We had the opportunity to catch up with Philippe and Jordane, two young home growers from Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, close to downtown Quebec City. At 23 years old, the couple have already been growing their own food for three years. They tell us how they got their start and how they see their shared future as they pursue their passion for growing.  

Where did the interest for growing your own vegetables come from?

J: Climate change and the worsening environmental impacts have driven us to re-evaluate the impact we want to have with our lives and our respective careers. Initially, and still today, our goal was to become as self-sufficient as possible. It was this drive that got us started in gardening in the first place. We started with a tiny box and expanded our growing area year after year. The pandemic also reinforced our vision and gave us the time to enrich our knowledge growing through numerous books and documentaries, but especially the series called "Les Fermiers". And now, this is what we want to do for a living!

How do you help each other in your work?

P: Jordane and I are very comfortable working with one another. We often do the tasks together even though individual autonomy is possible. This allows us to share our knowledge and develop a mutual vision for our future farm and restaurant project. In many cases, if one needs assistance, the other is always ready to offer help!. It's an amazing dynamic.  


What do you find the most challenging so far?

J: In our vegetable garden, it is the management of insects and plant diseases that has been the most daunting. We know that disease and outbreaks can’t really be avoided, but ensuring that we don't lose control of the situation has become a real challenge. We try to select varieties that are resistant to various factors, such as temperature and specific diseases.

What is your favorite meal to make with the vegetables you grow?

P: Pesto! We make ours with two basil varieties, arugula and crushed chili peppers from the garden. It’s the perfect addition to pasta, soups and sandwiches.

What's next for you as growers? Any upcoming projects?

J: A few weeks ago, we went to work for two days at Ferme des Quatre-Temps in order to potentially be selected as assistant market gardeners for the next season. We got the news shortly after, but we will be joining the FQT team for the next 2 market gardening seasons! This will be an opportunity for us to learn from the best and to prepare ourselves to launch our own farming project in the future.


What essentials would you say are most needed when you garden?

P: With the changing of the seasons and temperatures here in Quebec, I love my insulated Bradley shirt so much. The Knol hoodie is also one of my favorite pieces of clothing, definitely a must have for layering in the fall.

J: Personally, I wear a hat all the time when in the sun, so the Brandywine straw hat is my go-to. And of course, a good harvest knife is essential in the garden, so the Opinel no.10 harvest knife would have to be my favorite.




*Check out their harvesting essentials here