Beak farm Hellouin

INRA: economic study of permaculture

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.

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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.

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Download the full INRA study on organic permaculture (67 pages in .pdf)


Discover the Garden of Sloth (no fertilizer or pesticide, even organic)
In details about forums: the easy technique of the lazy vegetable garden, better than permaculture
The official INRA page on this study

2 comments on “INRA: economic study of permaculture”

  1. This is called good news! 😉

    What interests farmers / market gardeners more than ecology is yield and profits.

    Strongly that all begin to permaculture

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