Caroline Dufour-The Arrival, The Lady in Green

Caroline Dufour-L’Arrivée, La Dame en vert

The Lady in Green

When you are born in Grand-Métis on the land of the largest egg producer in the lower St. Lawrence and every summer of your childhood you visit the Jardins de Métis and pay homage to the emblematic blue poppy of the Himalayas , can we really escape our destiny? It seems not. With her heart tattooed for life by nature, Caroline Dufour-L’Arrivée founded six years ago Living Agriculture , its agronomic services company dedicated to agroecology.

With baccalaureate degrees in biology, civil engineering and agronomy, the 39-year-old has also earned a master's degree in the treatment of pig manure by biofiltration and a diploma from the Institute for Research and Development in Agroenvironment (IRDA).

When it comes to living agriculture, there is no doubt that Caroline Dufour-L'Arrivée embraces a wide range. In addition to her research activities and training in soil microbiology, design, permaculture, food forests, organic orchards and agroecology, Caroline sows her teachings everywhere ( see the video ) in the hope of raising awareness the next generation of farmers and gentlemen farmers are finding new ways of producing in a more eco-responsible manner.

From her first contacts with forestry (and black flies!) to planting trees in northern Quebec and Australia, the research trips she made to the Caribbean and Togo revealed disastrous realities to her. The terrible pollution of waterways, the negligence in waste management, the pesticides used indiscriminately, the erosion of the soil, have upset her. Luckily, she is full of optimism.

I would like to bring agroforestry to major crops, but there is a lot of awareness-raising to be done. No further than in the St. Lawrence plain, some farmers still maintain that they are not going to start planting trees where their fathers cut them down. Their soils are not covered and erosion affects them. But when they think about the cost per square foot of their land, they do not see how they could revalue it with agroforestry. Fortunately, mentalities are changing and the next generation wants something other than “plaster” solutions .”

In 2014, well before the Minister of Transport spoke of urban densification as a “fashion”, Caroline implemented At the corner of my street , a self-fertile and sustainable collective vegetable garden-forestry project which takes the form of a seven-story nourishing ecosystem: the high canopy (fruit trees), the low canopy (fruit and fruit trees). small nuts), shrubs, herbaceous plants, the vertical layer (climbing plants, vines, beans, etc.), ground covers and the rhizosphere (the part of the soil located around the roots of the plants). In short, a vision of the future that promotes biodiversity even in the heart of urban environments. Today there are around fifteen food forests in Quebec ranging from the equivalent of two tennis courts to that of a soccer field.

Barely two weeks ago, thanks to the Laure Waridel Scholarship , Caroline was putting the finishing touches to her Support guide for the establishment of collective food forests whose release is planned for 2023 by Écosociété editions.

Engaged by the Institut de Technologie Agroalimentaire du Québec (ITAQ) since 2020, it is an entire agroecology program that it provides online. The young woman promulgates agroecology, permaculture and the global approach to living soils. If Caroline admits that in terms of ecological transition, organic farming has its limits, she nevertheless finds that it is a big step in the right direction. And she is pleased that there are fewer and fewer conventional farms.

Transplanted to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Caroline Dufour-L'Arrivée would like to be able to acquire a piece of land of her own from where she could do her teaching. Without perhaps knowing it, the eco-initiator is following in the footsteps of Étienne Racine, the pioneer founder of this town who, in 1650, was granted land there. A family name that has something to inspire the Lady in Green!

Photo credit: Order of Agronomists of Quebec

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