"Fermes et Dépendances" (Farms and Outbuildings), a book about the modern faces of agriculture

20 October 2023

  • Linen

Catherine Scotto and Marie Pierre Morel's new book, "Fermes et Dépendances" (Farms and Outbuildings), celebrates eleven contemporary agricultural pioneers whose day-by-day efforts bear witness to an unrivalled passion for preserving traditions.

Domaine Gomart Farms and Outbuildings
© Marie Pierre Morel

Once dotted with farms, France's countryside has changed over the years. But despite the disappearance of many traditional farms, we are now witnessing the emergence of a new generation of farmers! A new breed of farmer who is embodying a form of renewal.

In their new book, "Fermes et Dépendances", authors Catherine Scotto and Marie Pierre Morel paint a portrait of eleven country enthusiasts who are connected, informed and deeply committed to preserving France's rural heritage. They find themselves in charge of rural heritage that needs to be renovated, maintained and, above all, preserved for future generations.

Fermes et Dépendances Catherine Scotto Marie Pierre Morel © Marie Pierre Morel

Profiles which change agriculture’s faces

While many of these 'new farmers' are the children of farmers, they also include people from the cities, who may have stumbled into a world previously unknown to them, as well as Parisians such as Valentine Franc and Christophe Comoy (partner of architect Luis Laplace), or even some already famous names: Bertrand Larcher, founder of Breizh Café, who grew up in the wake of farming parents, Christophe Schickel, renowned cheese producer or Matali Crasset, critically acclaimed designer. The book also shines the spotlight on those who dare to go even further in restoring and safeguarding unexpected crops, such as Arnaud Bachelin, a tea master with a passion for safeguarding ancient crops, and the man who is bringing wicker plantations back to life.

European Linen represented in the book

Domaine Gomart © Marie Pierre Morel

Of particular interest is the Gomart estate, home to Bertrand and Fanny Gomart, who are beautifully represented in the book because of their commitment to flax-linen culture.
An agricultural engineer and passionate flax-linen grower, Bertrand Gomart has been cultivated flax-linen fibre in Normandy since 1995. In addition to his role on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp, Bertrand Gomart is also heavily involved in the flax-linen industry (President of the AGPL - Association Générale des Producteurs de lin, Vice-President of C.I.P.A.L.I.N - Comité Interprofessionnel de la Production Agricole du Lin), and sits on a number of influential bodies promoting the future of European Flax-Linen. 
As all the other portraits revealed in the book, the Gomarts also embody these 'new guardians' of the French countryside.

Return to nature and farm's aesthetic appeal

Respectful of regional traditions and driven by the desire to safeguard local traditions, Catherine Scotto and Marie Pierre Morel's book puts the spotlight on these new farmers who are adapting their centuries-old land to new sustainable production methods. Through an approach marked by an undeniable aesthetic sense, they have all undertaken the restoration of their buildings, adapting them to meet the demands of sustainable farming practices. They are helping to ensure the long-term survival of these areas steeped in history, and are breathing new life into dilapidated barns, forgotten stables and disused country houses.

La Recouse - Fermes et Dépendances © Marie Pierre Morel
Fermes & Dépendances ambiance Ferme © Marie Pierre Morel

With a foreword by Benoît Rauzy, co-founder of Atelier Vime, the book "Fermes et Dépendances" echoes this 'agricultural renaissance', a new trend in which the old blends harmoniously with the new in a return to nature that is more urgent than ever.

"Fermes et Dépendances" (Farms and Outbuildings) book, by Catherine Scotto and Marie Pierre Morel - Éditions de La Martinière, photos © Marie Pierre Morel
Preface by Benoît Rauzy
Publication date: 20 October 2023
240 pages
39,95 €

To coincide with this literary event, the Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp is presenting its new book: Flax-Linen, fibre of civilisation(s) which explores the different facets of Flax-Linen in a cross-cutting way, recounting the history of this plant fibre and its richness.

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