Sustainable farming: A priority here at Fermes Leclair

Sustainable agriculture is more than a vision statement for Fermes Leclair: it’s a way of life, and it’s the basis of our claim to being “environmentally responsible market gardeners.” Properly managing our water and land resources as well as preserving biodiversity are central to everything we do. Given the challenges we face—ranging from insect pests to global warming—we advocate the most natural approach possible so as to promote healthy ecosystems, preserve our environment, and ensure food security for consumers. We achieve those objectives through continuous research and development, wise application of technology, sound environmental knowledge, and our capacity for innovation. This is evidenced by Jocelyn Leclair’s involvement with organizations committed to implementing plant-health best practices:

  • The Pôle d’excellence en lutte intégrée (centre of excellence for integrated pest management, or PELI);
  • Phytodata Inc., which offers research consulting services to farm companies along with integrated pest management solutions such as sterile flies;
  • The Prisme consortium, Québec’s leading farm-crop tracing and monitoring network.

Fermes Leclair’s actions to help advance sustainable farming

We have implemented multiple strategies to promote sustainable agriculture and minimize the use of pesticides, including integrated pest management, soil conservation and water management. These rely on observation and experimentation to better manage and increase crop yield in environmentally friendly ways, assuming that mechanical, biological and chemical methods are available. Crop-specific monitoring, flower strips, spore traps, sterile flies, microbial biostimulants, crop rotation, green manure, and tensiometers are among the methods used.

Crop-specific monitoring

With crop-specific monitoring, insect pests are identified so as to better control them; this screening enables use of complementary or alternative methods to pesticides and, at the same time, ensures that beneficial insects are protected.

Flower strips

Flower strips are sowed near our onion-growing fields to provide abundant and diversified food for beneficial insects like pollinators and pest predators. They are an optimum solution in a context of biodiversity.

Spore traps

We use spore traps to determine the optimal windows for applying fungicides to protect our crops from harmful mould growth. This allows us to take targeted action instead of beginning preventive treatments too early.

Sterile flies

We use a sterile-fly solution to limit damage caused by larvae known as onion maggots in our onion and shallot fields. Mass releases of sterile male flies to mate with females ensure that the eggs laid are not fertile and won’t hatch into crop-damaging larvae. This drastically reduces the amount of pesticides needed for control.

Biostimulants

Biostimulants promote growth of microbial life and root systems, help decompose crop waste, stimulate nutrient growth and uptake, nourish plants to improve their resistance to disease and pests and, ultimately, improve crop quality.

Crop rotation

Crop rotation consists in alternating the plants grown on the same parcels of land from one year to the next. The goal is to preserve soil structure and fertility, by preventing the depletion of soil resources and disrupting the growth cycles of insects and diseases.  Essentially, crop rotation enhances the delicate balance of the existing ecosystem.

Green manure and protective soil cover

In the spring, green manure consists mainly of plants that serve as temporary ground cover and, once ploughed under, nourish the soil, enriching it with essential minerals. In the fall, it creates a protective cover on bare soil in anticipation of the winter season. Besides improving soil quality and structure, green manure prevents erosion, leaching and drying out.

Water management

By better managing the use of water in agriculture, we promote food security and environmental sustainability. Optimum crop irrigation is achieved by utilizing data on the useful water reserves in each cultivated field (field mapping) and through the use of tensiometers. The latter measure soil water tension, allowing us to determine the opportune time for watering and exactly how much water to use based on soil type and crop requirements.

Sustainable farming. It’s working for our future—and yours.

Working on a farm is a rewarding challenge, because no two days are alike and because of the need for constant innovation to improve our practices. Through partnerships with organizations, other farmers and agronomists, we improve our knowledge and reap the rewards of everyone’s individual efforts. Our mission, to position ourselves as eco-responsible market gardeners, motivates us to push forward and work even harder to offer consumers superior-quality, safe and ecologically grown vegetables.

Fermes Leclair

The Leclair family is driven by a passion for market gardening handed down from one generation to the next since the 1800s. For fresh produce, grown with love and eco-responsibly on the South Shore of Montréal, choose carrots, radishes, green onions, beets, watermelons and fine herbs from Fermes Leclair.

Contact Information

157, Rang St Pierre O. Sherrington, QC J0L 2N0
Phone : 450 454-9027

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