-powered tractor (similar to the Culticycle). Below we link to the Instructables page, and also have embedded the final AGGROZOUK plans just finished by the FarmingSoul team and L’Atelier Paysan.
With the electrical assistance the tractor can move at 4-5 mph max in the fields without power needed for the tools, perfects for mechanical weeding. It should be able to tow a little trailer with 300-400 lbs on it in the fields.
What is the AGGROZOUK?
It is a pedal-powered farming tractor with electric assistance, made by farmers for farmers. It is intended for SMALL AND MEDIUM vegetable farms. It allows for different agricultural tasks that require working a maximum soil depth of 5 cm. It can be used for example for sowing, weeding, hoeing, harvesting open lines, carrying loads, …
Compared to a traditional tractor, the AGGROZOUK gives the farmer ease of use by eliminating the nuisance caused by an internal combustion engine such as engine noise, the smell of exhaust fumes, vibration etc…
The AGGROZOUK is a tool that allows farmers with agricultural holdings of medium size to mechanically perform tasks which are difficult to perform manually and can cause physical strain.
In addition to being a tractor that does not release carbon dioxide, because it does not use fossil fuels, it is an open source vehicle. That is to say, these manufacturing plans are available for everyone free of charge and so everyone is able to make, for themselves, an effective non-polluting working tool, which is easy to manufacture at a cost of less than 1500 Euros.