THE AGRICULTURE OF LIFE
As the rich and prosper soil in the Rambouillet forest that has inspired us, our soil is left alone (no ploughing, just direct sowing) and is continuously covered naturally, so as to avoid erosion while preserving our ecosystem and reducing our carbon footprint.
We grow a multitude of forages, ancient cereals and legumes in crop rotation , in order to avoid soil depletion, using no pesticides or synthetic chemical fertilizers.
The selection of crops is carried out in accordance with a plant science offering the soils what they need, while protecting crops according to the principle of companion plants.
BREEDING AND AGROECOLOGY
A virtuous agricultural model cannot overlook animal wellbeing and respect in order, therefore, in order to limit diseases, we select cow and goat breeds that are more resistant to infections. We also use preventively homeopathy and essential oils.
Fed exclusively on fodder and cereals, or on pasture during Summer, our animals produces a high quality milk. Its breed diversity (Jersey, Prim Holstein, for our 150 cows, Alpines Chamoisées or Murciana Granadina for our 350 goats) helps compensate the variations in levels of butterfat or protein linked to this feed.
The breeder’s job requires constant attention and follow-up : work every day as close as possible to the herd, in the respect of its nature and natural cycles (goats, for example, produce milk from February to December), with for reward the assurance of supplying the cheese makers on our farm with milk that is both healthy and rich.
Agroecology focuses also on the complementarity of the ecosystems at the center of an agriculture that is both productive and respecting nature. It translates for us into the re-creation of an environment encouraging plant and animal biodiversity :
We replant hedges in order to accommodate the growing auxiliaries (birds, insects, and small animals).
We plant sturdy apple trees in order to provide shade to our cows, to let bees forage, to avoid soil erosion and to beautify the landscape.
To promote pollination, we host two hundred beehives, which produce tge honey used in our yogurt.
The biomass recreated by the roots also makes it possible to degrade the pollutants present in the soil. The one produced by the fall of the leaves, branches and fruit nourishes the earth and promotes the activity of insects that enrich and aerate the soil.
This mode of culture is inspired by the 280 ha of forests that belong to the Ferme de la Tremblaye ! in order to preserve its perenniality, a PEFC certified sustainable management plan has been implemented : tree cutting and planting alternate To maintain the natural shelter of wild animals. Natural ponds are preserved to allow the maintenance of their ecosystem (batrachians, wild animals, migratory birds).
Equipped with both the best firewood supply (the forest) and several raw materials likely to generate energy thanks to the breeding and the cheese making, the Ferme de la Tremblaye equipped itself in 2006 with a wood boiler, and in 2013 with an agricultural methaniser. It has been operating for several years in perfect energy autonomy, and can even provide electricity to nearly 600 homes !
On the one side, the wood boiler supplies, thanks to the shavings of our forest and the Rambouillet forest, hot water for the heating of the fromagerie, the farm buildings and the houses.
On the other side, the farm effluents, the manure and the whey from the cheese making feed daily the agricultural methaniser and its three digestors. The biogas they emit is recovered by a generator that produces enough electricity to cover the needs of our village, and also supplemental heat for the fromagerie.
The « digestat » (final stage of composting made up of a liquid material) is used as natural soil fertilizer for our land : nothing is lost, everything is transformed !