INRA published a four-year study on the economic viability of organic permaculture. This study entitled “Permacultural organic market gardening and economic performance” shows that permaculture can be quite competitive economically compared to conventional intensive agriculture. The study was carried out on a fairly small area of 1000m², i.e. 1/10 of a hectare, and with a good proportion in forcing (greenhouse), it appears that each m² cultivated in organic permaculture can generate a turnover. exceeding 50 € / m² for direct sale.
What motivated some to start their garden permaculture, it is good because on econology, we have developed a cultivation technique even more powerful than the biological permaculture: the Kitchen Garden Sloth (no fertilizer or pesticide, even organic)
Farm Bec Hellouin
Economic study of a plot type 1000 m2 within the farm BEC HELLOUIN (2011-2015). Researcher contact: François Léger, UMR INRA AgroParisTech SAD-APT.
Presentation of the INRA study on permaculture
La Ferme Biologique du Bec Hellouin has been developing since 2007 an original market gardening model, associating an organization of space inspired by permaculture and
gardening biointensif (E. Coleman, J. Jeavons, etc.). Very little mechanized, on a very small acreage, set to short circuits, this model creates a very strong interest.
But is it economically viable? This is the question that the study conducted by the farm, the Sylva Institute and the SADAPT research unit (INRA-AgroParisTech) intended to answer. The particularity of this study is to be carried out on a farm where new techniques, tools and new marketing methods are constantly tested, far from “routine operations” which generally serve as a support for the production of technical references. economic.
From December 2011 to March 2015, the market gardeners systematically noted their interventions (nature of these, working time, inputs, etc.) and quantified the harvests on a surface of cultivated beds of 1000 m², excluding alleys and surroundings, including 42% in greenhouse. It should be noted that the 1000 m2 studied correspond to the most intensive area of the Bec Hellouin farm and should in no case be considered sufficient to establish a micro-farm. Indeed, in a permacultural logic, the very neat surface is part of a more global whole which includes less intensive surfaces (to produce crops with long cycles such as winter conservation vegetables), natural areas and buildings necessary for good ecological and commercial functioning of the whole.