The LOU CASSE Farm (the oak in Gascon) is a 15ha farm in one piece. Professor Jean-Luc Guérin of the University of Veterinarians of Toulouse (ENVT) and Professor Marc Dufumier (world pioneer of agro-ecology) describe it as an "Autarkic Agro-Ecological Farm wherebreeding andagronomy are integrated one with the other and vice versa".
We produce 9ha of cereals, Corn and Wheat called "Population" with our own seeds and old seeds: red corn of Adour, which we select patiently by hand each year by growing a field especially for this purpose and "Red" Wheat, giving us a quality wheat for bread to make flour, an excellent straw for our market garden in permaculture of 1ha (where we also use only free and old seeds) and to feed our Landes sheep. The wheat straw is also put back on the cereal fields as did the Japanese M. Fukuoka, pioneer of Agro-Ecology and author of our bedside book on agriculture "A revolution of a strand of straw".
We also work on old local breeds from Gascony and Landes in collaboration with the conservatory of Aquitaine breeds: grey geese from the moors, an endangered species, of which we are the last to have a significant number of 81 free-range breeders on the farm (who have resisted in a natural way to 6 epizootics of avian flu while staying outside), or very hardy Gascon hens, Landes sheep, Landes turkeys (disappearing since there are only 70 of them left in total) and of course Miguel, the Pyrenean billy goat or Igor the Gascon pig. All these species are adapted to the territory and we work on a TOTAL inclusion of the breeding in the agronomy and vice versa. That is to say that we develop to the maximum the animal interaction with the plant (fields, market gardening or meadow), each animal having a different and complementary contribution on the agronomy from one species to the other. Fertilization and cleaning in particular, which makes it possible to do without chemical products.
We believe that we will not be able to build the agriculture of the future without an agriculture in Agro-ecology, that is to say without chemicals, non-polluting, creating biodiversity and fighting against climate change, and without the essential contribution of local breeds of animals AND to save them from extinction AND to replace intensive mechanization.
It is a kind of pastoralism of the 21st century, pushed to the extreme, with today's techniques, green fertilizers, fixing a maximum of nitrogen from the atmosphere and trapping a maximum of carbon in the soil to fight in a natural and effective way against global warming. We refuse any form of label, including the organic label, which is not natural enough for us, and which is a productivist vision of ecology, but also because we do not use any chemical products. We apply the notions of fundamental physics and balance studied in our school curriculum mixed with the knowledge of our elders, in particular Marcel Duboscq - Laurent's godfather - who passed on to us all the knowledge of the Duboscq family acquired over generations and who ran the family farm of "Saute-lèbre" in Benquet.
"Lou Casse" is the replica, more advanced, of this state of mind of total autonomy with what we have, where we are, and we produce a maximum in a single plot, without chemistry, with the only contribution of animals and agro-ecological techniques.
The animals eat only what is produced on the farm, clean and fertilize the fields. We produce 20/30 tons of farm corn per year, 6 tons of farm wheat, feed 3 families all year long (vegetables and meat) and sell on average more than 10,000 meals/year directly (vegetables and meat, of course, more than organic), notably at the Mont-de-Marsan market every Saturday morning, but also at other points of sale or directly from the farm.
The farm benefits from an extraordinary mutual aid and local synergy traditionally called "Ayudère" in Gascon, corn picking or other activities that are always done with the neighbors. Neighbors and mutual aid that allow us to go on tour when necessary... even if sometimes we have to refuse tours because of priority agricultural work. The farm is now our priority especially in these times of global warming. We receive a lot of classes, school groups or young people for therapeutic purposes (teenagers from the Sainte-Anne hospital for 8 years now), convinced of the beneficial and healthy side of working on the land for all. The Stade Montois Rugby (2nd division professional club) with whom we have been partners for 10 years now, regularly comes to train at the farm through physical agricultural work.
When we are no longer of this world, the farm will be bequeathed with our royalties to the structure that will manage it, our goal being to create a "Rockfarmers School", a school of agriculture for all, which will transmit our work and experiences and will train the farmers of tomorrow to face the climatic challenges, because we are convinced that in decades everyone will have to roll up their sleeves, without dogmas and without blinkers on the work of the land. The group has allowed us to see the economic, human, geopolitical and environmental damage of globalization thanks to our travels around the world over the past 15 years. We have decided to act through facts and empirical experimentation in the field and therefore the work of the land connected to Nature. We hope that our humble contribution, as it will take many initiatives like this one to face the great upheavals that lie ahead for humanity. We hope to be able to help the younger generations to take up the torch on concrete and demonstrated bases, far from all basic and easy beliefs.
Adishats - Lou Casse Farm